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Quickflix secures South Pacific Pictures deal

There was a knockback for Telecom's pending Lightbox service this morning as Quickflix announced it had secured a deal with South Pacific Pictures, easily NZ's largest TV series producer.

Two shows are up on Quickflix now: Outrageous Fortune and Go Girls, with more South Pacific content to follow.

Shortland Street is off the table, Mr Buckley says.

However, NBR understands other A-list South Pacific shows, including Nothing Trivial, will shortly be added.

NBR understands both Quickflix and Lightbox have been vying for rights to put South Pacific shows online.

The deal is non-exclusive, Quickflix' NZ boss Paddy Buckley says.

So Telecom's pending Lightbox service could offer the same shows. But there's now a lot less scope for the newcomer to make local content a point of difference.

Shows like Outrageous Fortune (which screened on TV3) and Go Girls (TVNZ) could represent some tasty business for local video streaming services. They have been strong raters on broadcast television (very strong in Outrageous' case), but their back-catalogues quickly disappeared from the free-to-air broadcasters' ondemand services, and are ignored by the likes of Netflix, Hulu and iTunes.

Mr Buckley says Quickflix already features a number of South Pacific movies, including Whale Rider, but these have been procurred through a distributor.

Expanding overseas content
Quickflix has expanded its international content recently, too. A deal with Lionsgate earlier this month saw shows Mad Men, Weeds, Nurse Jackie, Nashville and Orange is the New Black added to its lineup.

The Lionsgate shows are offered under Quickflix premium pay-per-episode service, which is extra to its $12.99 basic streaming service — leaving room for Telecom to potentially gain an edge by including the shows in its all-inclusive $15.

And it's still not as flash as Quickflix Australia, which offers hit HBO shows like season 4 of Game of Thrones (local HBO rights are tied up by Sky TV. It's not yet clear how much of its core content Sky will cannibalise for its pending Netflix-style service).

Expanding device support
And NBR understands Google's lowcost Chromecast will shortly be added to Quickflix' range of supported devices, which already includes PlayStation, Xbox, iOS (Apple) and Android devices, TiVo, Windows, and smart TVs from Samsung, Sony, LG and Panasonic.  MyFreeview support is pendinig.

Telecom's Lightbox service will launch with iPad and PC apps. The company says it's looking to broaden device support.

Quickflix and the pending Lightbox will also face competition from Sky TV's looming Netflix-style service.

Like Quickflix (which recently cut its pricing to $12.99 a month), Lightbox ($15) and Sky's service (pricing TBA) will offer all the TV series and movies you can watch for a set monthly fee.

More by Chris Keall

Comments and questions

Not sure how this is a 'blow for Telecom' if a the deal is 'non exclusive' ?

A strong NZ content lineup was an obvious gap in the video streaming market.

Quickflix plugged it first.

Perhaps Telecom will offer South Pacific shows too (as noted, the deal is non-exclusive), but now its going to be another me-too element.

Telecom's got resources and smarts. I want to see it really go on the front-foot with Lightbox and try to bag a lot of exclusives, and a wide breadth of content. I don't see the point in being just another video streaming service with just-okay content.

Anyhow, it's a great result for viewers either way as street-legal online viewing options continue to expand.

People in majority will still download free. Nobody has addressed that problem. No subscriptions. No content licence deals. No disciplinary three strikes. None of these things Solves the heart of the problem, of people who regardless of the aforementioned, will still go and download for free.

Bet there is a solution out there. Somewhere.

At $15, Telecom has to offer Netflix and Hulu+ content combined for them to become a serious contender...
Approaching providers like HBO, ABC and Fox will be a step in the right direction. The local shows are already available on TV 1,2 and 3, so why concentrate on that content first?