Quickflix sees Freeview launch within four months

ASX-listed streaming and on-demand video supplier is working on how to deliver its service on New Zealand's Freeview platform.

Quickflix, the ASX-listed streaming and on-demand video supplier, is working on how to deliver its service on New Zealand's Freeview platform and expects to launch on the free-to-air portal before the year is out.

Freeview has been talking up the potential of an ondemand and streaming channel since May 2012, with content provided by Quickflix and others, and offering views a mix of free and paid programming delivered by broadband to their Freeview-compatible television.. However, Freeview shareholders TVNZ and TV3 have preferred to push their ondemand content through the web and apps.

The Cottesloe, Western Australia-based company is working through technical delivery trials and sounding out studios and content owners on digital rights as it looks to bed-in a service on the local Freeview set-top box, it said in a statement to the ASX yesterday. Quickflix announced the deal with Freeview in December last year, saying it would offer 'all you can view' subscriptions and pay-per-view for new release titles.

"Subject to satisfactory completion of the proof of concept and trials and the finalisation of studio approvals and agreement with Freeview Ltd, Quickflix anticipates launching its service on the Freeview platform within four months," the company said.

The company had to bring in a new investor and restructure its operations at the end of last year as it struggled to keep a lid on escalating costs in its bid to grab new customers. The shares were unchanged at 1.7 Australian cents yesterday, having plunged 50 percent this year.

Quickflix has been hampered in its efforts to break into New Zealand by Sky Network Television's content rights and agreements with local internet service providers, which prevent it from screening Home Box Office shows, despite the US pay-TV company being a cornerstone shareholder in the Australian firm.

Those arrangements have been the subject of a Commerce Commission investigation since May last year as to whether they may be hindering competition.

Sky TV recently lost the live rights to broadcast English Premier League football matches to Coliseum Sports, which will show the games via an online platform.

(BusinessDesk)

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