By Paul McBeth
Dec. 4 (BusinessDesk) - ASX-listed streaming and on-demand video supplier Quickflix has cut a deal with Freeview to secure a channel on the free-to-air set-top-box.
Quickflix, which has lost three board members and its chief executive in recent weeks, will launch a service on Freeview next year, offering 'all you can view' subscription offering as well as pay-per-view for new release titles, it said in a statement. The deal comes a day after local pay-TV supremo Sky Network Television's joint venture with state-owned Television New Zealand, Igloo, went live.
"This is a significant development for Quickflix because half a million kiwis will have immediate access to our subscription and pay-per-view movie and TV streaming service," executive chairman Stephen Langsford said. "We're encouraged by the take-up of Quickflix streaming services in New Zealand, and this deal is a significant boost to our audience reach in the region."
The Sydney-based company has had a rough ride in the past month, suspending trading in its shares for three weeks as it worked through its funding options. The shares plunged 63 percent yesterday when they resumed trading, and were unchanged at 2.1 Australian cents today.
Quickflix, which counts US pay-TV company Home Box Office as a cornerstone investor, launched its service into New Zealand this year. The company has been critical of local content arrangements between pay-TV operator Sky TV and internet service providers, which prevent it from offering HBO.
Freeview brings together the country's free-to-air broadcasters to provide a set-top-box that gave viewers digital services as the government looks to turn off the ageing analogue network to sell that radio spectrum. TVNZ reaffirmed its commitment to the service, even after it signed up to the budget pay-TV venture with Sky TV.