Foxtel will launch a new app next month called Foxtel Go which will offer subscribers 21 live channels and a library of on-demand content on their iPads at no additional charge.
The move follows the success of its London 2012 Olympics app which achieved 160,000 downloads and about two million views for eight live dedicated channels. More channels will be added in February and the app will also migrate to laptops and other devices.
Foxtel CEO Richard Freudenstein has also told The Australian about a landmark deal with HBO, to bring fast-tracked content to viewers.
The output agreement locks out free-to-air television and gives Foxtel subscribers exclusive first-run access.
“It’s a long-term deal and we get all first-run HBO programming on Foxtel,” Freudenstein told The Australian.
“You won’t see programs like Boardwalk Empire end up on SBS in a couple of years. It removes their ability to sell in a second window to free-to-air television. That won’t happen any more. You won’t see those programs on free-to-air.
He confirmed Foxtel would be putting HBO titles on screen often within hours or 24 hours after their first screening in the US.
“We think that’s a service our customers deserve and we also think that it will continue to attack piracy, which is a big issue in this country,” he said.
“There are people that are always going to steal stuff and we can take legal action against them, but the vast majority of people are illegally downloading because they want to see things as soon as they are available, so we think it’s very important to bring that programming to them straight away.”
But he also flagged a slight increase in subscriptions.
Foxtel has already been screening Dexter, Boardwalk Empire, Sons of Anarchy and The Walking Dead as part of its Express from the US strategy.
It recently acquired management of Showcase and Showtime channels.