After a couple of months of delays, Foxtel's Presto movie service finally has a launch date: March 13. In just over a fortnight, you'll be able to sign up for a $19.99 monthly deal that gives you unlimited access to an archive from Foxtel Movies — both the existing live channels and on demand.
Presto draws on Foxtel's seven live movie channels and its archive of on demand videos; there's also a pay-per-view service available through Presto for new release movies at an additional charge. There's no lock-in contract, and Foxtel is heavily playing up the ability to access movies without buying a basic subscription TV tier.
The company's CEO Richard Freudenstein announced the launch date at this morning's Australian Broadcasting Digital Media Summit in Sydney. At launch, it'll be limited to PC and Mac streaming, as well as on compatible iPads (presumably the iPad 2 onwards). Anyone interested in trying out the service can sign up for an initial discount, with the first month only costing $4.99.
The regular $19.99 monthly price is also a significant drop from the $24.99 that Presto was originally pegged at; it's evidence that Foxtel is interested in trying to carve out as much market share as it can in the competitive streaming movie market, possibly before Netflix eventually gets around to its Australian launch.
If you're not so keen on Presto, Foxtel is also tweaking its regular Play video service. Just in time for the fourth season of Game of Thrones, it's launching a Premium Movies & Drama tier for only $10 per month (in addition to the $25 minimum for a basic Foxtel Play tier).