The first Aussie pay TV service to embrace the healthy spirit of competition and add Netflix to its IPTV repertoire, upon that US streaming giant's imminent local launch, has been announced — and it's fan favourite Fetch TV. (Let's be honest with ourselves, though — Foxtel wasn't going to jump on board too quick.)
Fetch TV is an IPTV streaming service, delivered over the 'net by partners Optus, iiNet, Internode, Dodo and the like. As well as the 38 streaming live digital TV channels, Fetch has on-demand movie rentals and catch-up video content, but its archival library can't compete with the massive back catalogue that Netflix can offer.
That's why it's good to see today's announcement that Netflix and Fetch have signed an agreement to that effect, letting Fetch TV subscribers both sign up to and watch Netflix straight from their Fetch device. The Fetch set-top box has a 1TB hard drive and connects to the 'net, but also has a triple digital TV tuner and can record live TV as well as cache catch-up online video. With 170,000 customers already on the books, Fetch is clearly onto a good thing, and the Netflix deal should further that.
No firm date has been set for the Netflix app to be switched on for Fetch, which isn't surprising given that Netflix itself has been keeping a tight lid on any kind of launch date at all. Interestingly enough, the Fetch-Netflix deal includes New Zealand, which points to both services launching across the ditch pretty soon as well.
Any subscriber with the newer, second generation Fetch TV box — that's anyone within the last couple of years — will be able to access Netflix through a bespoke downloadable app, as soon as the service launches Down Under. It's an interesting move, given that Fetch TV and Netflix are both streaming video competitors, but it's a smart move from Fetch to both keep existing customers happy and broaden its potential subscriber base. [Fetch TV]