battles Stan for James Bond franchise - 28th March
James Bond franchise is up for grabs. CREDIT: NICOLA
TV company Foxtel is vying with streaming service
Stan to strike a deal with the Hollywood studio that
owns the James Bond franchise and shows such as Fargo,
in an effort to secure what remains of the slate of
Hollywood programming available to Australian streaming
which owns streaming service Binge, is preparing to
bid for an output deal with Metro Goldwyn Mayer, an
agreement that would shore up new international programs
and films for its subscribers.
currently airs programs such as Fargo, The Handmaids
Tale and Clarice in addition to the James Bond films
on its service, which are part of its existing deal
with MGM. MGM was one of the first Hollywood studios
to sign agreements with Stan before its 2015 launch.
The current agreement, signed in 2018, will expire
in the middle of the year.
industry sources familiar with the negotiations, who
spoke anonymously because the discussions are confidential,
said Foxtel had already engaged MGM about securing
a large output deal.
has a deal with MGM for some films, but would want
more of its content so it can build out its offering
on streaming service Binge. The industry sources said
Foxtels talks with MGM have coincided with discussions
between the Hollywood studio and Stan, which wants
to renew its existing deal.
and Foxtel declined to comment.
and Stan are both content aggregators, which means
they have grown their subscriber base to date by buying
content from production houses and Hollywood studios.
model is now under pressure as major US entertainment
giants such as Disney and ViacomCBS launch their own
services such as Disney+ and Paramount+ and bring
programs in-house. For local players Stan and Foxtel,
the strategy shift by the US entertainment companies
means they have less content to choose from. If there
are programs available, they tend to be more expensive
because Binge and Stan have to bid for it.
extension or renewal of the existing arrangement is
crucial for Stan as without a deal it will lose some
new Showtime content to ViacomCBS Paramount+
service. Stan and Foxtel both lost Disney content
late last year when its streaming service Disney+
was launched and Stan has less than a year left on
its long-term deal with Showtime, the premium channel
owned by ViacomCBS. The Sydney Morning Herald and
The Age revealed plans by ViacomCBS to launch its
streaming service Paramount+ locally, a decision that
sees all future Showtime content brought inhouse.
has implemented other measures to offset the loss
of programs. It signed a short-term deal with NBCU
last year, which gives subscribers access to programs
from its streaming service Peacock and Sky, such as
Gangs of London, I Hate Suzie, Brave New World and
also has deals in place with ViacomCBS Paramount
studio, which makes popular shows such as YellowStone
and The Great and Sony.
company also announced plans to embark on a major
local content push, a strategic shift that was considered
an alternative to being overly dependent on Hollywood
for programs. Earlier this year it launched Stan Sport,
a foray into live streaming of rugby union matches
and tennis tournaments. Stan is valued by analysts
at about $1 billion.
Foxtel and Binge, securing the rights is important
for finding new subscribers. Foxtel launched its entertainment
service Binge in May last year and signed a multi-million
deal for HBO Max Originals such as Gossip Girl, The
Flight Attendant and Raised by Wolves.
large content deals it will be unable to attract a
large amount of new subscribers in a market where
it competes with Amazon Prime, Stan, Disney+ and Netflix.
It currently has more than 430,000 paying subscribers.
Stan, by comparison, has more than 2.3 million active
negotiations come as Stan boss Mike Sneesby prepares
to take the helm of Nine Entertainment Co. Stan is
owned by Nine, the owner of this masthead. Foxtel
is owned by News Corp Australia and Telstra. Mr Sneesby,
who was the founding CEO of Stan, was announced as
the replacement to Nine chief executive Hugh Marks
earlier this month. Mr Sneesbys replacement
has not been announced.
Sydney Morning Herald)