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TV Network Rival Joining Forces to Launch Australia's Own Version of Netflix?

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Sean Fang Mon, 26/08/2013 - 22:17

The Seven and Nine networks may be joining forces to create their own version of Netflix, in an effort to head-off the American giant's eventual foray into the land downunder. The Australian Financial Review reports that sources close to both networks have been in negotiation over a potential partnership, and that Channel Nine executives have already started working at Seven's offices in Sydney on the secret project.

Both networks currently have their own catch-up services, but working together, both networks may believe that they will be better able to go up against Netflix, if and when the streaming giant comes to Australian shores. This kind of arrangement between traditional rivals in the streaming scene isn't unheard of, as the Hulu service in the US is co-owned by Fox and Disney, two major rivals in the TV space (Disney owns the ABC network).

But as the AFR reports, sources close to Nine says that negotiation deadlocks may scupper the deal before it gets anywhere. Sources close to Seven accuse Nine of using the idea of such a deal to boost an expected $3b float of the company later in the year.

Only last week Tim Worner, chief executive of Seven West Media, told AFR that it was looking to monetise a subscription on-demand model and that Seven has already received offers from unnamed companies to partner-up in such a venture. "A show like Home And Away for example, is the most caught-up show on Australian television by some distance. So consequently, the list of prospective suitor partners in VOD has been quite long," Worner told AFR.

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