Network Ten has its eye on the exploding streaming media business but isn’t making a move anytime soon.
“We think some players are going to spend a lot of money and never see a return,” says Hamish McLennan, Ten’s executive chairman and CEO.
They are all up against Netflix, the US giant, which is reported to have many tens of thousands of Australians and direct subscribers via services which get around geo-blocking.
And then there’s Foxtel, with most of the cable tv market, launching a streaming service, Pronto.
McLennan told analysts after announcing the station’s full year result – a $168.3 million loss – that what he calls the SVOD (subscription video on demand) market is going to get messy.
“They are going to spill a lot of blood over SVOD, commit a lot of resources to it and not succeed,” he says.
“Like with everything we do, we’re keeping our cards close to our chest. We are prepared to play, but we’re not going to commit large sums of money to it at the moment.”
He says the key to streaming is content.
“What is really critical to any success of a SVOD platform is having good local drama and we’ve got good local drama,” he says.
“We back ourselves with the likes of Offspring and Party Tricks.”