iiNet announces deal with new pay-TV company

Perth-based internet service provider iiNet has announced a partnership with new pay-TV service FetchTV, with the company to provide its customers with free-to-air digital and subscription channels through a set-top box personal video recorder.

The move comes as FetchTV, of which Malaysian billionaire investor T. Ananda Krishnan is a shareholder, attempts to take on the Australian television market. It is understood former ACP chief Scott Lorson is also involved in the project.

iiNet chief executive Michael Malone said in a statement the service would allow more customers to access high-speed and on-demand content, such as movies and television shows.

“iiNet and FetchTV are set to change the face of Australian television forever. FetchTV allows people to easily tailor their viewing experience, making it the perfect transition into the world of digital TV. It’s amazingly practical, but simply put, people will love it because it’s really cool,” he said.

The announcement comes after Telstra announced it would offer a similar service to BigPond customers, which would allow them to access content on-demand.

It is understood FetchTV will launch with 20 pay-TV channels and other types of interactive programming, but so far no solid details have been announced by either the company itself or iiNet. Additionally, FetchTV is expected to offer “catch up” services by allowing users to watch shows they have missed by download on a television or computer.

Malone also said the service, which would apply to iiNet subscribers, would provide a library of video-on-demand containing movies, TV shows, documentaries and other types of programming including new-release films.

He also said the gadget would include “3D TV capability, in-built single and multi player games, access to a selection of social networking web applications and even the ability to receive messages regarding your iiNet services to your TV screen via the set-top box”.

No details about a release date, or a pricing schedule, were released. It is understood FetchTV is currently negotiating with free-to-air television networks to join their broadcasting program, but it is not yet known if these talks have been successful.

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