Fetch, Foxtel negotiated with BBC: Fetch & BBC Won, Foxtel lost big time

    I was surprised to find out today that most BBC channels (BBC Earth, BBC News, CBeebies, and BBC First) and related on demand content are leaving Foxtel/Binge/Flash at the end of July. Foxtel/Binge have retained light entertainment channel UKTV.

    In separate but related news Fetch TV has managed to negotiate better with the BBC, extending their channel partnership agreement ensuring Fetch subscribers get ongoing access to the broadest range of premium BBC content available on any Australian aggregation platform covering the ability to login to Britbox and subscribe to BBC News, BBC UKTV, BBC Earth, CBeebies, BBC Kids, BBC Brit and BBC Drama (a new channel covering older drama series exclusive to Fetch but no first runs).

    Interestingly a BBC Studios Australia and New Zealand spokesperson commented:

    “BBC Studios has ambitious plans for its brands and content in Australia and our business is evolving. We are a diverse content business and Australia is a growth region for BBC Studios with a large appetite for our content”.

    “BritBox and give us our own platforms for growth. As we recently announced, BBC News livestream will be available on shortly, showcasing the potential of our new digital products”.

    I interpret that comment mentioning Britbox to mean that the first run new series which used to appear on BBC First and Foxtel will soon be available to Australian Britbox subscribers instead.

    Sam Hall, Chief Content and Commercial Officer of Fetch TV, said

    “We are excited to renew our long-standing channels partnership with BBC Studios and to introduce the new BBC Drama channel which, as a replacement for BBC First, will expand the line-up of premium drama programming available on Fetch. Iconic BBC channel brands, along with much loved shows including Call the Midwife, Death in Paradise and Silent Witness are important elements of the Fetch customer offering”.

    “This deal demonstrates that Fetch remains committed to offering a true aggregation model across a very broad range of content options including Free-to-Air, FAST and subscription channels, free and subscription streaming services, transactional video on-demand, and pay-per-view events.”

    BBC Drama, a new channel available only on Fetch, will be home to a collection of some of the best-loved British drama, delivering audiences fan favourites such as Death in Paradise, Call The Midwife and Silent Witness as well as a chance to discover prestigious, premium dramas such as the BAFTA award-winning The Sixth Commandment, Happy Valley and Unforgotten.

    BBC UKTV will continue to be on Foxtel/Binge as well as Fetch, giving audiences a curated selection of British entertainment including soap juggernauts EastEnders, Coronation Street and Emmerdale, fan-favourite quizcoms 8 Out of 10 Cats Does Countdown, QI and Would I Lie to You, celebrity chat shows and travel shows fronted by well-loved personalities like Joanna Lumley.

    Fetch subscriber audiences can find world-class factual shows from the most inspiring and passionate experts in the world on BBC Earth with titles like Where The Wild Men Are and Life Below Zero, while lovers of fly-on-the-wall factual entertainment can find shows such as World’s Most Dangerous Roads, Traffic Cops and Junior Paramedics on BBC Brit.

    Fetch subscribers can view the BBC channels on their TV or on the Fetch Mobi app, with a “start over” option available for the majority of programmes which enables viewers to join the channel at any point and watch from the start.

    Subscribers can also access a large amount of on-demand channel content from the Fetch Catch-Up menu. The Fetch Universal Voice Search makes it easy to find content from across the whole of Fetch, including channels and on-demand content, with one simple spoken search.

    The BBC channels are all available in the 46 channel Fetch Ultimate Pack for only $20 per month, and also in the $6 per month Fetch Channel Packs.

    Neerav Bhatt
    Neerav Bhatt
    Thanks to his broad general knowledge, research skills and ability to explain complex issues Neerav Bhatt has appeared in the online, print, radio and TV media including: ABC (Online, TV, Radio), SBS (Online, Radio), BBC World Service (Radio), 10 News TV, Sky News TV, Australian IT, Technology Spectator, Ausdroid, iTnews, APCMAG, IDG CSO and a variety of other publications. In 2023 he joined the techAU team and represents them at Sydney events.

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