Foxtel Flash: News streaming app explained
Foxtel's Flash news app is a standalone service aggregating over 20 news channels – here are the details.
The decompartmentalisation of the Foxtel pay TV behemoth continued with the release of Flash on 14 October 2021. Developed by Foxtel sister company Streamotion, Flash is the third standalone SVOD app to provide a new home for Foxtel's existing content and is more streamlined and focused on the content category it oversees. Foxtel Flash joins Kayo Sports and BINGE.
Foxtel Flash was officially revealed on 13 October 2021 and released a day later. Former news.com.au editor-in-chief Kate de Brito has been hired to mastermind its launch. She will be joined by James Law, editor at fellow News Corp owned media outlet Newswire.
When is Foxtel Flash coming out?
Foxtel Flash releases on 14 October 2021.
What formats is Foxtel Flash on?
It's available at launch on PC, Mac, iOS, Android, Telstra TV, Apple TV and ChromeCast. It's interesting that Android TV, PS5, PS4 and any smart TVs haven't made the cut. Especially considering the penetration of Binge and Kayo Sports onto these platforms. However, during the press briefing, Streamotion CEO Julian Ogrin revealed that plans are in place for the formats to come in the future.
How much is Foxtel Flash going to cost?
Foxtel Flash costs $8 a month and only comes in a single HD tier.
It is a different kettle of fish to Kayo Sports and BINGE. It won't offer as much, nor as diverse, content as these 2 premium SVOD services. The $25 a month for Kayo Sports and the $14 a month for BINGE (HD tier) is indicative of their content.
Does Foxtel Flash have a free trial?
Yes, it has a 14-day free trial. This is on par with Kayo Sports and Binge and sign-up takes less than 3 minutes.
What content does Foxtel Flash offer?
Foxtel Flash has launched with 25 channels. The focus is on news, but the offering is broad. It spreads across current affairs, business, travel, sport, weather, entertainment, real estate, finance and more. Apart from straight news, there are shows and documentaries as well. Ogrin also confirmed that talks are in place to add more channels in the future.
Some of the channels – notably PeopleTV, Storyful, Wall Street Journal, USA Today and France 24 – are not available on Foxtel itself. This availability of non-Foxtel content is a notable difference to what we see on Binge and Kayo Sports. However, the integration of free-to-air news services from the likes of ABC and SBS are missing.
Note: Foxtel recently signed a long-term agreement with Warner Bros. that includes CNN programming.
List of Foxtel Flash channels
- Al Jazeera
- BBC World News
- Bloomberg TV
- Bloomberg Quicktake
- Channel News Asia
- CNN International
- ET Now
- FOX News Channel
- FOX SPORTS News
- GB News
- NHK World
- Russia Today
- Sky News Australia
- Sky News UK
- Sky News Extra
- Sky News Weather
- Times Now
- USA Today
- USA Today SportsWire
- The Wall Street Journal
What features does Foxtel Flash have?
Foxtel Flash offers an interface very similar to Binge and, to a lesser extent, Kayo Sports. You can access live feeds for any of the channels, or jump into TV shows (live or on-demand) and documentaries. These are personalised to you based on your pre-selected preferences and what the algorithm has noted you're into.
You are also then presented with snippets of news relevant to you that are cut from the channels. These can be 30 seconds long or several minutes. And you can drill down into categories as you seek to discover more news pieces.
Elsewhere you can form Flash Lists of content you want to come back to later. Or, if you're following a particular big story, there is a Flash Point hub. This aggregates all content from across the services relating to that story, giving you plenty of perspectives to consume.
Picture-in-picture mode is in place, as is the ability to join a big story live or to start from scratch. This is particularly handy for press conferences. SplitView is also coming shortly after launch, which will allow you to watch up to 4 channels at once, creating your own news wall.
Is Foxtel Flash any good?
The audience of people who would be interested in paying $8 a month for news, given that it's widely available for free, may seem quite small. However, my initial experience with the platform suggests there is some value to be had here. I really like being presented with snippets of news across areas of interest that I don't have to go hunting for. Especially as I don't have to watch ads to view the content.
Being able to find documentaries and shows with ease, jump into press conferences that can be paused or rewound, and create a news wall is a user-friendly way to consume current affairs. Picture-in-picture also allows you to watch something important while you work.
Certainly there is enough here for consumers of news content to give the trial a go.
Does Foxtel Flash replace Foxtel?
Much like Kayo Sports and BINGE before it, Flash is not supposed to be a replacement for the traditional cable TV service. This is the service that requires an IQ4/IQ5 box under your TV and is capable of recording content as well as displaying it in 4K. Instead, it's supposed to provide a more cost-effective portal into a specific kind of Foxtel content without all the additional bloat that comes with channels you don't want or need.
Flash will give you access to news content and will no doubt have additional features unique to the app itself. However, you will not be able to access any of the Foxtel IQ4 features nor add additional channel packages through Flash.