What is Foxtel Flash? News streaming app explained

Posted: 16 July 2021 10:15 am
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What is Foxtel Flash C

Foxtel is set to release Flash in Q4 2021, a standalone SVOD app for all its news services, similar to BINGE and Kayo.

The decompartmentalisation of the Foxtel pay TV behemoth continues later in 2021 with the release of Flash. Developed by Foxtel sister company Streamotion, Flash will be the third standalone SVOD app to provide a new home for Foxtel's existing content – one more streamlined and focused on the content category it oversees. Flash joins Kayo Sports and BINGE.

It's important to note that as of this writing, Foxtel Flash has not been officially announced, so the details below may yet change. Our information comes largely from sources close to the company.

The existence of Foxtel Flash has been confirmed, however. 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.

The Foxtel Group is examining a news streaming service and Kate De Brito is working on the business case for the service and other necessary planning in the event the project proceeds. James Law will be joining Kate on the project.”

Foxtel spokesperson

When is Foxtel Flash coming out?

Foxtel Flash has no official release date; however, multiple sources are claiming it will arrive in Q4 2021. This would fit in with the strategy used for Kayo Sports, which released out of beta on 26 November 2018. It's true BINGE released on 25 May 2020, but its timing was linked to the global launch of HBO Max.

How much is Foxtel Flash going to cost?

Foxtel Flash is a different kettle of fish to Kayo Sports and BINGE. It won't offer as much, nor as diverse, content as these two premium SVOD services. The $25 a month for Kayo Sports and the $14 a month for BINGE (HD tier) is indicative of their content.

With that in mind, our sources suggest we should expect Foxtel Flash to cost around $7 a month.

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What content channels will Foxtel Flash have?

Foxtel Flash, as its original Foxtel Newsflash working title would suggest, will focus on news. Foxtel has the streaming rights to several high profile global and local news channels, the content for which will all be filtered through the Foxtel Flash app. Notably, Foxtel recently signed a long-term agreement with Warner Bros. that includes CNN programming.

The following brand channels, including their derivatives, are expected to be part of the Foxtel Flash experience:

  • CNN
  • Sky News
  • Fox News
  • BBC World News
  • ABC Australia
  • CNBC
  • Bloomberg
  • Sky Weather

It will be interesting to see if free-to-air news services such as SBS and NITV are incorporated.

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What features will Foxtel Flash have?

One of the more impressive traits in Streamotion's work to date has been its desire to innovate in the SVOD app space. Kayo Sports was positively futuristic when it launched over 2 years ago and continues to be the home of unique features found nowhere else in the world. BINGE transformed the way we think about access and discoverability when surfing through a wide variety of programming.

We can expect Flash to bring with it some of the features that have worked well on these sister services where it makes sense for the content. In particular, you will be able to choose specific shows on-demand or simply access the live streams of the key channels. There may even be highlight packages of lengthier news broadcasts such as cabinet meetings or press conferences.

Our sources also suggest that Flash will be heavily reliant on machine learning. Users will not only be able to indicate subjects of interest, but the discoverability algorithm will adapt to viewing habits over time. This should surface more content of interest.

What will be interesting is how Foxtel Flash handles the on-demand aspect of the streaming video app. News, generally, is something that unfolds in real-time. Old news isn't interesting like an old episode of a sitcom or a replay of yesterday's game. And will Streamotion finally invest in some bespoke programming of its own? This is an opportunity that hasn't really happened on Kayo Sports, although it has on BINGE in the form of new locally produced programming.

Is it Foxtel NewsFlash or Foxtel Flash?

Depending on how close to the ground you keep your ear on all things streaming TV, you may have heard rumours of a Foxtel Newsflash service surfacing through 2021. These rumours were hardly surprising given the success of Kayo Sports and BINGE. However, our sources claim that when the service releases, it'll do so under the shorter brand name of Flash.

This makes sense. Without "news" in the brand, Foxtel doesn't run the risk of pigeonholing the SVOD app into one content category. It could potentially branch into non-fiction, such as documentaries, for example.

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 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.

Thinking about trying out a new SVOD service? Check out our comparison of all the streaming TV services available in Australia. And for a closer look at Streamotion's work, try our BINGE review or our Kayo Sports review.

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