Now Rupert Murdoch’s Sky gets into the iflix action
By Digital News Asia March 10, 2016
- iflix secures ‘large round of funding’ from Sky, with Surya Citra Media taking part
- Startup keeps mum on funding amount, Sky reveals it is putting in US$45mil
CATCHA Group’s wooing of Rupert Murdoch is certainly paying big dividends, with the Australian tycoon’s European broadcasting company Sky Plc being the latest to invest in its video-streaming venture iflix.
Catcha’s Internet TV service just announced the completion of a “large new round of funding” led by Sky, with participation from Indonesian media giant Emtek Group through its subsidiary Surya Citra Media.
iflix did not disclose the funding amount, but Sky told The Hollywood Reporter that it was investing US$45 million. It is not known how much Surya Citra Media is investing.
This follows last year’s news that Australia’s REA Group, 60%-owned by Murdoch’s News Corp, was making a bid to completely take over Catcha’s property portal company iProperty Group.
In an official statement, iflix said the new funds will help accelerate its growth in Malaysia, Thailand and the Philippines, and will be used for expansion into new markets.
With the Surya Citra Media investment, it is likely that its next market will be Indonesia, but iflix declined to answer Digital News Asia’s query on the matter, saying an announcement would be made soon.
iflix will have a relatively clear field in Indonesia, after the republic’s largest telco service provider PT Telekomunikasi Indonesia (Telkom) said it was blocking US-based video-streaming service Netflix to “protect Indonesian consumers from unregulated content that does not comply with the country’s film regulations.”
This was followed by moves from the Government to crack down on foreign Internet companies which offered their services to Indonesian consumers without having first established a physical presence in the country.
An iflix partnership of some sort with Surya Citra Media would certainly address this issue.
Meanwhile, in the official statement, iflix cofounder and group chief executive officer Mark Britt (pic) said, “We are thrilled to welcome Sky to the iflix family.
“As pioneers of the global broadcasting industry and true leaders in television and media, it shares our passion for delivering market-leading content and services through innovation.
“We are also pleased that Sky will further its commitment by appointing a director to the board of iflix,” he added.
Sky group chief financial officer Andrew Griffith said, “There are lots of opportunities for Sky and iflix to work together and share expertise as both companies continue to expand.
“We are really looking forward to supporting Mark [Britt] and his team deliver their ambitious plans,” he added.
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