FOXTEL puts the focus on Drama with new 'KAYO' style streaming service

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Foxtel is moving forward with plans to launch its own dedicated entertainment streaming service, currently being developed under the codename 'Project Ares'.

Based on the 'Kayo' model, the new stand-alone streaming business is expected to launch in the second quarter of 2020 and will feature an impressive library of content from international studios including HBO, FX, BBC and NBC Universal.

Foxtel is also in the process of negotiating new content supply deals with international studios including Discovery, Viacom and Turner ahead of the launch of Project Ares.

Additionally, TV Blackbox exclusively revealed last week Foxtel is now seeking to renegotiate its existing 'long-term' deal with HBO to secure even more exclusive content currently under production for the upcoming HBO Max service, due to launch next year in the US.

WarnerMedia has committed to producing 50 original series for HBO Max within the next two years. This is in addition to the 38 drama titles currently in production for HBO.

In an interview with The Australian, the Chief Financial Officer for News Corp, Susan Panuccio indicated the new streaming service would target a younger demographic of consumer and was not expected to damage Foxtel's existing subscriber base.

"We're not expecting to see significant ­incremental cost. We do have a lot of the content covered within existing deals."

The push to launch 'Project Ares' comes after the successful launch of sports service Kayo, which has secured over 400,000 paying subscribers in its first 12 months of operation.

'Project Ares' will also benefit from Foxtel's existing pay-tv content deals with library titles including Friends, The Simpsons, South Park, Seinfeld, Big Bang Theory and The Office. Its a library of content other streaming providers have recently been investing big dollars, competing against each to secure.