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Telstra to create digital media unit

Monday 21 Nov 2011
Australian telecommunications company Telstra will consolidate its media businesses into a single, digital media division, reports InformITV.

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The new division will be headed by Rick Ellis, who will join Telstra in early 2012 after completing his role as CEO of New Zealand’s broadcast television and digital media company Television New Zealand. Telstra will also invest A$100 million (US$97 million) over four years to upgrade its media infrastructure.

Telstra CEO David Thodey told investors: “Telstra’s digital media division will bring company assets together for the first time and enable us to implement a coordinated media strategy.”

The new division will be known as Telstra Digital Media. It will reportedly be responsible for managing Telstra’s end-to-end media capabilities including Sensis, BigPond, Trading Post, IPTV, Foxtel and other content arrangements.

Mr Thodey said Telstra “will continue to integrate this content, making it available to our customers across multiple channels including mobiles, tablets, home entertainment systems and the Internet”.

Telstra owns 50 percent of the Foxtel pay-television operation.The Telstra BigPond business also provides a hybrid broadcast and broadband television and video service.

Pay-television penetration remains relatively low in Australia, partly due to the lobbying of the free-to-air networks. The potential for new entrants to deliver services over the Internet threatens to disrupt the market, which is heavily dependent on programming imported from the United States and the United Kingdom.