Telstra rumoured to be closing T-Box service

Australian telco Telstra is planning to shutter its hybrid IP+DTT television service ‘T-Box’ and hand over its 300k+ customer base to Foxtel, according to reports from online news source The Register.

The report (here) adds that the closure of T-Box is being necessitated by the AUD 1.9bn (US$ 1.9bn) merger agreed between pay-TV operators Foxtel (in which Telstra has a 50% stake) and its rival Austar.

It is already known that the new company will be prevented from having exclusive IPTV broadcasting rights for movies, channels and programmes, as well as transactional video-on-demand.

The Register also reports that it was announced internally last Friday (May 11th) that Ben Kinealy, Director of IPTV at Telstra, will be leaving the company to take up a new opportunity.

Telstra announced the same day that it is appointing Robert Nason, Group MD, Business Service and Improvement, to replace Foxtel’s retiring chairman Bruce Akhurst, effective from the beginning of June.

Editor’s view: If the reports are true then shutting its IPTV service would be a bitter blow for the team behind the T-Box service, especially in light of its recent achievements, which include racking up 300,000 subscribers and winning the award for “Best TV Service Innovation” at the IP&TV Awards held in London last March (full details here).

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