Exec changes at Nine Network before SVoD launch

23 April, 2014 by Don Groves

The Nine Network has reshuffled its acquisitions and programming teams in the lead-up to the launch of its subscription Video-on-Demand service.

The streaming service offering TV series and library movies is expected to debut in September. Nine Entertainment Co. and Seven West Media are negotiating  to become partners in the venture, IF understands.


The price has not been disclosed but Nine Entertainment Co. CEO David Gyngell hinted at a fee of $9.95 per month at NEC’s half-year presentation, which would position the service as Australia's equivalent of Netflix.

That’s far cheaper than Foxtel’s movie service Presto, which charges $19.99 per month, and would give it an advantage over Quickflix, which costs $14.99 per month for unlimited streaming plus one DVD rental at a time. Quickflix has been trialling a $9.99 streaming-only offer.

Gyngell told shareholders he is aiming for 300,000-400,000 subscribers within five years. The appeal of internet-delivered services such as Nine's and Presto will be enhanced later this year when Google launches  Chromecast, a device which enables online channels and videos to be viewed on big screen TVs.

The SVoD service is being run by Mike Sneesby, CEO of Nine’s StreamCo Media. Its head of content Nick Forward, who joined in January from Virgin Media in the UK, has been closing deals with studios and distributors.

Les Sampson is joining StreamCo on May 1 as head of acquisitions, working with content acquisition manager Alison Hurbert-Burns, who spent a week wrapping up deals at MIP TV in Cannes.

Sampson moves across from the Nine Network where he was director of acquisitions. That role is being filled by Hamish Turner, promoted from multi-channel programmer.

Turner takes charge of all content acquisition for Nine, Go! and Gem. Geoff Dyer takes on the position of multi-channel programmer, scheduling Go! and Gem.

Adrian Swift, director of development at Nine, will expand his role to include director of development and digital, responsible for Nine’s digital content.