Australis media fini

Liquidators unable to sell assets

SYDNEY — Pay-TV operator Australis Media lost its two-year fight for survival Wednesday night when the company’s liquidators were unable to sell its assets and it ceased broadcasting.

Its demise strengthens the positions of the two major feevee rivals, Foxtel and Optus Vision. Foxtel takes control of five U.S. majors’ movie and general entertainment programming, reportedly shelling out about 30% less per subscriber than it was obliged to pay Australis for all that.

Optus, which was well behind Foxtel’s 300,000 subscribers, has bolstered its 180,000 subs by striking a deal to supply some movie and sports services plus the Disney Channel to regional operator Austar via Optus’ satellite. This supplements the channels Austar was taking from Australis (and now gets via Foxtel), and boosts Optus’ reach by up to 210,000 homes.

Australis’ liquidators were still trying to sell its assets, which include 70,000 subs and satellite and microwave delivery platforms.

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