Hubbl: The CEO interview – Patrick Delany on why you need this streaming device

Delany in his own words on devices, cost, billing, bundling, discounts, impact, competition, Hamish and Andy and marketing

The Foxtel Group has officially launched its new streaming device, Hubbl, hosting a launch event at Mrs Maquarie’s Chair on Sydney Harbour. The launch this week comes after a drip feed of facts about the much-anticipated way to manage your streaming apps.

The initiative was first announced at the Foxtel 2024 Upfront event last year. Then, earlier this week, Hubbl revealed its 18 app partners including Netflix, Disney+, Prime Video, YouTube, Apple TV+ and Paramount+.

Now we know the details of the cost and have some idea of the discounts available for subscribing to streaming services via Hubbl.

To drill down into even more Hubbl detail, Mediaweek spoke with Hubbl chief executive Patrick Delany.

The Hubbl universe

“What we have done is not just bring 18 mainstream streamers together for Australians. It also helps manage what has been an explosion of shows. Only 10 years ago, there were 50 series developed annually by Hollywood. Now there are more like 500 without counting the rest of the world.

“In the last five years, we have all got very good at watching shows from all parts of the world. There’s been an explosion of choice.

“All that choice comes from many different inputs. No one has fused all of the different inputs – subscription TV, streaming apps, FTA apps – into one user interface.

“It’s very easy to say everything is in one place on a connected TV or an old-fashioned pay TV system.

“Everything in one place isn’t good enough. You spend all of your time going in and out of the apps. You can’t remember what you watched and where you watched it. To get FTA TV, you literally have to go to another input.

“What Hubbl does is take all of that without any inputs. Once you plug Hubbl into your TV or you buy a Hubbl Glass TV there is just one remote. You have all the apps in one operating system with all of the things that make watching TV easy.


Hubbl puck and the Hubbl remote

Two different devices

“Hubble comes in two forms. The Hubbl puck-like device and installed inside the Hubbl Glass TV.

“Both of these are based on the hardware and software developed by Comcast and Sky. We have taken that and redeployed it for a pure streaming fusion and aggregation play.

“In some cases, Comcast uses the device as an inexpensive puck they give away with their broadband. Sky uses it as a pay TV execution that doesn’t require a satellite dish. Hubbl, though, is purely for streaming.

How much does Hubbl cost?

“We have priced Hubbl to make sure it is attainable by the maximum number of Australians.

“The puck is $99. Consumers can get it from Harvey Norman, JB Hi-Fi or online at This is an introductory price.

“Hubbl Glass is available in a number of colours. It has a fabulous screen and a built-in sound bar and everything you would expect in a modern TV. It comes in two screen sizes. The 55-inch Hubbl Glass is $1500 and the 65-inch is $1900.

Hubbl search

Patrick Delany likes nothing better than a demonstration of TV technology, and he gave Mediaweek a preview of the operating system before the Wednesday night launch event.

“The Hubbl search function has all the metadata from the different streaming services combined into voice and text searches. The system learns about you as you use it.

“At launch, there will be a watch list that is divided into five profiles. One for everyone in the family.

“There is also a continue-watching feature regardless of where you started a program.

Example of a Hubbl homepage

Billing and bundling

“If you choose to be billed through Hubbl, you will see all of the services you are paying for in your account details. You will see the package you are on and be able to alter them, and stop or restart them on the device.

“There is a feature called Stack and Save where the more apps that you buy, the bigger the discount.

“Another feature is the way to access FTA TV. Although Hubbl has an aerial, you will not need to use it. It has a full TV guide including all of the FTA channels. Plus, all of the channels that come with a Binge or Kayo Sports subscription.

“The TV guide includes all the live video-on-demand, all the channels, across free and paid in every genre. Then we fuse YouTube in.

Discount apps

Some apps purchased via Hubbl attract discounts. At launch that will be Netflix, plus the Foxtel Group apps Kayo Sports, Binge, Flash and the new Lifestyle. Purchase three apps there is a $5 discount, buy four there is a $10 discount. Buy all five, and there will be a $15 discount.


What did Hubbl offer other streamers?

Patrick Delany denied that Foxtel had to offer to open up its streaming platforms, Binge and Kayo Sports, to other streamers to on-sell to their customer bases.

“I won’t go into the commercial terms. Everyone is different. In every commercial negotiation, people want different things. The art of the deal is to bring both parties together.

“The thing that everyone has in common is that they want to be with Kayo. Kayo has an extraordinary load of live sports. There is nothing like it anywhere in the world. To be positioned in the same place as Kayo and to be billed in the same place all the partners see as a real positive.

When asked directly if anybody like Fetch, Optus SubHub or any other streamers would be on-selling Kayo Sports or Binge, Delany replied: “Not for the moment.”

Delany said the Foxtel Group spends close to $1b a year on content for Kayo Sports and Binge.

“Our apps are in the App Store, and Apple has been a fantastic partner. You can buy both Binge and Kay Sports from them.

Hubbl’s ‘in-house’ apps

“On launch, we will have four apps. [Kayo Sports, Binge, Flash and the new Lifestyle app.]

“Flash as a little app has done fine. It’s difficult to get people to pay for news inside a small app execution. But people do love watching news.

“Flash is an app people can buy on Hubbl, and it has 24 channels as well as a great deal of VOD from Sky News.

“We have now broken Lifestyle out of Binge, and the Lifestyle app features a lot of content in the home and food genres.

What will the impact of Hubbl be on Binge and Kayo Sports?

“Along with all the other streamers, we are hoping we get lower churn and more acquisition. That happens by being next to someone who might have a hit show that month or week that maybe we don’t.

“The research indicates this will create a far better user experience which gives more value to the apps. Part of the knowledge on how to run these things comes from Foxtel. If you have got everything then it’s a much better experience.

“At the moment, if you have all of the apps, it is not a great experience. Going in and out of different apps and trying to keep track of them is not much fun.

“If you speak to Foxtel users who have Platinum, they love it.

“Price is another discussion. The research is very good [on us being able to] generate more sales and retain more customers.

Hubbl Glass comes in different colours – this is ‘Racing Green’

Will you sell many Hubbl Glass TVs?

“The puck will go very, very solidly. We have two great retailers as partners – Harvey Norman and JB Hi-Fi. We like having retail because not only can you go and pick it up. You can actually see what I have been talking about.

“Hubbl Glass is a super cool TV with everything integrated and just one wire, a power cable, going in.

Marketing investment

“We are not sparing the whip. We are going hard. To start, we are launching on the edge of Sydney Harbour and showing off a working device. We will also have our two Hubbl ambassadors, Hamish and Andy. All of that is a great start.

“Then we are in retail. We then go to a full-on with a television campaign and then media everywhere.

“There shouldn’t be too many Australians who won’t know about Hubbl and what it does.

Why wasn’t the start date revealed at the launch event?

“We are obsessed with making sure we have the product absolutely right. This is a very complex system. We need to make sure it’s perfect. I don’t want to announce a date that might need to move.

Mediaweek podcast

Listen to the complete, unedited Patrick Delany interview with Mediaweek’s James Manning here.

The interview is part of the Mediaweek Heavy Hitters series of podcasts.

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