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Thursday 30 November 2023 Dublin: 3°C

Eircom is the newest arrival at the very-crowded movie download party

Troubled telecoms company joins Netflix, Sky Movies and many others in the video-on-demand biz.

EIRCOM HAS UNVEILED its answer to Netflix and Sky Movies with a movie-on-demand service offering film rentals to its TV customers.

The company said it would provide more than 600 movies from “major Hollywood studios”, including Fox, Universal and Sony, with the option to download and watch unlimited times over the 48-hour rental period on multiple devices.

The video-on-demand service will be part of its recently-launched eVision TV wing.

Eircom consumer managing director Kevin White said the service would start with a catalogue of over 600 movies but the titles would grow to more than 1,000 in a few months.

Since we launched eVision last October, we have been consistently offering our customers new added benefits and the launch of on demand is the next step to providing real value for money,” he said.

Enough talk, how much?

New releases can be rented for 48 hours for €3.99 while other films in its library will start at €1.99, undercutting rival UPC’s prices – which start at €4.99 for the latest movies.

But the service will also face an uphill battle against the big subscription-based services, including game-changer Netflix, and buy-or-rent options like Apple’s iTunes.

Netflix On Line Film Services Leon Farrell / Photocall Ireland Sarah Bolger helps launch Netflix in Ireland. Leon Farrell / Photocall Ireland / Photocall Ireland

US-based Netflix launched in Ireland in 2012 and offers monthly subscriptions to unlimited streaming movies and TV shows from €7.99 a month.

Last year it had already recorded 150,000 subscribers - bearing down on market leaders Sky and UPC, both of which also have video-on-demand services on offer.

Sky’s on-demand movie offering costs an extra €28 a month for existing TV users, although the company also offers individual movies to buy or rent through its Sky Store.

Together through the ups and downs

Since it was launched in September last year, Eircom’s TV business has grown from about 1,000 customers to 21,000 in June after the company started offering aggressively-priced bundles with its broadband services.

It has been offering eVision as a free add-on to fibre customers for the first year.

Eircom Twitter / tweetlilly2 Twitter / tweetlilly2 / tweetlilly2

Eircom’s board recently stepped back from plans to try a third float of the troubled former state-owned telecoms provider, which become Ireland’s biggest-ever company to go into examinership in 2012.

It emerged from the crisis after €1.7 billion of its crippling debts were written off.

The company’s revenues have continued to slide over the past year – mainly thanks to flagging sales in its core business supplying fixed-line services.

READ: Nothing on telly? You can now flick over and watch the Oireachtas

READ: Eircom is planning a Jersey debt swap

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