‘Foxtel Go’ on iPad, new HBO “express” deal.

Foxtel will launch a new app next month called Foxtel Go which will offer subscribers 21 live channels and a library of on-demand content on their iPads at no additional charge.

The move follows the success of its London 2012 Olympics app which achieved 160,000 downloads and about two million views for eight live dedicated channels. More channels will be added in February and the app will also migrate to laptops and other devices.

Foxtel CEO Richard Freudenstein has also told The Australian about a landmark deal with HBO, to bring fast-tracked content to viewers.

The output agreement locks out free-to-air television and gives Foxtel subscribers exclusive first-run access.

“It’s a long-term deal and we get all first-run HBO programming on Foxtel,” Freudenstein told The Australian.

“You won’t see programs like Boardwalk Empire end up on SBS in a couple of years. It removes their ability to sell in a second window to free-to-air television. That won’t happen any more. You won’t see those programs on free-to-air.

He confirmed Foxtel would be putting HBO titles on screen often within hours or 24 hours after their first screening in the US.

“We think that’s a service our customers deserve and we also think that it will continue to attack piracy, which is a big issue in this country,” he said.

“There are people that are always going to steal stuff and we can take legal action against them, but the vast majority of people are illegally downloading because they want to see things as soon as they are available, so we think it’s very important to bring that programming to them straight away.”

But he also flagged a slight increase in subscriptions.

Foxtel has already been screening Dexter, Boardwalk Empire, Sons of Anarchy and The Walking Dead as part of its Express from the US strategy.

It recently acquired management of Showcase and Showtime channels.


  1. Whilst living in the UK I had pay TV from Virgin. It was quite cheap to have TV phone and fast broadband. Paid about 30 pounds a month. Not so here. Happy to have Freeview and rent on Quickflix. Also Sky in the UK launched a new channel Sky Atlantic and did the same with HBO. Its a dirty business and we lose out unless we pay top dollar. No thanks.

  2. Good to see we are heading in the right direction when it comes to cable shows.In Australia we have the best FTA in the world,because it’s mainly filled up with cable shows.It’s been unfair to Foxtel to seeing programs only made for cable been shown on FTA in this country.There is still a long way to go but a step in the right direction finally.

  3. “You won’t see programs like Boardwalk Empire end up on SBS in a couple of years. It removes their ability to sell in a second window to free-to-air television. That won’t happen any more. You won’t see those programs on free-to-air.”

    Well doesn’t that suck a barrel-load of hairy monkeys :@

    That is just plain rude. I refuse to pay for TV when you still get advertisements and you have to pay for a crapload of useless channels you will never watch!

    I was happy to wait for shows that had been on Pay in the past. Dollhouse was worth the wait, as has been BE, Dexter and others. I find it anti-competitive to block these shows to FTA.

    Oh well, it ends up being cheaper just to rent or buy the DVD/Bluray rather than pay for the garbage that is PayTV in this country. This does not encourage me to suscribe, in fact it does the exact opposite.

  4. no HBO shows on FTA at all? That so unfair and greedy.

    there has been a lack of HBO shows on FTA lately, Hung and Boardwalk Empire are the only 2 more recent ones which have been on Foxtel already, Bored to Death seasons 1&2 were played on Abc2 so would we see season 3 at least?

    this is such BS, there hasn’t been any first run HBO how’s on free tv for a while anyway but I was fine with watching older ones that have already aired on Foxtel anyway. now we can’t even watch older ones a year after they have aired? This is gonna cause more people to download! and most people don’t wanna blind buy DVDs to see them either.

    they better not take some FX and Showtime away!!

  5. What about Android?

    What they should do is extend this service to media player devices like those Western Digital ones.

    I have foxtel, all the movie channels. I can wait a day to watch most things. However the screen I watch things on doesn’t have a foxtel connection because it’s a stupid amount for several shows i’d use it for. I mainly use it for blu-rays and shows on bluray/dvd.

    If there was a way to just have on demand with that, i’d be amazing.

    Besides being cheap, unable to afford or wait or even gain access to shows. Is Flexibility. This is what such an app is trying to do. They just need to go a little bit further.

  6. “… but the vast majority of people are illegally downloading because they want to see things as soon as they are available, so we think it’s very important to bring that programming to them straight away.”

    That is an outright self serving lie.

    The 75% of household that don’t have Foxtel illegally download HBO programmes because they can’t afford Showcase.

    People aren’t going to pay thousands of dollars for Foxtel and then more for bandwidth to download all their shows. (And if they did Foxtel wouldn’t give a toss because they already have the money for watching the programmes in the bank.) They are worried that the decline in their subscriber number will accelerate.

    Foxtel is so stridently against illegal downloading because they want to increase their fees further, even though they are already twice those of Europe and North America.

  7. SBS most likely has options for Boardwalk Empire, if they choose to exercise them. They won’t be getting any future HBO shows though.

    Foxtel has done a deal where they pay HBO not to release their programmes under non-exclusive rights for ever. It is just Foxtel expanding their monopoly. They have obviously given up trying to expand their customer base and are just going to gouge the ones they have.

    Until internet distribution sweeps them aside.

  8. Cheers David, that would be much appreciated, I wonder if other US cable channels will be following the same precedent in the future ie not letting FTA rights to their shows, as you can imagine this would stop pretty much 95 per cent of decent shows on FTA to be screened.

  9. @dshan Yes I know that iTunes has it, but I can’t stand waiting a week to watch it! I’m a pretty avid fan, and follow many fan websites. The busiest time of the year is when the show is airing in the US, and even waiting 12 hours until I get home from work is enough time to have the plot thoroughly spoiled (unintentionally).
    I don’t know if the bigwigs realise that half the reason shows like GoT are so popular is because of the viewer interaction between episodes, and that this discussion is global. By preventing people from watching content when the US viewers can, they risk pirating or losing audiences.
    iTunes is better than nothing, though a week late.

  10. Does this mean in the future that no HBO shows will be shown on FTA in the future? including seasons 2 and 3 of Boardwalk Empire. If so that is the most stupidest thing I have ever heard!!!

  11. jesicka309, you can watch GoT legally without getting Foxtel — via iTunes.

    Which is why I have exactly the same question as you about this new agreement between HBO and Foxtel — will it affect the availability of HBO shows on iTunes in Australia?

  12. Yeah in the future foxtel should consider pay per view for individual series, season passes for sport. A lot of people don’t want all the fillers and channels that don’t appeal. If a footy fan could just buy NRL season pass for $40 a month I’m sure they would. Sure you’d lose some subscription but you’d gain Heaps of new ones.

  13. Are we able to get this app without having to subscribe to Foxtel proper? I love Game of Thrones and would love to watch it legally, but can’t justify the expense of setting up a Foxtel system at my house for one ten spisode show. If you oculd purchase the app, then choose individual shows to watch, I’d be happy.
    Also, does this mean that HBO shows will no longer be available on iTunes?

  14. I get the whole thing about subscribers getting what they paid for with 24-hour fast-tracking from the US, but it seems really backwards not opening up series to potential audiences by offering them on FTA later on down the track a little as well. What a silly idea.

    Considering how little these shows would rate anyway, the potential for a larger audience would be beneficial, even if it is a few years later. One step forward, two steps back.

  15. Sounds good. Hopefully a similar deal is done with Showtime US so we can more easily watch their shows in HD within hours of them going to air in the US.

  16. They already bumped Dexter from 4:45pm or whenever it was first airing to 7:30pm, and that killed off the series link for some reason. Kind of annoying.

  17. I’ve been enjoying Boardwalk Empire on SBS, even if it’s 3 seasons behind.

    So does this mean SBS won’t be getting seasons 2 and 3?

    Seems silly to me — I understand the angle of Foxtel; you pay for first run shows, but I don’t see the harm in selling a series on after a few years…

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