GO! coming to Foxtel -but…

Satellite customers miss out on some of the Free to Air channels when a November launch adds new channels to cable subscribers.

imageFoxtel CEO Kim Williams this week appeared on Sky Business Channel’s MediaWeek programme, speaking to the launch in Pay TV this week.

He also addressed questions regarding outstanding Free to Air channels still unavailable on the Foxtel platform. Some channels will be added in November -but it depends if you are a cable or satellite customer.

“On cable you’ll see the Nine GO! Channel launch on the 24th of November,” said Williams. “You’ll see the Seven primary digital service launch on satellite from November the 15th when all of our new channels go up.

“And you’ll see the Seven second service, subject to contractual things still being worked through… with the Seven Network one always needs to have some caution on these matters, if I can be forgiven for making a slight editorial comment… but they will be there on or around the 24th of November. But if they’re well behaved, it’ll be the 24th of November.”

This means that after Seven launches its new digital channel on 72 the full suite of digital channels will be available to cable viewers only.

“The full suite will be up on cable,” said Williams. “On satellite of course we make the simple request that they pay the cost of being on the satellite in the same way we have to pay for all of the other channels. They pay exactly the same costs as we do. If they don’t wish to pay that costs, well, they’re not on the satellite.”

Williams also indicated there would still be quite a bit of bandwidth left on the satellite.

There have also been industry rumours that commercial FTA Perth and Adelaide may not be appearing on the Foxtel platform.

When it comes to FTA channels on Foxtel, a spokesperson told TV Tonight:

“The Foxtel service does not guarantee subscribers access to all of the commercial free to air channels via retransmission.

“Retransmission of individual free to air channels is dependant upon each channel entering into a retransmission agreement with FOXTEL, and also depends upon the area in which the subscriber lives.”

Meanwhile Foxtel sales and product development executive director Patrick Delany told CNet the iQ2Go was still some 12 months off. It was originally promised for the first half of 2009.

“The iQ2Go has had many forms over the last five years. It started out as a ‘Moses-like’ tablet with its own spinning disk drive, then it moved to being a USB key and I think we’re now feeling that iQ2Go becomes even more ephemeral than that,” he said.

Following some questions on the Next Generation launch this week, a Foxtel spokesperson clarified some further points to TV Tonight:

Existing customers
Existing customers can either stay on their current packaging or move to the new packaging and choose to take an iQ Value Pack which comes with the free iQ set-top-unit.

If they stay on their current packaging they receive, like all subscribers, a significant increase in value including new channels, more interactive applications, enhanced navigation features and a fully refreshed EPG.

The vast majority of existing customers’ price will experience a minor increase of between $2 to $4 depending on the package that they are on.

e.g. Platinum Customers prices increase from $106 per month to $110 per month – which represents a less than 2% annual increase over two years. As you know, these customers receive 12 additional SD channels, 8 timeshift channels, the new iQ Guide, Foxtel Download and new enhancements like iSuggest and Record Me.

Foxtel will move some existing customers to comparable iQ Value Packs to provide them with additional channels and services in line with the timing announced today but at a lower price than they are paying today.

New Customers
For new customers we have recognised the fact that almost 80% of new customers last year took an iQ.

So we have sought to structure the range of our iQ Value Packs in a way that recognises this fact.

The iQ Value Packs offer better value (at a lower price) when compared with comparable offerings in our old package structure.

For instance: the equivalent of a Sports iQ Value Pack in our old packaging would have cost $91 prior to the changes we announced today from 1 October, will cost only $88.

Similarly, the equivalent of a Gold iQ Value Pack in our old packaging would cost $107 per month whereas it will now be available for only $100 per month.

36 Responses

  1. I read it but don’t believe it,Channel 7 finally will be on Satelite yippppppeeeeeee.As for the other bonus channels with Go and One etc not to be shown i could’nt care less,it’s all old shows,or shows that have been removed because of poor ratings mainly.The iq value packs are a good thing i know what i will be doing down the track

  2. Steve says:
    October 3, 2009 at 1:30 pm,

    Er, steve, one of the reasons why people who are foxtel subscribers already compaining(especially on cable) about channels like Go not being on foxtel already(but 10’s ONE channel is, as well as the other HD FTA channels), is that why should they fork out even a further $50 for a digital box just so they can view ONE channel(aka Go!)?
    Why should Foxtel subscribers who have all or near all of the FTA channels already, pay even more money for a 2nd box just so you can view ONE channel(Go!), totally, utterly ridicilous :-/

  3. I agree with Kuttsywood this is the sort of thing that ACMA should be enforcing, in fact it would be a far more beneficial use of it’s resources as opposed to reviewing 6 month old Californication screenings.

    I finally teched up to get over this problem (HDTV and DVD-HDD recorder with built in Digital receiver) but it used to be the bane of my existence having to run a Foxtel and regular set-top box to get all the channels

    If Foxtel is serious about making IQ something people will use they need to shape up with their delivery of FTA channels.

  4. glad to see Kim Williams being pretty open about things. Sure as a satalite customer id love to see all fta channels but at the end of the day foxtel is still a business so charging for satalite space is fine. I guess he means that being good to channel 7 then we will have ch 7 and 72 on satalite. Meaning if they dont bag ch 7 or let any secrets about the new ch 72 format out. Surely ONE will be on satalie as ch 10 and foxtel have a good business relationship with afl and moto gp etc. Pitty about go but hits 111 is similar by the looks.

  5. It is pretty bad that the government won’t do anything about black spots in reception. Because digital requires near perfect reception, the number of black spots has increased, and trying to watch digital tv in an area with poor reception is impossible.

  6. re: Steve
    We are on the Gold Coast and live in a “blackspot”. Can’t get digital reception (around 35% quality) so have to rely on Foxtel for FTA. We are also the same for ADSL……am soooo sick of dial-up! I really dont think 99% of metro users can satisfactorarly get digital…

  7. This is selfish thinking but us Adelaide satellite subscribers miss out again, along with Perth.
    It’s soooo tempting to tell Foxtel where to stick it, but after ten years of having it, something in my head tells me I’d be sorry if i did.

  8. Excellent news re: Seven’s primary channel (satellite) as I will no longer have to watch Nine’s rubbish news service… A shame GO! isn’t coming, but at the end of the day, the pay channels offer better content…

    So is it safe to assume GO! and ONE are not coming due to not paying satellite retransmission costs?

  9. I don’t understand why so many people constantly bleat to get FTA channels on Foxtel. For 99% of people in metro areas, the DVB-T signal is perfect. I can’t believe that all these people complaining are the remaining 1%.

    Go buy a DVB-T set-top box. They cost less than $100.

  10. I have heard that there focus is on launching the new channels are there priority and not turning the remaining 4:3 channels into widescreen if they say they have the room left then I hope it will be coming after the launch.

  11. OK, so I will now be getting Channel Seven and whatever they name 72. Thats good, but they didn’t give a reason about why GO! won’t be on satellite. Not a big loss but I want to be able to ditch the set top box on one of my TVs, but Foxtel won’t let me! I must ask, any word on what is happening with One HD and SD on satellite?

  12. very glad to see seven finally coming to foxtel sat, seemed like it was never going to happen , strange though how go! isn’t ,considered how nine was there from the very start, but i guess that was in a time when nine new what they were doing.

  13. ‘There have also been industry rumours that commercial FTA Perth and Adelaide may not be appearing on the Foxtel platform.’

    That’s really annoying! I wish we could get them here.

  14. so basically Kim is saying the FTA digital channels May be on the sat and Def will be on cable. Why are we so backward in this country? and where the hell is Al Jazeera English Foxtel? Austar have confirned that they will have the channel from November 15 and it is Free on the same sat that the other Foxtel channels come from. so what is the excuse this time?

  15. So, unless Nine cough up the cash, we won’t see GO! on satellite. I figured Nine would have sorted this out already, considering they were the first free-to-air commercial network to use Foxtel’s platform.

    I also noticed Kim didn’t mention whether 72 will be on satellite or cable. I’d say it’s both, especially if 71 is launcing on satellite.

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