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. Just to let you know I rang Telstra to find out about getting a new remote for my IQ as the buttons were starting to stick. The operator said no problems you will recieve it in by mail in two days. When it arrived it had a letter stating that the $49.99 for the remote and the $10.00 postage and handling fee would be added to my next bill!! At no time did the operator state I would be charged. Fuming I rang telstra and was told that if the remote was less than 12 months old they would have replaced it for free. After 12 months you pay. Having had Foxtel since the days of galaxy never have I been misled but thats telstra once again looking after themselves. I the future I will be asking for a new remote before my 12 months is up. Even if I dont need one. I too can play the game!!

  2. I know this may have been said many times before, but when foxtel started, there were No adds thats why subscribers had the option to pay not to see adds. Now we pay a premium for continuous repeats and bombardment of Adds!!! Really ticks me off.

  3. Ofcourse the FTA networks should pay to transmit on foxtels satellite…. they are getting more viewers and therefore more advertising dollars.

    Why they wouldn’t get on to it is beyond me.

    I’m glad i’ve got cable. My parents have satellite and its really incovenient flicking from FTA to foxtel, plus unable to record via IQ.

  4. I am an “existing” platinum sunscriber, my price has gone up the $4, which is fine – but i am still being charged $10 for my “free” IQ box – the package is advertised on Foxtel as $120, not the $110 stated by the spokesperson in the article.

  5. So Foxtel CEO Ken Williams says:

    “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”

    So pays the satellite costs for cable/pay channels such as CNN, MTV and Fox Sports, but expects the FTA networks to pay for satellite costs themselves.

    I don’t see why the FTA networks should pay Foxtel to carry their signals on satellite. Why should they hand over their content (the most popular shows for free) for Foxtel to carry for free. Fox Sports, CNN, TV1 etc do not hand over their content for Foxtel for free. Foxtel pays a fee (say, 20 cents to $2) per subscriber, then Foxtel also pays for the satellite carriage costs.

  6. I live in Adelaide and by some fluke seem to be one of only 250 houses in the whole city with a cable. as a result i have an IQ box and am reasonably satisfied with the product. My advice to friends, however, is that if you have sat, then dont bother with IQ and unless you love sport (eg me) Foxtel doesnt provide value so dont bother,

    I dont get it Foxtel, surely you are providing a lower value service by not carrying all fta’s and costing yoursef subscription $ in the process. An integrated service is why i got IQ.; this is what you should be looking to offer.

  7. Went to a Foxtel booth, the other day, asked about Ch 7, and they came back with a snide reply “get a normal TV”.

    I want as many TV Tonight readers as possible, that love their Foxtel satellite, but hate the idea of no FTA HD, nor no new FTA commercial channels, to find a local Foxtel kiosk, and ask them when are Satellite customers going to stop getting the rough end of the pineapple, when it comes to our FTA’s?

    I want Foxtel to change their decision, as it will only drive people to Freeview, or worse, having houses, with both a FTA HD recorder and a satellite iQ2 connected to the same TV.

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