Foxtel: “When we commit to a programme we leave it there.”

Foxtel's Director of Television Brian Walsh was asked about the Pay TV provider's philosophy on scheduling.

Foxtel’s Director of Television Brian Walsh was interviewed this week on Sky Business channel’s Mediaweek.

He was asked about the Pay TV provider’s philosophy on scheduling, particularly when compared to Free to Air networks.

“The interesting difference is we regard our viewers as customers. They are paying for our services and they deserve to be treated in a respectful manner when scheduling programmes,” he said.

With so many viewers using IQ to timeshift, management decisions are not based on the first outing.

“We know that in subscription homes a programme can play over a number times in a given week, and you really can’t assess a performance until you gather all that timeshifted viewing.”

Recently some media noted the newly commissioned series Park Street pulled some disappointing figures, but Walsh said they failed to acknowledge the multiple screenings.

“Despite what you might have perceived to be a weak performance of that programme, we’re in fact quite happy with it,” he said.

“When we calculated all the ratings over a 7 day period the show reached in excess of 160,000 homes. So we’re happy with that result.

“Our policy at Foxtel and Austar is when we commit to a programme we leave it there. And we also know our subscribers are using television very differently than the Free to Air networks.”

21 Responses

  1. Whilst I take everyone’s point about US airdates, ep 18 of Chuck season 4 will air there on Mon 14th, followed the next week by ep 19 (imdb appears to have got that one wrong). My point is that there are enough eps ready to go and foxtel should play them. I suspect it is due to Fox8 not being happy with the numbers for Chuck on a sunday night. again, stop moving shows about. correct me if I’m wrong, but since Chuck started on Foxtel, it’s been shown on Thursday, Sunday, now Friday and possibly another night also. (I only started watching part way through season 2). The constant moving around the schedule of particular shows is what really peeves a lot of people off. (I know FTA is way more guilty of this than Foxtel)

  2. Why is Brian Walsh bragging about foxtel’s programing and how good it is and how they stick to it when that is what he is supposed to be doing anyway in order to keep his customers happy and loyal. Judging from the comments for this story i would suggest that just like all the other network executives and directors he has a huge ego. Its amazing how he gets inside a building every day.

  3. Could Brian Walsh please explain why I pay the same for my HD IQ via satellite than someone with Cable, and they get All of the FTA fdigital channels and I don’t – what a joke of a company.

  4. I think with Chuck it maybe heading to a break according to imdb S4E17 screened on 28/02/11 then S4E18 will screen on 14/03/11 and then another break with S4E19 screening on 1/04/11. Foxtel shoul just explain this with the voice over person saying due to screen times in the US etc etc.

    Gossip Girl always has a big break, the next ep to air in the US is S4E18 on 18/04/11.

  5. Have you checked what’s happening in the U.S. with Chuck ?
    They have more breaks there then we do . Gossip Girl is on a 6 week break , sometimes Foxtel has no choice and has to wait for America..
    When no new episodes are currently available they repeat the previous ones.

  6. totally agree with Qoukka. That really p’d me off about chuck. They play the first 6 eps of season 4, then announce that in 2 weeks, they’re going to restart the forth season on friday nights.
    By my calculations, if they play it weekly, with no breaks, ep 7 will air on 22nd April.
    That will be good friday, so they might have special programming on then. it will also be school holidays too, so we might get another 2 weeks of nothing but Simpsons. We might not get back to where we were with chuck util mid May.
    I saw the interview on Mediaweek and he made some comment about how Foxtel are better with programming than FTA. What a load of BS, they’re just as bad, yet I’m paying for it.
    I’m getting fed up with Foxtel. Only keep it for Chuck, TNA, Sky News and History Channel.

  7. Could Brian Walsh explain why his respect for viewers doesn’t extend to wrestling fans?

    Since the day Fox8 aquired the rights to TNA Impact the timeslot has continually jumped around, sometimes on a weekly basis & despite the fact that it has outrated the shows that have replaced it.

    BTW I really don’t care what his answer would be as I am no longer a subscriber.

    Foxtel blows.

  8. Adverts – I guess there are a number of reason, first cost. It would cost the end user more and the ads keep the shows running on time. Most shows are made with ads in mind and they like to have them starting on the hour and such.

    This is not always the case with some shows starting a few minutes late but at least the EPG and online guides are kept up-to-date, down to the minute when compared to FTA which often starts 5-10 minutes late with no notice and your PVR cuts off the end if you haven’t added enough time.

    My point is without ads a) it would cost you more for PayTV and b) star time would be all over the place. But remember a number of channels like Showcase don’t have ads during programs.

  9. I trust foxtel and their scheduling…until last week! They took Chuck off the air after seven episodes and are starting back at S4E1…what is going on. I hope this isn’t the start of a new trend.
    It is one of the things that I have loved about foxtel, being able to watch a series until completion.

  10. i hope that they mean it for General Hospital ..on W … its the best soap ever and that they keep it on and also get some more soaps on in the Daytime and repeat them at nite.. AMC and One Life to Live would be a great line-up…

  11. The point being made is really the contrast with FTA. Its a very painful process trying to stay with late scheduling changes.

    If I’m not on this site or using some web site to monitor particular shows I’m following I’ll miss changes. For example the late back to back of Fringe or following nights for Bones or others like Supernatural that 10 seems to have lost.

    Foxtel is correct viewer like regularity in scheduling even if we are recording with IQ. The FTA folks seem to have foregotten show loyalty.

    And dare it be said just another reason why new people look to alternative sources when they miss an episode.

    Just not smart chaps!

  12. still in about 6 months. It will be like a guide that explains how to see the show you want without having to resort to illegal downloading. Checking the tv guide and advance tv guides is the first step though lots of people’s first step is to illegally download it due to impatience or choosing to not get the dvd. I want to change this !!

  13. This is not always true.

    At the start of the year Las Vegas made the move to 111 Hits new Sunday night lineup, it was only one a few weeks before being pulled for double eps of Miami Vice and L&O originals.

    But I do get the point, you are far more likely to have a show stay put at the same time/day for it’s season on PayTV than FTA.

  14. “The interesting difference is we regard our viewers as customers. They are paying for our services and they deserve to be treated in a respectful manner when scheduling programmes,” he said.

    That’s correct, we are Paying customers. In that regards why are we bombarded withs ads…especially on FOX8. Watching 2 and a Half Men there was a 6 minute ad break then about 30 sec’s of show then closing credits.

    So, Brian Walsh please explain all these ads

  15. I have recorded Park Street in my IQ box but just haven’t had a chance to watch them. I do trust Foxtel with consistency so much more than free to air channels.
    Army Wives could never be screened properly on Channel Ten. Foxtel screen it perfectly and in HD. I’m in the middle of writing a book about television programming in Australia and have a section exactly about this. In my research I looked for incomplete screenings of shows and its free to air that is guilty of that.
    Can you imagine if watching a play in a theatre and half way through the cast got tired and just walked off stage? So isn’t it still rude to do that with something pre recorded?

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