Foxtel completes Austar merger

From July 1st current Austar subscribers will be able to access Discovery Channel, National Geographic Channel, Nat Geo Wild and MTV Live.

Foxtel and Austar have now completed their merger transaction, with Austar regional subscribers soon to see an automatic transition to the Foxtel platform.

From July 1st Discovery Channel, National Geographic Channel, Nat Geo Wild and MTV Live will be available to Austar subscribers in high definition (HD) for the first time. Eurosportnews is moving into Starter Pack and MTV Hits and MTV Live will be added to the Fun Option. Austar’s sports subscribers will join all other Foxtel sports packages at no additional charge, including eight dedicated channels covering the Olympic Games.

Foxtel customers will receive two new 24 hour English language news channels, Al Jazeera and CCTV News.

W and TCM will also move to the Foxtel Get Started package.

The new Foxtel will directly employ approximately 2,500 people and service 2.2 million subscriber households.

Richard Freudenstein, Foxtel Chief Executive said: “This is a great day for Foxtel and Austar customers, and for all consumers wanting world-leading home entertainment. The new national Foxtel will offer the widest range of high quality channels, the most innovative technology and best customer service of any television provider in Australia.

“We will physically bring the Foxtel and Austar platforms together over the coming months. Soon consumers will receive the same great Foxtel content whether you live in regional Australia or the cities. Austar customers will not need to do anything; they will transition seamlessly to Foxtel.

“The scale of our new business means that we have the resources to keep innovating and improving our services. We are particularly pleased to be able to offer existing Foxtel content to our new customers in regional Australia and we will take some of the extra content that Austar offers and bring it to Foxtel’s existing customers.”

iQ will not be available to all customers this year but Foxtel indicates it is working towards integrating both companies’ products, and rolling out new services to regional areas.

Billing, equipment and pricing will stay the same. There are no changes planned to current residential pricing for either Foxtel and Austar this year.

All Austar customers and new regional subscribers should contact 132 432.
Foxtel subscribers continue to call 131 999.

22 Responses

  1. To CNRMLJ;

    I have it on good authority that the Murdoch and Packer groups both sought and won assurances from the federal government that no other pay tv providers would receive licenses.

  2. I really hope Foxtel maintains a significant presence on the Gold Coast (where Austar’s head office is) but it’s more likely Austar customers will soon be talking to an overseas all centre. Also ashame for the local economy. That said, Austar is a highly flawed product and I really think they’ll benefit from the expertise.

  3. Thanks for that David, I am sure you will keep us informed of anymore developments. I will keep checking your site, as I do at least a couple of times a day for any TV news.

  4. CyrusPK how is the government “declining to allow other competitors into the market”?

    I haven’t heard of the government stopping anyone from competing in this sector.

    Fetch TV started a few years ago and provides competition. They don’t have all the channels as foxtel obviously but they are still competing and the government hasn’t stopped them.

  5. As much as i hate Austar i checked the prices of Foxtel and if i were to have exactly what i have now i would be paying an extra $39. I am going to stick with Austar as long as i can because yes Foxtel is better but the pricing is crazy.

  6. Whilst Austar and Foxtel were never competitors I see it as a real problem that there is no competition in the Pay TV sector.

    When Pay TV licenses were first issued it was actually legislated that there would be a required minimum number of providers (at least in the capital cities) of three.

    That this has become one and the government is declining to allow other competitors into the market (despite massive and ever-increasing interest in doing so) is surely one of the most anti-competitive actions of all time.

    Even for those who are fans of Foxtel surely a monopoly environment is undesirable, both from a pricing and content viewpoint?

  7. I am looking forward to finally getting the main Doco channels in HD and getting future new channel from launch I think my biggest concern is the unknown. Austar did have a few advantages like having FTA Tuners inbuilt to their My Star. They also offered Setanta at a much cheaper price with no sign on fee or 12 month lock in contract. Will be interesting to see how Foxtel deals with these issues

  8. I really need to call Austar as I think my STB is on the way out, constant picture and sound quality issues is becoming annoying.

    Also wondering if I re-instate the sports package for the next few months will I get the Olympic channels?

  9. Any news on Setanta for Foxtel subscribers? Is it included in our sports package now, can we get it at the cheaper Austar rate per month? Or will Austar customers just have to pay more…
    $8/mth Austar vs $17/mth Foxtel (with no ongoing contract)

  10. Hip Hip Horay!! Finally a nation wide service! It looks like the list of channels and services not offered across the country will be halfed. The only remaining channels/services are:
    *Sky News Local
    *RAI Radio
    *Antenna Radio
    *CNBC Asia
    *Box Office in High Definition and On Demand
    *Sky Racing Active
    *”Record Me” Ads, and
    *Sky News Multivie

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