Foxtel “Express” steps up fast-tracking

Foxtel has confirmed a number of premieres in a major shift towards fast-tracking, in a bid to thwart online piracy and offer subscribers fresh content.

Following on from today’s lightning-fast launch of Sons of Anarchy just two hours after it launches in the US, it will unveil new Fall shows within 7 days of their US screening. Boardwalk Empire also launches two hours after the US.

The new “Express from the US” strategy will include:

Showcase:

  • Sons of Anarchy, Season 5 at 3.10pm Wednesday September 12, two hours after the US east coast and just 10 minutes after the US west coast. Repeated 8:30pm Sunday September 16.
  • Boardwalk Empire, Season 3, from 3pm Monday September 17, two hours after the US. Repeated 8:35pm Wednesday September 19.
  • Dexter, Season 7, 8:30pm Thursday October 4, three days after the US.

FOX8:

  • Revolution, Series Premiere,  8.30pm Wednesday September 19, 36 hours after the US.
  • Grimm Season 2 from September 30, Sundays at 8.30pm, episode 5 onwards FOX8 will broadcast within 36 hours of US.
  • 666 Park Avenue, Series Premiere, 9.30pm Monday October 1, within 12 hours of its US debut.
  • Hart of Dixie Season 2 from October 8, Mondays at 8.30pm, within seven days of US.
  • Gossip Girl Season 6 from October 9, Tuesdays at 8.30pm within 12 hours of the US.
  • The Vampire Diaries Season 4 from October 17, Wednesdays at 7.30pm, within seven days of US.
  •  WWE Raw and WWE Smackdown already airing within 48 hours of the US.
FX:
  • The Walking Dead Season 3, 8:30pm Tuesday October 16,  just 33 hours after the US.

Arena:

  •  The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills Season 3 will start November 6, airing within seven hours of the US.
  • Don’t Trust The B**** in Apt 23 has launched on Arena (Mondays at 7.30pm) and Season 2 is scheduled  to start October 29, just five days after the US.

The Comedy Channel:

  • The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, The Colbert Report and Late Night with Jimmy Fallon, are already airing within 12 hours of the US and negotiations are underway to add more shows to the list.

FOX8’s summer lineup will include Last Man Standing Season 2, within 36 hours of US broadcast, and American Idol Season 12, within 12 hours.

Foxtel Executive Director of Television Brian Walsh said, “Foxtel customers are television lovers so, as a company, we can’t expect them to wait for these highly anticipated international program launches.

“The express from the US proposition is a powerful differentiator for Foxtel, we have always said watch what you want when you want and now, more than ever before, we can say watch with the world.

“Ignoring the audience demand for shortening the delivery windows is only serving to stimulate piracy, which as an industry we are compelled to quash.”

“Foxtel’s programming and acquisitions teams and many of our channel partners have been working to fine tune contracts and the mechanisms for the physical delivery of these hot international shows in order to deliver a better entertainment experience for our customers.

Foxtel’s ‘Express from the US’ programming lineup will continue to roll out over summer and in into 2013.

Catch-Up:
Revolution, Gossip Girl S6, 666 Park Avenue, Rove LA S2, The Vampire Diaries S4, Hart of Dixie S2, Sons of Anarchy S5, Boardwalk Empire S3 and Dexter S7 – Foxtel customers who miss any of the above express from the US can watch episodes as Catch Up in FOXTEL’s On Demand service, available to download from midnight following the show’s on-air broadcast. Once in the planner, the program can be watched as many times as they like within a 14-day period. The Catch Up service is available with a customer’s package at no additional cost. The customer’s internet-enabled FOXTEL iQ or iQHD set-top-box must be connected to the internet to watch shows as Catch Up.

NB: All times are EST.

23 Comments:

  1. Does Foxtel have those R-rated shows: Game of Thrones, True Blood, Boardwalk Empire, etc.? Last time I looked they only had MA ratings and cut TV shows. They should really start offering a premium show package with just the popular shows and none of the other crappy channels if they want to win back subscribers.

  2. “The Comedy Channel:
    The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, The Colbert Report and Late Night with Jimmy Fallon, are already airing within 12 hours of the US and negotiations are underway to add more shows to the list.”

    I hope Adult Swim is getting negotiated to be fastracked a week or two behind the US. Australia is so far behind in the current shows’ series. The problem is that they show repeats after they screen a new season of the shows or show repeat shows they have finished every episode of (Tim & Eric doubles on Sunday night).

    Even if the shows were fastracked, shows like ATHF and Venture Bros. couldn’t because they have not completed the previous seasons. I am sick of this with Foxtel. They have exclusive rights to Adult Swim but they take too long screening the episodes. 🙁

    I just want Adult Swim to come to Itunes Australia and episodes and shows get released when they are released in the US store like South Park does. (First 7 episodes of S16 is in the store now).

  3. Firstly cudos to showtime for fast tracking dexter S7 to 3 days(S6 was 6 weeks! between US start date and here), however, some people are still going to not bother waiting the 3 days, and will try to view it by other means. I think they probably taken a leaf out of sons of anarchy and also done a “super fast track” – a couple of hours after US airing.

  4. This is an important point of difference for STV, targetted at a potential growth area – those people who do not want to wait for premium drama and love the convenience of it being available at home. Not everyone wants to buy or download DVDs of everthything. I would have thought all those sport lovers out there (mostly men) already subscribe – and Foxtel have correctly identified there is a market out there for premium drama as soon as it is available and all year round (women). This is a powerful marketing approach. There is simply not enough great drama – Australian or otherwise on FTA and our drama expectations have evolved faster than FTA realises – both in quality and availability.

  5. @ Pertinax – there was an article in TV Week last Summer ratings season where the editor wrote why is there still Summer ratings when it is no longer true that people aren’t watching TV. Sure it may be true for countries who take holidays for the Summer season (e.g. North America), but countries such as Australia where our school holidays are spread throughout the year, and the only reason viewership is down in Summer is because there is nothing new or good on, then Summer ratings season should be cancelled. And yes you’re correct that Foxtel has fast tracked for years for Some shows (with American Idol being a terrific example), but it has only been the last year or two that the amount of fast tracked shows has increased to this amount.
    And the reason why Revenge and Downton Abbey got such large ratings even after large delays in broadcast were because they are terrific shows. Look at the ratings for Hawaii Five-0, The Mentalist, Criminal Minds, Greys Anatomy, etc. – all of which are down (I think The Voice U.S. is the best example of delayed broadcasting resulting in poor ratings). And these are some of the best returning shows coming out of the U.S. so why whould they be down unless it was because viewers had already seen them?

  6. The FTA model is based around being able to buy exclusive rights to the most popular OS shows. This is paid for by showing them on Winter nights when there are large numbers of viewers watching TV.

    The idea that illegal downloading means you have to show you best programmes Summer is silly. Channel 7 has got audiences of 1.7M showing Downton Abbey in winter 9 months after is screens in the UK and 1.4M for Revenge showing them 6 months after US.

    While this is changing and the FTA networks are showing US shows at the beginning and end of ratings season with reality TV and local shows in August and September they can’t “fast-track” everything. Nor would they get the revenue to buy the exclusive rights to shows by showing them in December and January when everyone is at the beach or the cricket.

    Channel 10 has also put out a press release about “fast-tracking” shows in October. That isn’t to stop illegal downloading it is because their ratings have collapsed and they have nothing else to show.

    Foxtel doesn’t have this problem because they rely on year round subscriptions for revenue. They can show programmes just after they screen in US or UK, and then repeat them later for those who were away on holidays.

    I want to watch TV programmes when I have the time to sit down and enjoy them. Not 5 minutes after they show in the US when I have better things to do.

  7. That is very good if you have Foxtel. The FTA channels need to fast track these shows and others from the US and they need to commit to them and show the whole series in the same time slot if they want to get rid of piracy!

  8. You do realise that this “express” “fast-tracking” is just marketing hype by Foxtel to try and stop their declining subscription numbers and have a go at their competition.

    Foxtel has been “fast-tracking” stuff for years and because most of their income comes from fees there is no reason for them not to (unlike FTA which requires the large mass audiences of winter to be profitable).

    Foxtel programmes rate in the 10s of the thousands and will continue to do so, there will be not one iota of difference.

    The reason for this is that people don’t pay large Foxtel fees and then illegally download shows so they can watch them a day or two earlier. They make “Game of Thrones” and “True Blood” the mostly highly illegally downloaded programmes so they don’t pay the large fees for the basic package plus the movie and the drama + lifestyle packages to get all those shows.

  9. This is terrific news! If FTA networks aren’t going to take fast tracking seriously, then they are just going to lose viewers to STV where shows are shown from beginning to end, in the same timeslot, and with the majority of premiere programming available in HD. If only Foxtel would reduce their price as was mentioned in a story yesterday (I personally don’t think what Foxtel is offering to be any higher than $100 for everything including a HD STB).

  10. What about season 3 of Pretty Little Liars? starting next week, Foxtel are showing two eps of season 2. I thought it was because they’re going to show season 3 🙁

  11. I really commend Foxtel Australia for doing this. Its a great start and I hope that more shows in the future can be “fast tracked”. I do believe it will do what they aim and that’s to minimize piracy and reward their customers.

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