Foxtel overhauls pricing, HD channels as content battle heats up.
A new $25 Entertainment pack, 9 new HD channels, a BoxSets channel and the IQ3 are all coming to Foxtel.
From November it will introduce a $25 Entertainment pack with 40 new channels for cable and satellite subscriptions.
“Foxtel is passionate about giving customers the maximum value for their subscriptions. From securing the best programming possible to providing innovative services like Foxtel Go and Look Back, we’re serious about going the extra mile. Today we’ve raised the bar even higher by giving our customers access to bonus content at no extra charge,” Foxtel CEO Richard Freudenstein said.
As part of its new pricing structure, Foxtel will also revamp its premium tiers by offering the Movies pack at $20 per month*; the Sports Pack at $25 per month* and the Drama Pack, which includes showcase, BBC First, FX, 13th Street and the new BoxSets channel at $20 per month*. Three General Entertainment Packs will also be available including Entertainment Plus, Docos and Kids, each priced at $10 per month*. BoxSets will be available as a stand alone for $10 per month*.
In addition, Foxtel welcomed the addition of the new Discovery Kids channel to the Kids Pack. Discovery Kids is Australia’s only children’s channel solely dedicated to providing fun educational programming for primary school-aged kids.
New customers who take Platinum HD will pay the same amount as existing Platinum HD subscribers.
The new package prices comes hot on the heels of this site’s Audience Inventory in which Pay TV viewers indicated more flexible packages was their #1 issue in STV.
Foxtel also revealed its first official photo of the IQ3, which was revealed by TV Tonight last December.
The iQ3 will be available to customers later this year (it’s unclear if this means all customers) while the Triple-Play of television, broadband and home phone will see a full consumer roll-out in the first quarter of 2015.
The new BoxSets HD channel, which is part of the HD pack, will show full seasons of Game of Thrones, The Newsroom, Entourage and Wentworth.
The 9 channels include new FOX Sports channels announced yesterday and takes the total number of HD channels to 36.
Starting November 3, the new channels will include:
13th Street HD
World Movies HD
Fox Sports News HD
Fox Sports 4 HD
“Foxtel subscribers have always had access to the widest range of High Definition programming available in Australia, and in yet another great development for existing and prospective customers, we’ve given them a massive boost that includes all of the channels in our premium sports, movies and drama packs, letting customers watch the best we have to offer in HD,” said Freudenstein.
The new BoxSets channel offers live and Anytime access and builds on several full seasons that were available on-demand earlier this year.
Foxtel BoxSets will launch on 3 November on CH 116 as part of the Foxtel Drama pack. It will include complete series of library drama and complete past seasons of returning drama series on a regularly updating basis.
“Binge watching is enormously popular and the BoxSets channel is an exciting initiative that will let our customers binge to their heart’s content on their favourite shows. The service will offer past series of the most popular, high-quality scripted TV series in full and will be the perfect way to catch up on recent series or revisit classic favourites,” said Freudenstein.
Ross Crowley, Director of Programming & Channels, told TV Tonight, a decision on which channels would move to HD required at least 50% of content in primetime to be available in native HD.
“We are just working through what material is available in HD so we can see which ones we can convert next,” he said recently.
“It relies on the underlying material to be at least a certain percentage of native HD. There will always be a little bit of ‘up-res.’”
Initial titles that will be available at or shortly after launch on BoxSets includes:
Available live and in Anytime
Game of Thrones – Seasons 1-4
The Sopranos – Seasons 1-6
Big Love – Seasons 1-5
The Newsroom – Seasons 1-2
Rome – Seasons 1-2
Band of Brothers
Entourage – Seasons 1-8
Wentworth – Seasons 1-2
Available in Anytime (On-Demand)
Looking – Season 1
Girls – Seasons 1-3
Angels in America
BoxSets can be viewed live, or in Anytime through Foxtel Go or with an internet connected iQ box. For customers without an internet connected iQ box, Foxtel BoxSets will feature continuous broadcast of popular drama series that can be recorded to a Foxtel iQ set top box and played back at their convenience. Customers must subscribe to the relevant channel/tier in their residential pack to access corresponding content. ISP and data charges may apply. Foxtel and some services not available to all homes.
*Premium Packs (Movies, Sport and Drama), General Entertainment Packs (Entertainment Plus, Docos and Kids) and BoxSets only available as add-ons and must be taken with a $25 per month Entertainment Pack subscription.