The now-defunct Galaxy was founded in 1993, officially launched on Australia Day 1995, with only two channels, the local Premier Sports and international news channel ANBC.
Ironically, the 20th anniversary falls on the same day as a new streaming service, Stan, enters the STV landscape.
Getting an accurate read on the number of initial subscribers for Galaxy was difficult. Journalist Neil Shoebridge (now TEN corporate spokesperson) wrote in BRW in May 1995 that Galaxy installed 720 systems a day in Sydney and Melbourne.
Then Galaxy GM Mark Collier suggested there was then a waiting list of 20,000 people. The initial connection fee was $299, but Galaxy soon dropped that to $99 and reported instant increases in subscriptions.
Foxtel launched later in 1995 and eventually took over the Galaxy service and was in competition with another new player: Optus Vision.
ASTRA CEO Andrew Maiden told TV Tonight, “This week is an opportunity to reflect on the substantial contribution the industry has made to Australia. Subscription television has enriched the lives of millions of viewers, created 6600 jobs, and each year invests more than $600 million in screen production.
“To mark the anniversary this year ASTRA will stage a series of events that celebrate this history, including the biggest ever ASTRA Awards and a conference in September that will celebrate the past and gaze into the crystal ball.”
More than 80 leaders from across the television, entertainment and arts sectors will gather in Sydney this week to judge the 2015 ASTRA Awards.
For the first time, a large number of leaders from the wider creative industries will join subscription television executives on judging panels that determine finalists and winners.
Included on the independent panels will be leading producers, directors, writers, actors, presenters, educators, funders, executives and the leaders of screen agencies from a majority of states and territories.