Stan nabbing Showtime was no big deal, says Foxtel.


Foxtel has questioned Stan’s hyperbole on its new Showtime deal and says it overpaid for a modest output.

“There’s been a lot of propaganda in the Fairfax press about the significance of the deal. To suggest it’s the most important deal in recent Australian television history is laughable, I think,” Foxtel Director of Television Brian Walsh told TV Tonight.

“Of course we looked at the proposal from Showtime.”

Foxtel will retain first-run rights to Ray Donovan, The Affair and Penny Dreadful while Presto also has SVOD rights before Stan.

Stan has exclusive rights to Billions featuring Damian Lewis and Paul Giamatti.

“In the US last year there were 409 (*scripted titles) made. Of those 409, 4 were on Showtime –so there are 405 others that are available to acquire. All Stan will get from the deal this year is Billions, which has bombed. It debuted to a modest 341,000 (*18-49 demo in broadcast) in the US and then fell 65% from its lead-in which was Shameless. It’s averaging 324,000 people in 18-49 (*broadcast). So it’s not the huge hit Stan was expecting and they won’t be getting any new product until 2017 with Twin Peaks.

“For us it is absolutely important to have HBO and some of the other signature dramas we’ve acquired and will continue to acquire. Whilst we won’t have the other Showtime dramas coming down the pipeline, there are plenty of other quality dramas out there.

“Stan needs content and if they were prepared to pay the sort of money Showtime demanded then good luck to them.”

  • broadcast premiere was 904,000 and episode 2 was 950,000.

* amended.


  1. The problem I find with all these deals is you need to get multiply accounts across different platforms to watch your shows and many people just don’t have the time or money to do that. Its probably the reason piracy is still and issue, go to one place and download the shows you want in the quality you want to watch when you want on the media of your choice over and over.

    I’ve had Foxtel for many years but still yet to pay for the other services.

  2. I have Stan and again I’ll say it has a far superior archive to Netflix AU. Yes it pales in comparison to US Netflix. However currently, as it is in Australia, Netflix may have more original content, but it’s archive is a complete joke. Particularly for local content.

  3. Stan is mostly just buying Twin Peaks. They are desperate for marque shows to drive subscriptions and close the gap to Netflix (even though they offer much less in Aus than US) before it’s too late. They are prepared to pay over the odds for exclusive content because they don’t have the money to produce much themselves.

  4. Armchair Analyst

    All networks or executives of those networks (and in other forms of business) bag the competition and enhance or embelish what they have done or secured. Its the nature of the beast in this day and age. Its all promotional stuff. Brian Walsh probably did sound a bit bitter but who cares. In time Foxtel will be redundant and people will just consume content legally via the internet. FreeToAir TV still has a slim chance of survival because its free but Foxtel is in trouble that is why Sport is so important to them including quality sport. I think Foxtel will succeed in lobying the govt. to trim the Anti-Siphoning list.

    • IQ3 launch was troubled and remains unresolved, but most media have reported Foxtel has weathered the streaming competition fairly well. While some have cancelled their Foxtel, others are adding a Streaming service to their existing packages. The general view is that Streaming has made Australians more open to the idea of paying for entertainment. It’s arguably still too soon to call this one.

  5. Brian is right. The stat presented is succinct and makes pretty clear that Stan paid way too much.

    The real issue for both Foxtel and Stan is that Netflix has 13 or 14 original series/titles this year that can only be screened on Netflix. In 2017 they plan to have 22 almost giving you 2 new original titles a month.. How a local service responds to another investing that much in original programming is the key – and Foxtel is way ahead of Stan in terms of original programming, but they probably need a lot more.

  6. Brian Walsh must be joking about Billions being a flop, of course he would say that, almost a sour grape like comment, due mostly to his own showcase channel not getting the rights for Billions, but instead one of his competitors.

    • Billions debuted at 900k and rose to 1.28m by ep 3 (overnights). It’s rating less than Shameless, Ray Donovan or Homeland. Penny Dreadful which Foxtel is boasting about holding onto is only rating 600k (but it is also funded by Sky and The Irish Government).

      Showtime is a major producer of cable shows. I count 11 at the moment not 4. Not having any any Netflix shows, new Showtime shows and with the BBC selling more shows to the ABC will reduce the value for money of Foxtel’s drama package and increase downward pressure on prices.

      Optus still haven’t announced a deal with Fetch TV or a plan for showing EPL game in pubs, but the loss of the EPL is probably more of a blow. It cost relatively little and the games with the top teams out rated A-League games.

  7. Slowly but surely the arrogant, treat long term customers terribly,over priced, ridiculiusly packaged Foxtel channels ,Foxtel is becoming irrelevant, AFL next TV deal is this year,will they get caught with their pants down on that as well?

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