Foxtel culls massive staff numbers

Foxtel has made 200 employees redundant and will stand down another 140 staff members until the end of June.

It will also shutdown over Easter for non-essential staff and further staff have been directed to reduced hours.

Foxtel chief executive Patrick Delany wrote to staff this afternoon as the Pay TV operator responds to the COVID-19 impact.

Good afternoon everyone,

You all know how hard we have been working over the past two years to transform our product and finances in the face of digital disruption.

Now, with the impact of government COVID-19 restrictions on our business, we have had no choice but to accelerate that transformation.

The actions we have had to take this week make it one of the toughest in Foxtel’s history, having stood down 140 of our team until 30 June who have had COVID-19 related work stoppages and made another 200 people redundant.

Acting Now to Remain Strong

Restructuring and changing the way the company works is not an easy thing to do at any time. But with the impact of COVID-19, the only option is to act now to ensure we ride out the current situation and remain strong to compete with local and global media companies.

These changes are even more difficult when we are not in the building together to speak to people face to face. I apologise to those impacted that the restrictions have meant your leaders have had to talk to you by video or by phone.

Australia has experienced tough times before. Most recently that was during the global financial crisis in 2009. We know that in tough times Foxtel becomes a great source of comfort to people at home who want to be informed and entertained. Right now, with Australians isolating themselves at home, our customers need us more than ever.

The government COVID-19 restrictions are however seeing major challenges for us including the broadcast and streaming of live sport. And looking ahead, the economic outlook for Australia is deteriorating and our continued transformation will become even more important.

As you know, we have already stopped all non-essential expenditure; stopped hiring; released all casuals, contractors and freelancers in non-critical roles and announced a shut down over Easter for everyone who is not essential to maintaining our service to customers.

Key Points of Today’s Announcement

· Leaders have spoken to those who are impacted one on one to provide details about their situation.

· Stand downs – in addition to support measures to use accrued leave and draw on leave in advance, we will be paying all stood down employees two additional weeks pay. The rules for the government’s Job Keeper scheme do not allow Foxtel to apply at present, however stood down employees may be eligible for payments under the Job Seeker scheme.

· All employees made redundant will receive their full entitlements.

· We have asked a further group of people to continue in their roles but with reduced hours.

· Where possible, we have found people jobs through redeployment; however, in these circumstances the opportunities have been limited.

· We have EAP available as a free service for all of you by phone and by video. Outplacement support will be available to impacted people within the next 24 hours and if you need to talk to someone, please reach out to your leader or HR business partner.

Delivering customers the best of Foxtel

We still have a core business to run so we continue to deliver a great entertainment experience to our customers.

What the team at Fox Sports have all done to reinvent our programming so our customers stick with us, has been extraordinary. And the ratings tell us customers are engaged with our classic matches, documentaries, pop up channels and live shows, and value what we are producing.

However, we need to be prepared for a scenario in sport where season starts are delayed further. It is clear all codes are struggling with significant financial challenges and we should anticipate that the future shape of sport in Australia will be very different.

On the entertainment side, the work we have done to give our customers more content and ensure our programming captures their imagination has been just as extraordinary. The strong ratings highlight how valuable our customers are finding this as they spend more time at home.

Resetting for the Future

Please use the Easter period to refresh and focus on your health – by maintaining social distancing and staying at home where possible.

Looking ahead, we will keep you all informed with regular updates, whether you are at work or stood down. Our senior leaders will also run team meetings with all of you to answer questions and focus on immediate priorities.

And remember: if you need to talk to someone, please talk to your leader or me. We also have EAP available as a free service for all of you on (deleted).

Foxtel remains a great Australian company and a part of life for millions of Australians. Our service has never been more important as people spend an extended period at home. To be there for them, as difficult as it is, we must continue to transform Foxtel and ensure we come out the other side even more important than we are now.

Best
Patrick

Foxtel is the latest broadcaster to address costs and staffing as a result of COVID-19, following Seven staff pay cuts and a temporary shutdown by 10 staff.

20 Comments:

  1. Anyone wondering about the dependency Foxtel has for it’s Fox Sports package will not be left wondering now, I’m not sure how this obviously expensive Pay TV enterprise can keep losing customers and get restarted again since COVID-19 stopped all sports broadcasting.
    The same may be true for some sports codes as well.
    I predict more cheap Foxtel plans in the near future.

  2. I think Foxtel should use this time in remodeling their packages to attract more viewers.For e.g. Foxtel Plus has about 54 channels 25 of those we will never ever watch just making numbers up to make it look attractive it’s not in Foxtel DNA to change packages but they have to start some where. 30 odd members of my family some have disconnected sport,Movies money saved gone towards Netflix

  3. Personally have never subscribed to Foxtel, always to expensive . And I never will. As AFL is the sport I luv I can usually catch it on FTA. With Netflix, Stan and Amazon prime I’m happy with all the choices. And all together they are cheaper than Foxtel !

  4. Good luck if you can get anyone to reduce your package. On their website you can upgrade your package but, to reduce it, you must phone them. Once you actually get through to the actual department after an incredibly long wait you get a recorded message advising that there is no staff to do the job and you are referred back to the website – leaving you in an unanswered loop. I tried sending a written request by mail last week but, so far, no response or action.

  5. How can they be getting rid of staff when they have not reduced or even attempted to reduce anyone’s bill for their package? In fact unlike every other company on the planet that one has ever had dealings with over the last 20 years have emailed me with concerns and comfort and changes to whatever their business is doing except Foxtel – not a word. Disgusting! What do you expect from Rupert. I think that alone will finally get me to abandom them.

    • I haven’t had any service provider write to me and reduce my fees or costs. Nothing from the bank, nothing from the credit card company, nothing from the electricity company and nothing from council. In fact, council are increasing my rates from 1 July.

      On the other hand, Foxtel are now providing me with free movies, free docos and free drama. No other service provider has given me anything for free like that. Nothing from Netflix. Nothing from Telstra. Nothing from Optus. Nothing from Apple.

      • Thank you PA for Mr Delaney, but Optus are giving their mobile phone customers extra 30 data free and Telstra I believe the same.

        Foxtel is also 35% owned by Telstra.

        And for all those who want the magazine for free sign up to your local library and then online you can get that and many other magazines each month, yep for free, we read them all on our tablets.

        • I have no affiliation with Foxtel. I just operate in the real world and am thankful for the additional content they are providing to us.

          My 2 kids and I have mobiles with Optus. Nothing extra. My wife has a mobile with Telstra. Nothing extra. Not complaining, just stating facts.

          And great tip on the magazines for those unaware of it. Been doing that for quite a few years myself. I love how they send me an email each time a new issue comes out.

          • Please get onto Telstra & Optus website for details we accepted the offers via their APPs, My Optus and My Telstra

  6. The say they don’t meet the rules for Job Keeper payment, which means the revenue hit for them is less than 50%. It’ll be interesting to see what’s in the 3rd quarter Newscorp results around their subscription video segment (Foxtel + Australian News Network (Sky News)).

  7. Foxtel reduce you subscriptions to get more people in that hideous HD surcharge has to go I have culled my bundle to the bare minimum please

    • Reducing price won’t necessarily lead to more people and more people at a lower price won’t necessarily lead to improved profit, which is ultimately the end game.

      I don’t understand why people get so emotional about the HD fee. I pay $59 for what is normally $103 per month and in that $59 is a labelled HD fee of $10. If it is labelled as an HD fee or something else, it doesn’t matter. I pay $59 for the service I get. Anyone paying retail price should be ringing up and getting a good discount from them and then it doesn’t mater what they call the fees.

        • They reviewed it and decided to keep it for old packages and not change pricing structure on those. The current packages in market don’t have a HD fee like the old packages.

          What they need to do is make all their channels HD and if they need extra bandwidth to do this, remove the +2 channels.

          • Those plus two channels can often be helpful, for various reasons. You may forget to record something or a show cuts out before the end, it helps to have +2. I wish the free to air channels offered it as well.

      • With the popularity of on demand content and some new exclusively on demand content to boot. I expect the +2 channels will slowly be phased out and the bandwidth used to offer more HD channels long term. I rarely watch Foxtel live these days unless I feel like flicking. Mostly the stuff I want is series linked or I just watch on demand. On a side note wonder when comedy channel is going to go. It’s clearly on its last legs. SD broadcasts, very few shows and they just show 4-6 episodes of same show in blocks. It’s clearly running out some timeline before being closed down.

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