Binge Q&A: linear channels, fast-tracking, movies.

Since Binge launched late last month, users have been pleasantly surprised by the inclusion of 17 Foxtel channels, broadcasting in real time.

These linear channels is a great inclusion, unable to be matched by rivals including Netflix, Stan, Amazon Prime, Apple TV+ and Disney+. Starting at $10 you get all the streaming titles plus entertainment channels including FOX Showcase, BBC First, FOX One, Arena, BBC Earth, History and more.

TV Tonight asked Binge to elaborate more on the linear channels, including whether viewers can access Foxtel titles not available in streaming.

Q: Linear channels is a great offer in Binge, why has this not been highlighted in marketing? Will the number of channels change?

A: “Our focus is on demand and being able to watch anytime, anywhere, that’s our content proposition and that’s how we will be marketing content. Linear channels are a small part of our offering and reflect content deals we have; our focus is on demand ad free content – being able to watch a show or movie anywhere, anytime.”

Q: Can viewers watch all shows on linear channels Live in AEST or will you black some titles out? If you black them out, are they replaced, or these are literally black screens?

A: “We will continue to evaluate our plan for channels, at this stage there are no plans to black content out but we are still working through this strategy.”

Q: Binge has spoken about making all episodes, all seasons available for the shows it has rights to. Yet some titles such as Mrs. America, What We Do in the Shadows etc do not have all episodes available. Law & Order SVU has around half the seasons. Why are some shows delayed?

A: “In terms of having every season available, our content strategy for boxsets of seasons versus every episode ever made will vary depending on genres and shows. We know that for lifestyle and reality, viewers want the latest so that is what we prioritise – the latest and freshest. For drama and comedy, where there is a multi-season story arch, we endeavor to license for completeness and we have complete seasons available for the majority of these series. We will continue to add episodes and seasons.

“We have more content dropping over the coming months including more content added in procedurals specifically, but for a long running franchise like Law and Order SVU where 20+ seasons exist, we will prioritise a selection rather than every episode ever.”

Q: Does Binge wait for Foxtel to programme as linear broadcast before content is available?

A: “Binge has over 10,000 hours of curated content. Our team make decisions based on a variety of factors as to when a show is scheduled. This includes data insights, marketability, programming priorities and how we feel a show is suited to the market at particular times. The availability of content from our partners is also a factor. We are also making decisions in these early days to give content the best chance to find an audience particularly with so much content available at launch, and more coming. Our goal is to get all of our content the maximum audience and reach possible, so awareness and visibility is key.

“Many streamers also drop weekly, for example The Mandalorian on Disney+. You might also see us wait to market/promote whole seasons driving the bingeing behaviour. There are no hard and fast rules, we will evolve the strategy and iterate to serve the streaming audience.”

Q: Does Foxtel Group have exclusivity on HBO Max titles in Australia?

A: “Yes, the Foxtel Group has exclusivity on Warner produced HBO Max scripted titles in Australia. Obviously, HBO Max is sourcing from other content producers which we’ll assess on a case by case basis pending what’s available in this territory.”

Q: What older movies (pre 1970) are available?

A: “At launch there are over 800 movies on Binge and we will be adding new titles regularly. There’s the all-time greats, blockbuster franchises, comedy favourites and a great family movie selection. We have a number of movies from the 1970s, a small number pre 1970 which we will be adding to.”

Corrected.

40 Comments:

    • They have foreign language content with no subtitles? Or or do you mean there are no Closed Captions? No Closed Captions would be a strange choice, Worth asking David to put that to Binge (and Kayo?), though not to the marketing person who failed to answer the questions in this article.

      • constantlywatching

        I haven’t watched any foreign language content on Binge, but I’m pretty sure the subtitles are actually coded into the video file.

        Otherwise, there are no closed captions / subtitles on the entire service.

        • Not having watched Binge I don’t know the operating system being used but sometimes (like ABC iView) the CC icon is to the right of the play / stop functions. If you use Apple+ it will be in the drop down menu at the top. In Foxtel Now the CC icon is shown in the show episodes menu at the top. Binge not having ‘CC’ would be a major fail.

  1. What linear channels? I signed up for the 2 week trial via Telstra TV and saw no linear channels. What I saw was huge gaps in original HBO content (new and old) and very little BBC. There was too much lifestyle trash which is not my cup of tea. As there were no linear channels via Telstra TV, I promptly cancelled the 2 week trial.and won’t be going back.

  2. Too confusing! They need to streamline their product offering and make it simpler to understand. So if I flick the HD IQ box, I can’t watch new Wentworth until when? What’s the ‘window’? What exactly does paying tens of dollars north of what Binge costs deliver?

  3. constantlywatching

    Surprised nobody is talking about the lack of subtitles on the entire service.
    I wanted to love it, but not having the option to use subtitles is a huge bummer.

  4. I believe at some point Foxtel will have to restructure their subscription / pay TV business, as the H.265 codec for 4K is now more available on a number of competing SVOD apps.
    I also feel that Foxtel Now must get reviewed or renamed at some point as it mirrors Binge, it’s not sensible business to have Foxtel’s content available from 3 separate sources.

  5. I know this has been discussed but Binge’s messaging seems confused. Is it going to be the home for new HBO shows that will drop weekly or will they be added after they run on Foxtel? Some notable omissions from Binge so far include Run, Insecure Season 4 and the Mark Ruffalo-starring limited series I Know This Much is True. I wonder what this means for the upcoming Lovecraft Country and Perry Mason.

  6. It’s a bummer that more classic movies aren’t on the service (or planned by the sounds of it) given the hundreds of classic Warner Bros and Criterion films available on HBO Max. These movies don’t seem to have a streaming home anywhere else in Australia and it’s a sad situation for film buffs.

  7. Won’t consider it until there’s a 4k option – I’ll pay extra! And it would be good to have all the latest release movies not just a back catalogue of old ones.

  8. These platforms don’t understand that they are creating a terrible user experience by snapping up exclusive licensing deals for shows. I have Netflix and Stan, but find myself scrolling for ages through both to find anything worth watching. Stan I mostly use to binge old.faves li

  9. Still wondering what this means for Foxtel Go? Initially it seemed it was just box sets. But now it sounds as though it’s a very similar offering to Foxtel Go. So what am I paying an extra $15 / month for?

  10. It did seem strange looking through the available shows that I saw that Supergirl had all seasons except for Season 1, due to licensing having expired I’d guess, crazy though, who is going to start watching a serialised drama for example if season 1 isn’t available… especially season 1 that sets up/introduces characters etc.

    • Yeah unless you have a TV that has Android TV OS Version 7.0+ so you can get the app from the Play Store, Kayo has an App for Samsung TV’s however they have to be 2017 and above. That was biggest hassle with trying it out having to Mirror it to Samsung 2014 TV and it didn’t work well at all. Only other options are to get Chromecast Ultra or an Apple TV or Telstra TV box, which I have no interest in doing just for one service, it’s funny that a USD$11.99 p/y (currently AUD$17.38) service like the Curiosity Stream can have an App on a 2014 TV but not Kayo or Binge.

  11. I signed up for the two-week trial but won’t be using it. There are just too many missing shows and movies. The SVU situation is a key example. Why pay $10/month and then not be able to access the episodes I want? That’s the opposite of binging.

  12. Ah all that marketing speak that doesn’t actually answer the questions put. Especially love all that ‘still working through nonsense’.

  13. The audience has been crying out to have content provided the same day it airs in other territories for years yet our pleas continue to fall on deaf ears. I’ll only consider spending my entertainment dollar with an Australian based service when viewers aren’t treated as second class.

  14. Not having full series is a massive miss but so so Foxtel modus operandi. They seem to love repeating the same couple of series of Big Bang theory on 111 amongst other shows that I’m sure they do the same thing with. The live channels seem like a waste of that isn’t the strategy but would obviously appeal to some. Another Foxtel hodge podge of a service.

  15. Does this mean you could watch shows like Wentworth or Selling Houses Australia if it is live/real time? I am a little confused. I recall in an earlier post that they are excluded from Binge? They suggests maybe you could watch them??

  16. David, did you get any indication as to why some Foxtel Originals aren’t on binge while they’re available on Foxtel On Demand?
    Also interesting that they dodged your question about waiting for Foxtel to schedule a show before it’s added to Binge. They seem extremely reluctant to mention or tie themselves to Foxtel at all (which is definitely a good thing for them)

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