How Foxtel Is Changing Your Movies Package

From January 1 2013, Foxtel will trim its range of movie packages down to one all-you-can-eat movies bundle (with a generous side serving of HBO content). What does that mean for existing subscribers? We've got the lowdown.

Picture by Cameron Spencer/Getty Images

Currently, Foxtel offers two separate movie package bundles, Movie Network and Showtime Movies. In practice, you can't easily sign up to a plan that doesn't include both of them these days, but that hasn't always been the case in the past. Regardless, the joint venture companies that operate those two channel groups have now been wound down, and Foxtel plans to negotiate directly with movie suppliers in the future and run its own network of channels.

Movies will now be presented on a new bundle of channels called Foxtel Movies & Premium Drama. These channels, many of them based around a specific genre, will be included in the bundle:

# Name Notes
401 Premiere New release titles
402 Premiere+2 Premiere on a 2-hour delay
403 showcase HBO content plus other drama and docos
404 showcase showcase on a 2-hour delay
405 Family  
406 Action/Adventure  
407 Comedy  
408 Drama/Romance  
409 Thriller/Crime  
410 Masterpiece Classics, independent and Australian
430 World Movies International cinema

Customers with an HD subscription will get HD versions of the new movie channels and showcase (but not World Movies). The new HBO-centric showcase channel is particularly interesting; I suspect this will see some HBO shows seen on other Foxtel channels lose the first local showing of those programs.

So what happens to your subscription on January 1? Existing customers who have both Movie Network and Showtime packages will transfer automatically to the new service on January 1 and won't pay anything extra. Customers who only have one of the channels (a relatively small group, according to Foxtel) will receive a selection of the channels depending on their current package. This page details how the changes will work depending on the packages you have. If your current subscription doesn't include any movie channels, you'll have to pay extra to upgrade to a bundle that does.

World Movies, which is now included in the main bundle, was previously sold as a separate $10 a month option. That won't be available to new subscribers from January 1, and is essentially a new free inclusion for existing two-movie bundle subscribers.

Foxtel also says it will expand the range of "on demand" movies available for immediate streaming to customers. Foxtel didn't provide an exact number, but says "hundreds" of titles will be included.

The change won't have any immediate impact on the Foxtel Go iPad app, since no movie channels are included in that package. (I'd expect Foxtel to introduce those eventually, but rights for streaming to devices will likely have to be negotiated separately.)

Like the sound of the new offering? Preferred the old approach? Tell us in the comments.

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Comments

    seems like a big cut in movies, basically down to just 4 channels from a wealth of channels

    I am not sure what the change is for those of us currently subscribed to everything apart from the name " Showtime and Movie" being removed. The channels still seem to be much of the same. Or is there something I am missing?

    Foxtel is always making changes they say are better for the customer but this isn't the case what it usually means is they give you less for the same amount of money or more money. I like the movie channels the way they are I have 16 movie channels at the moment including world movies which doesn't cost an extra $10 a month,its included in my subscription to both movie networks. Under this new set up there is only 11 channels so we are losing 5 movie channels &,still having to pay the same amount of money. Its just Foxtel being greedy as usual,like all the ads they have added over the years that they get paid millions for all the while putting up subscription charges,I don't pay them to watch ads. Big disappointment less movie channel.means less content as usual.

      Just because there are less channels doesn't mean we get less content. Foxtel does repeat a movie a number of time thought the week. With Foxtel IQ or IQ2 users can now record the movies when it screens. Remember foxtel only has 16 channels from the content sharing deal from optus Vision. Now this agreement is over and optus vision is dead, foxtel is stream lining the channels. For example why do we need 4 Premiere channels (2 live while 2 are 2 hours behind). Plus don't forget the online channels as well.

        what about people who don't subscribe to Foxtel IQ or IQ2 they don't have access to online movies. And we are losing channels,they r taking away starpics which I really liked as well as show greats.so it is less movies. I am not paying Foxtel for IQ when I ready own a recordable DVD which can record Foxtel. When I joined Foxtel before IQ came out I got every channel & 2 free box office movies a month for under $100 a month. Now I pay $110 a month & don't get any free movies & I wld hate to imagine how much IQ wld cost.

          IQ is another $10 per month per outlet I believe.

        You obviously work for Foxtel!!!

      I agree, we are paying the same for our subscription and are now getting less. As the consumer we seem to have no say other than to unsubscribe, but thats a tough line to take when there is no competition. When I subscribed to foxtel it was for a package which they have continued to change which has included increases in subscription fees, in ordinary business this would equate to breaking a contract, but when you have a monopoly it appears you can get away with anything.

    so what your saying is that its the same thing i got now but renamed?

    Showcase is an existing channel and it is HBO-centric. Otherwise, I'm hoping this new lineup will be good.

    Man I envy people who have enough TV time to justify pay TV :) I've got a DVR and I'm about 2 months behind on just free to air. I've heard you get free time back when your kids turn 10?

    How will those still on old Austar packages be affected? (e.g., the World Movies channel was always included in whichever movie package you chose - Showtime or Movie Network)

    also the Movie Network that provides the movies for Foxtel/Austar went broke as well.

    Don't like it at all. I much prefer the system where a 3rd party owns the channels and sells the channels to Foxtel.

    There are competitors to Foxtel out there. Showtime group was exclusive to Foxtel, but Movie Network wasn't. Without the dominant pay TV company, MN will die.

    movie networks was all let go on friday. they finish up in the new year,

    Wow, that's bad. I mostly watched Movie Network over Showtime - they had a lot more local content, including some (often good) original content. With Showcase becoming HBO-only, it looks like a huge win for recycled crap from the U.S.

    So they're taking channels away?

    Movie ONE and TWO, Starpics 1 and 2. I liked how Starpics was structured to be honest. I'll miss that.

    I don;t have either movie package, but are they saying where before I could choose just Showtime for $16 I now need to get the new pack for $32? If so I am peeved.

    The problem comes in that as a result of this no Warners. no Disney, no TCM movies on Foxtel.... this is a big step backwards no matter what Foxtel says. BIG FAIL FOXTEL!

      Just checked my changes and it is terrible. Now miss comedies and romantic dramas. Unless it is a premiere which is still not a new movie. Time to cut the movie channels I think. HUGE FAIL FOXTEL.

      Er... the Disney Channel is still there and has movies on quite often.

    After about fifteen years we dropped them. Too many ads selling death insurance. One can only look at just SO many happy smiling people trying to push you into a pine box so they can be financially secure. Horrid.

    If it was not for my wife wanting some of the shows I would have dumped foxtel a couple of years ago.
    I was recently enjoying the series of sparticus, thankfully recorded, I timed the ad breaks Four mins of ads for just over 5-6mins of programme what a pile of rubbish.
    And yes I am sick toDEEEEAAATTTHHH of bloody ads selling DDDEEEAAATTTHHH insurance.And all the other crap they push.
    Come on Foxtel how about making current customers happier instead of always trying to suck in new customers with deals we dont get.
    Just waiting for the nod from my wife and your gone .
    I used to recommend you. NO MORE.

    Foxtel and dollars thats what its about, was told by a snooty call centre person at foxtel, "there will be no repeat movies now" have a look....I have seen them all on foxtel already! Vote with your wallets people only if it's to take out a few dollars a month - send these people a message....

    I have foxtel thru my Xbox 360 and I liked the movie network 2 option if I missed something the first time I had MN2. Now I don't. I think I have a few less channels and yet they will still charge me the same.

    What about the people who can't have IQ? Plenty of unit blocks aren't equipped for IQ or HD and strata won't upgrade it when there are more important things to spend maintenance funds on... I liked the movies the way it was.. Family movie channel seems better than FMC on day one I have a sick kid who hasn't moved from lounge all day because there has been movie after movie to entertain... Am worried we won't get the variety we had and have a HBO overload... But I guess we wait and see...

    When I first heard that Premiere would be the same channel on both packs, I thought ok. But since its happened and so many of the channels are now 'shared' it seems a bit rich for them to be still charging $16 for each package. And if it's true (as written above) that they are charging $32 for new subscribers to get movies, then that's a joke. I don't see how anyone can look at the changes and not see (if you were subscribed to both old movie packages) that you are def getting less channels and movies for the same money. If they want to make these changes the reduction in movies/channels available should be reflected in the price. Bad enough we pay so much for foxtel & then have to put up with ads at all. Not happy foxtel

    I've had all the Movie channels for years, 16 movie channels. Now i have only 12 movie channels and still paying the same price. I now feel cheated and robed by foxtel with the loss of 4 channels. Also I was getting the latest movies on 2 channels now I'll be getting the latest movies on only one channel. Another loss. Shame on tou Foxtel!!!

    So the change has been made, and already we are loosing the total amount of movies...I seriously hope FOXTEL go ahead and negotiate with another movie supplier....

    I like the way they tried to make it sound like this is an improvement to their movie package when in reality they have diminished the amount of channels and changed the names of the ones still in operation. I don't think i will renew my contract.
    I also agree with Jayd about those death insurance adds, what a joke to pay and be bombarded with something so depressing and monotomous.

    Not happy, FIRST night of new channels an: not one movie worth watching. H
    Ow can they talk about what customers want. When they don,t bother to communicate with us

    Less movie channels, more advertising than ever... I like the two hours after as i can catch something after the peeps are in bed... I can record but, I never seem to get back to them...they also intend after this reduction to offer more movies on the on demand library..which funnily enough we pay for... It's like cereal.. The boxes shrunk and the price stayed the same, but we did notice..really foxtel, I think it's time to go and I have been a customer for nearly 20 years

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