Foxtel Shifts Prices, Charges More For Sport

Foxtel has announced changes to its pricing for its current lineup of Pa -TV packages. Some packages drop in price — but not if you're a sports fan.

TV Tonight reports on the changes, which take effect from March 1. In the price drop category, the add-ons for Kids&Music, Drama&Lifestyle and Knowledge&Adventure drop by $1 (if you're only buying one) to $15 per month; they're $20 for two and $25 for all three. Movies chops $7 off the monthly asking price to drop to $25.

The base level Get Started package, meanwhile, jumps up $2 to $47, as well as getting a slight rebranding as "Essentials". The move most likely to draw Lifehacker's reader ire, though, is that Sport increases from $16 per month up to $25 per month. Sports packages have consistently proven to be a major drawcard for pay TV services in Australia, but the changes are, according to Foxtel, due to standardising over the Austar and Foxtel platforms, with a single-service PVR due to launch this year. According to Foxtel

Naturally, as we are aligning different and quite complex pricing structures, there will be some customers who will pay a little more and some who will pay the same or less than they currently do. This will be true for both regional and metropolitan customers.

Approximately twenty five per cent of subscribers will save money, around 25% will experience no change in their price and fewer than 1% will receive an increase of more than $3.05.

I'm not entirely sure about those numbers — there seems to be a missing 49 per cent in there somewhere, presumably those paying more, but less than $3.05. In any case, as a reminder, we've covered off whether it's sensible to cancel your Foxtel subscription before. What do you think? Are the price rises reasonable, or are they a tipping point in your decision to have pay TV?

New Foxtel prices from March [TV Tonight]


Comments

    $25 per month - forcing everyone to pay for the AFL channel no matter how much they don't want it. What a joke. 15 years ago when Optus had an AFL channel they charged for that outside the main sport channels. Pathetic

    Some sport fans need to get off their high horse. It is well-known that world-wide sport is the most expensive product for any pay television operator to offer. Pay-tv is not about paying for the channels you want, it's about the broad subsidisation of packages for blockbuster and niche channels to attract the largest potential paying market.

    When Foxtel spends $1 billion for the NRL rights and $1.25 billion for the AFL rights, let alone the fees they need to pay for ESPN and all the major international leagues. Is it any wonder they force channels? Subscribers who don't have sport packages are probably in part paying and subsidising for them in their basic fees. As blockbuster pay-tv channel contracts are often based on a pre-subscriber basis, not per-viewer.

    They aren't missing the 49% it breaks down to this:

    25% will pay less than they are now (doubtful)
    25% will experience no change (again doubtful)
    49% will pay between $0.01 and $3.05 more (doubtful)
    1% will pay more than $3.05 more

    All of this I read as: We payed a crapload of money for the AFL rights so now we are passing it onto you suckers, enjoy all the channels that you don't watch that are part of the packages that you have to pay for so you can get the few channels you actually want to watch (I'm looking at you Comedy Channel)

    Hi, maybe I can clarify a couple of things. First, there are a number of movements up and down, for example iQ and MyStar are no longer charged for separately so this would offset rises in other areas such as Sport (there are special arrangements if you have a standard box). Secondly, we have ensured that price rises for all but a tiny number of customers will be no more than $3.05 (that tiny group will pay a maximum of around $4.00). However, we have not capped possible savings so some customers will received significant reductions.

    This is all driven by the fact that there are currently many thousands of different arrangements varying quite wildly between the old Foxtel and Austar customer bases. Aligning them will mean some people have small increases and some stay the same or have reductions. Customers should wait until they receive their letter or email to see how they are affected. If anyone is not happy, they should call 131 999 and talk through options to get the best package to suit their needs.

    B Meagher - Foxtel Corporate Affairs

      Thanks Bruce (assuming real), good to get some more detail!

    It's getting harder and harder to justify keeping Foxtel... I really only have it for FuelTV and PPV (I'm an MMA addict)... But it costs sooooo much.

    I think I'm paying like $100 a month or something crazy like that.

      I know what you mean. I'm not obsessed with watching TV shows the moment they come out, so waiting for them to hit JB's bargain bin works for me. As for sport: I'd have no problem paying say $10 or $15 for a HD download of UFC, provided it's available shortly after broadcast, so I could have some mates over and enjoy the show.

      If that's an unrealistic price or expectation, I'm quite happy to go without.

        I'm currently investigating UFC.tv --- It's looking like it might be less expensive than Foxtel.

          i use UFC.tv all the time. The stream is live in HD (depending on connection) and has 8 different camera angles to choose from and can be watched later on as well. Way better then paying Foxtel for an SD broadcast

      We decided to get rid of it last year. It's so much money. Fine if you stay home all day to watch it, but for us, we work full time and only watched it at night and occasionally on the weekend. Even after explaining this to the Foxtel representative that took my call when I wanted to disconnect, he still nearly begged me to stay.

      Maybe if HD was included it would be a little more tempting, but you have to pay an extra $15 or something like that a month, to get a handful of channels you already pay for, in HD. Plus you have to pay more again, to get the hardware.

    Glad I've got platinum HD locked in at $110/mth via my Telstra bundle.

      I've been told that Foxtel don't guarantee the price for that length of the contract (Optus don't either with home phone/internet) They give you the option to cancel the contract without termination fees, but won't let you keep it at the lower price.

        Might be different with Foxtel from Telstra. I've gone through a number of pricing "updates" and the bundle price as advertised has changed (for new customers), but the actual amount I am billed remains the same.

    Buy foxel from harvey norman they are selling it cheaper than foxel now!! Don't know how that works but go figure

    Bruce, you say....

    'This is all driven by the fact that there are currently many thousands of different arrangements varying quite wildly between the old Foxtel and Austar customer bases. Aligning them will mean some people have small increases and some stay the same or have reductions'.

    Which Austar customers were paying $25.00 for sport so that you had to 'align' the Foxtel customers? And where are the fabulous independent premiere movie titles that you otherwise say are 'are all in the new movie package'? They are not, and you know they are not

    Well it will cost me $9 a mth more from March.
    THey picked a convienent time to do this as a lot Sports subcribers cancel sport for the summer months and add it back in late febuary march for the start of the NRL and AFL seasons. So my current package only goes up by $2 but the same package i had in march last year will increase by $9 a month. The ACCC needs to look at this.
    Thinking if the priceing for the NRL online is less than $20 a month i should just drop Foxtel and I'm sure others will as well. Better to have 50,000 paying $20 a month than 10,000 paying $25.
    I see a lot of lost subscribers for Foxtel come march and April or they will need to revamp the Sports pack so for people like me who watch NRL and cricket i don't have to pay for a AFL channel and ESPN, Eurosport, Speed and FuelTV which i never watch. I think in the current climate it is a very bad move by them.

    Let's see...I have Sports HD pack and pay $103 per month (yes I have a iQ HD box and I watch AFL) and I got my email today advising that I'm going up by $3 but nothing has changed in my package...now I could justify a price increase if they throwing up new initiatives (such a 24 hour basketball channel - sick of only seeing 2 games a week where as in the Philippines that have NBA Premium TV and they around 2 live games per day and replays of all games plus international games).

    After their changes in their movie channels (which I never subscribed to due to the lack of content) and now a price increase.....it makes it difficult for long standing customers to keep their services (or they will simply call up Foxtel, tell them they want to cancel their service and get a better deal to make them stay)

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