Foxtel Slashes Subscription Prices By Up To 50%

Foxtel has announced an aggressive new pricing strategy that will see subscription prices drop by as much as 50 per cent in November. The major pricing revamp coincides with a new IQ3 video recorder and the announcement of a “triple play” bundle that will combine television, broadband and home phone services into a single package. Here's an overview of the new packages and services.

Foxtel picture from The Ink Project

Starting from November, new Foxtel customers will be able to sign up for a 12-month Entertainment Pack via Foxtel cable or satellite for $25 per month. (By contrast, the equivalent Essentials package cost $49 per month.) The new Entertainment Pack boasts over 40 channels including FOX8, Lifestyle, TVH!TS, ARENA, MTV, National Geographic and Universal.

Foxtel has also lowered the pricing of its premium add-on tiers. The Movies pack now costs $20 per month, the Sports Pack $25 per month and the Drama Pack $20 per month. The Entertainment Plus, Docos and Kids packs are all priced at $10 per month. There’s also a new BoxSets channel in the Drama Pack, which provides access to every episode of past series from Foxtel’s most popular dramas, including Game of Thrones, The Sopranos, The Newsroom, Entourage and Band of Brothers.

On the downside, some channels have been removed from the basic Entertainment package, including kiddie essentials like the Cartoon Network, Disney Channel and Nickelodeon. These have all been moved to the aforementioned Kids pack, although the basic package now comes with Disney Junior and Nick Jr, which we suppose is better than nothing. While we're grumbling, there's also a monthly premium of $10 for HD content. Tch.

In addition to courting new customers, Foxtel is looking to keep its existing install base sweet — most subscribers will now be given free access to all general entertainment channels, while Premium Movies and Drama customers will receive “some” pay-per-view movies free of charge each month. Essentials customers will also get free access to the HBO channel showcase.

See also: Are Australians Being Rorted By Online Movie Services? [Infographic]

Chief executive Richard Freudenstein said that the new packages raised the bar in giving customers maximum value for their subscriptions, with the company anticipating an influx of fresh signups thanks to the more accessible pricing.

“We know that many Australians are aware of the amazing content and technology that Foxtel offers but feel that the price is not right for their budget,” Freudenstein said. “A $25 entry point that gives access to over 40 popular channels in our Entertainment Pack will cause millions of people to have another look at Foxtel,”

Later this year, Foxtel subscribers will also receive the latest iteration of the IQ video recorder, which is in the final stages of testing. The IQ3 purportedly comes with an improved electronic program guide, advanced search and recommendation functionality and the ability to automatically restart programs if you switch on partway through.

Foxtel also officially confirmed that it will be bringing a bundled television, broadband and home phone package to Australia in the first quarter of 2015. No pricing has been announced yet, but this is definitely something to keep an eye on if you’re a fan of pay TV.

This dramatic price drop would seem to vindicate piracy apologists who have long argued that Foxtel’s pricing is unreasonably high; especially when compared to similar services overseas. On the other hand, it's still not exactly what we'd call affordable. For example, if you want to get HBO and some decent kids' channels, you're still looking at a pretty steep $55 per month.

It will be interesting to see how many illegal torrent users put their money where their mouth is and sign up to one of Foxtel's cheaper packages. We’re guessing not many. In any event, we're keen to hear what you guys think. Is Foxtel's revised pricing fair, or could it be even lower? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.


Comments

    "It will be interesting to see how many illegal torrent users put their money where their mouth is and sign up to one of Foxtel’s cheaper packages"
    It's hardly what the general public called for !

    Last edited 04/09/14 2:49 pm

      I will never give them money out of principle. Also charging extra for HD content? No thankyou. I'll use Netflix.

        Couldn't agree more with this. For me it's not about money, but more about choice. The choice to choose what I want to watch and when I want to watch it.
        Which is funny because this was Foxtel's marketing slogan 10 years back and to this day it's only now (if somewhat barely) ringing true. Netflix at least had this from the get go.

          If you want to watch it when you like you just set the series to record.

            That means you have to wait for it to air. What if it hasn't aired yet or aired before you got your subscription.

            With Netflix you just click play. Simple and efficient.

    The whole 'pack' structure needs to be scrapped. Purchase individual channels for a rate of $1-$5 per month. You would see a lot of crappy channels die off, and the product would be better for it.

    Oh, and charging for HD? What crap is that? On what basis is a program, recorded in HD, broadcast at SD, unless a surcharge is paid?

      Oh, and charging for HD? What crap is that? On what basis is a program, recorded in HD, broadcast at SD, unless a surcharge is paid?

      The basis of it being a Murdoch company. I expected nothing less of News Corpse. Amazes me that people didn't actually see this coming. I mean, c'mon. It's Murdoch.

      They should charge SD consumers for holding technology back.

      Yep, this is what they need to do.

      Let me sign up for just the channels I want, at a reasonable price per channel, and I'll join up. Until then, forget it.

      Or, better yet, provide a "choose your own channel" package, where you pay a flat fee every month (say, 20 bucks or so) and you get to choose something like any 10 channels you want (in HD, of course). I'd sign up for that.

      Last edited 04/09/14 6:43 pm

        But couldn't the same reasoning be applied to Netflix, etc? Let me choose the shows I want watch and let me pay less because there's a whole lot I don't want.

        Last edited 04/09/14 9:07 pm

          I actually don't use Netflix, so I don't know how it works.

          I'm just saying that this is the way I'd want Foxtel to work before I hand them any of my money.

          That'd be more apt if Netflix partitioned up their library. But they don't. The variation in their pricing structure is based on how many concurrent devices and at what quality. If you have to divide by channels, then they should be a la carte or all you can eat. This 'set menu' bullshit is irksome.

      You realise that HD requires more bandwidth to broadcast, right? And that bandwidth is generally not free?

        Al Jazeera sports, HD, over an Egyptian VPN = ~250 a year

        Foxtel play with sports, no HD = 50 bucks a month.

        Please tell me about the expensive to deliver HD quality that I cannot receive in Australia.

    It will be interesting to see how many illegal torrent users put their money where their mouth is and sign up to one of Foxtel’s cheaper packages. So it's still a 'package', forcing me to pay money for a bunch of stuff that I don't want? Then sorry, no, I'll be sticking with Netflix.

      Whether right or wrong, packaging is very common in the entertainment industry. Cinemas and distribution companies have to show less attractive movies a certain number of times in order to be given access to blockbusters. Packages of shows are sold to subsidiary TV networks and in sindication deals.

      Packaging is a benefit for the people who own that content and the people who would want all of that content. It is however a downside for people who only want a specific portion of that content.

      A few of the Foxtel packages are a downside for me as I probably only buy them for one or two channels. How expensive those one or two channels would be if they were 'decoupled' is a complex question though.

        The customers don't want it.

        So here is a suggestion - change.

        Scary fucking word.

        Last edited 04/09/14 3:52 pm

          Wrong. It works this way (with every single pay TV provider in the world) because customers DO want choice. Without channel packaging the breadth of programming would be significantly and adversely reduced, making the overall value for money for all customers much, much lower.

        It's not a matter of right or wrong, it's actually the only way that such a wide selection of entertainment can exist.

        The "popular" channels essentially cover the operating costs of the niche channels. If channels were available a-la-carte, the niche channels would almost completely disappear because they would not be able to afford to operate.

      But Netflix is 'packaged'. You don't pay per thing you watch (at, say $0.50c a show), you pay for the whole lot, whether you watch it or not each month.

      You don't get a discount because you don't watch House of Cards.

    You will be sticking with Netflix if your net connection can handle it.....but we are getting the NBN right?.....whoops, sorry, the NBN (the real fiber FTTH one) has been gutted by Murdoch's minions in the LNP. So tough bikkies to all the Aussies out there that were hoping for some "choice"....Bad luck Australia, you lose....again.

      Dunno where you live but there is fibre going in all around the Hobart area. I see crews several times a week in different areas.

      *looks at FTTH connection he's using*
      *confused look*
      *continues reading comments*

    Happy to stick with Netflix for now. It's cheaper, and suits my needs better.

    The only thing Foxtel has ever had going for it for me, is the AFL coverage, and that would still set me back $50 a month - and I'm not willing to pay that for the footy.

    Personally I am thrilled to not have to pay for superfluous, useless kids channels - I have none, never watch cartoons, so why should I pay for it! I am well over being discriminated against for not having kids, like when you get shifted on a flight to crappy seat to accommodate a "family" or not having access to maternity leave when I get a new cat! Bring it on Foxtel, continue to create good packages for kid free, non-sport loving, urbane individuals! Why don't you let us create our own bundles and pay per channel chosen, that way it's a bespoke solution per individual?

      You are welcome to sit next to my kids on the next flight - I'm sure you won't mind keepingnthem entertained while I catch up on a move!

    As an adult who loves cartoons the shunting around of Cartoon Network and Nickelodeon fills me with some concern however overall I think this will probably allow me to downsize fairly happily. With Showcase being separated from movies I'll probably get rid of the movie channel and might go back to essentials, sport, and 'family'.

    Unless they drop the price of Premium in which case I might stay on that.

    I just can't get on the Netflix bandwagon given that premium TV shows largely don't appear on the service until well after they are first broadcast. If that's the case I may as well torrent them, and if I torrent them then that defeats the whole idea of being a 'good guy' and actually paying for things.

    Last edited 04/09/14 3:50 pm

      At least you're still getting a kick out of it. It's nothing compared to what it used to be.

      I used to nick name it the Hanna-Barbera channel due to the portion of content being from that studio at the time. Now I can't find any of it even on Boomerang!

      And what really stinks is how they even censor some cartoons like Adventure Time and The Amazing World of Gumball.

        Whats stranger is that Adventure Time isn't censored on free to air, only on Cartoon Network. Madness...

        HAHA yeah you're right there used to be heaps of Hanna-Barbera on there. There's hardly any now if any at all (haven't noticed any in ages).

        Yeah I've read about the censoring. It's weird because it seems to be specifically an Australian thing. I'm not sure if it is Australian censoring regime or a Foxtel specific thing.

    Still an absolute rip off. You know where you can cram it. I'm still going to download the internet.

      The WHOLE internet?

      Whoa!

        It can be done, haven't you seen it? It fits in a container no bigger than a shoe box and has a flashing red light on it, :-P

        Last edited 04/09/14 5:11 pm

          In preparation for the coming apocalypse, I'm printing out the Internet for posterity. I'm up to B and we're out of ink.

            I have ink here, just hold on. I walked into an area with a bomb robot and have to wait for the all clear.

            *Robot grinds and comes to a halt.*

            Operator: "Don't worry! I'm just fixing it."

            What OS are you using?

            Operator: "Er, Vista."

            SOMEONE HELP ME!

            Just a heads up, this is modified passage from an IT Crowd episode.

            Last edited 05/09/14 12:43 pm

    The internet, the whole internet and nothing but the internet.

    Play hard to get with the door to door or shopping centre sales staff and you'll get Foxtel for that price now. No need to wait until Nov. I negotiated a 6 month plan on $25 a month with no installation cost (existing wall jack) a few months back. They're pretty desperate lately.

    $55/mo for essentials, drama and kids channels is hardly "steep". That would probably be on the lower end of the average Foxtel subscriber's bill.

    Most people I know have Foxtel for sport (myself included). Currently paying $75.60 (essentials $49 + sport $25 + HD $10, minus 10% Telstra bundle discount), so will this drop to $54 ($25+$25+$10 - 10%)?

    If so, that's fantastic. Twenty bucks a month less for more (essentials pack) channels.

    Last edited 04/09/14 9:30 pm

      I just think it's sad you have to carry a calculator around with you just to work out how much you pay.

    Not interested. Most channels are just rubbish and thick with advertising (why pay to be advertised at?).
    In addition, nothing will ever entice me to subscribe to anything associated with Rupert Murdoch.

    They are obviously preparing for the launch of Netflix here in Australia and hoping to get customers on board before that happens. In my opinion its still not enough. As a previous Foxtel customer, and now a very happy Netflix, Amazon Prime and Hulu customer I'm very happy I made the switch. In fact I've recommended it to everyone I know. I now have many more options when it comes to what to watch, I can watch it when I want to, and I am not bombarded with tons of loud ads (yes Hulu has ads but they are shorter and don't appear to be louder, if anything quieter than the show) or repeats or schedule shuffling.

    My brother's household has been with Foxtel for ages and enjoy it. They don't care about the cost because... well. They earn too much. The IQ's the only way the service is even REMOTELY usable, and requires advance planning. Even then, fast-forwarding the ads gets tedious pretty quickly. WATCHING them is not an option, they're uniformly terrible.

    With that packaging and level of active engagement in what is ideally a passive activity, Foxtel was not for me.

    However, I was intrigued by the Foxtel Play app on my PS4, when I got it. I've signed up for the free trial, interested in giving it a go. Results:

    1) The plans are still too expensive, and the channel sets are broader, but still not packaged to my tastes. I get the feeling I'm paying a shitload for shit I don't want, and would have to pay double or triple what I expect if I peek into channels I'm uncertain but curious about. Packaging sucks.

    2) The on-demand options are too slim. Only 1-4 episodes of any particular shows in any category, rather than entire libraries. I'm not entirely sure why the entire libraries aren't available. It seems like a massive oversight. Surely they know that's what people want?

    3) Movie selection is actually pretty good. I'm pretty impressed with that part. Pity about the resolution, that's a big downside. But all the same... If the movie package on its own was an option, I'd pay for that.

    4) Some of the TV shows (eg: Colbert Report) were utterly horrific quality. Lowest resolution possible. On my giant TV it was glaringly noticable and not tolerable. But it wasn't a channel thing, because some shows were fine, it was obviously show-specific. I don't know why. It's noticeably detrimental, it sours the experience.

    Verdict:
    It's better than I thought, but not as good as I expect or demand. So I'm not going to pay for it. Especially not at that price. If movies came on their own, I'd probably pay that, but even then, at that price, I might not even get good value out of it. $25 for the movie package on its own is right on the border of being too much for me to bother, let alone the $50 that you currently have to pay, thanks to it only being an add-on to one of the utterly uninspiring 'base' channel packages.
    There's potential there, but I suspect it'll only ever be realized if Foxtel can stop being... itself. Massive corporate culture shift required.

    That's great news! I'm a huge AFL and NRL fan, so the $50 per month cost with Entertainment and Sports packs (will be both $25 per month each) is right for me. Next year will be even bigger and better thanks to (in no particular order) the Cricket World Cup, the Rugby World Cup, the A-League, Super Rugby, Premier League, the French Open tennis and the US Open tennis. Sweet.

    Well well, hasn't foxtel been ripping Aussies off for years now. Pretty big price drop at 50%. Ive had roku/Netflix now for sometime and am happy to pay $11.00 a month or whatever it is. I've never had foxtel and don't plan on changing that.

    There is no greater waste of money than Australia's monopoly pay-pay-pay-pay-tv.

    1. You pay the exorbitant monthly fee (still exorbitant at half price).

    2. You pay by having to watch as many ads as free-to-air except they are all about your death (life insurance and funerals).

    3. You pay the opportunity cost of wasting your life watching meaningless programs that you immediately forget.

    4. Finally, you pay a foreign citizen with daddy issues who will never have enough money to fill the karmic void that he has created by running media organisations that target decent people or hack the phones of the victims of crime.

    If you've got enough money and self-loathing to pay that high price, then a mirror might be a better investment.

    Why is everyone saying it's only $50.00 per month when you add in the $150.00 bullshite installation fee. That makes it $62.50 per-month.....not so slightly appealing anymore is it?

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