Foxtel's Half-Price Pay TV Shakeup Starts Today

Next year, Foxtel will once again be the only place to watch Game Of Thrones legally in Australia thanks to an extended partnership with HBO. (Boo!) For those who refuse to pirate, there is one small consolation: from today, Foxtel is dropping its subscription prices by as much as 50 per cent. It's also adding some new channels, including the on-demand BoxSets. Here's a recap of what's new.

From today, new customers can sign up to Foxtel's entry-level "Entertainment Pack" via cable or satellite for $25 per month on a 12-month contract. The Entertainment Pack boasts over 40 channels including FOX8, Lifestyle, TVH!TS, ARENA, MTV, National Geographic and Universal. This is a significant price drop compared to Foxtel's previous entry-level package, which cost $49 per month.

Foxtel has also lowered the price of its add-on channels. 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. The Kids General Entertainment pack has also received a new channel: Discovery Kids which focuses on Australian-produced content covering nature, science and technology, wildlife and creative arts.

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 instead.

Annoyingly, HD content still attracts a $10 monthly premium. While this grates, Foxtel did recently add nine new channels to its HD lineup; including Arena, Fox Sports News, History and the Universal Channel.

If you're already on a Foxtel contract, you're not getting completely shafted -- most subscribers will be given free access to all general entertainment channels, while Premium Movies and Drama customers will receive a handful of free pay-per-view movies each month. Essentials customers also get free access to the HBO channel showcase which runs Game Of Thrones.

Here’s a full list of the pricing and the channels on offer. (Click to enlarge.)

“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,” Foxtel's chief executive Richard Freudenstein explained in a statement. “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 is certainly a better proposition than Foxtel's old pricing model but it's not exactly cheap either: grabbing a basic subscription with Game Of Thrones still costs $45 a month, while getting everything will set you back more than $1600 over a one-year contract.

Do you think Foxtel's revised pricing is fair, or should it be even lower? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.

WATCH MORE: Entertainment News

Comments

    Foxtel's pricing is still too high. We recently signed up to Fetch TV after comparing the two, no regrets here.

    Last edited 03/11/14 6:58 pm

      “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,” ... or too high for the product. Marketing spin, I guess..?

    I just the Comparison for the channels we want, we would be over $100 a month.

    Sorry Fuxtel, it's to damn high for shows being repeated over and over and over and over and over again, not to mention the plague of Insurance adverts.

    Bring it down to about $50 a month for a decent package, limit the advertising and you and I would be doing some business.

      Forget about packages. I don't want packages that include a bunch of channels I don't want. Their pricing model structured around packages is half the reason why they are in the position they are in right now.

      Let me select the channels I want for a few bucks each per month, and I'd sign up.

    HD still considered premium in this day and age.
    Still more advertisements than actual content.
    Price cuts are welcome, but still not competitive enough.

    I'll admit it's an improvement, but it's still not enough.

      $10 for HD still annoys the crap out of me. The price cuts are also only good for those who want one or two packages, premium and similar packages are no cheaper really.

        All true, but any price cut at all is technically an improvement.

    All of those packages added up are $120, plus $10 for HD. Where is the extra $4 coming from?

      I have spoken to Foxtel about this, you can either pay $130 or $134 if you want 2 movie rentals included every month.

    why no month to month - too scammy for my liking, even with the discount - still annoying that they break up the good channels enough so that you need more than one package to get a range of good shows.

      Foxtel probably wants to lock all existing customers into contracts first (those who decide to move to the new pricing). They may make less from these customers, though they will be locked in for 12 months.

      In regards to good channels being in multiple packages, this is their business model.

    They need to unbundle. An ala carte subscription option at this price point would be tempting. But i would probably stay with netflix.

      I read about this situation in the US. Some of those channels that nobody watches actually offsets the cost of the channels that everyone wants. They can't have everybody with channel A, and nobody with channel B, etc.

        Well I guess that means that those shows are not feasible to be produced and therefore should be cut? We don't need 200 of the same type of show.

    Well, they have to try I guess. I'll stick with Netflix...

    Why are people still attacking Foxtel here? This is a better deal. It's a service. Expect to pay for it. Be thankful things are changing.

    Having said that, they'll need to try harder to beat the ease and convenience of RSS feeds.

    Last edited 03/11/14 7:29 pm

      People don't mind that Foxtel exists, it's the fact that they're exploiting their position in a smaller market with exclusive content deals like the above, which hold Aussie viewers by the balls. Look at the plethora of American services: Netflix, HBO Go, Hulu, Amazon Prime, etc.

      Very few mind paying for content but there's virtually no competition in streaming down here due to Foxtel and Telstra, which is how they got away with charging as much as they did.

    The fact they could do this on a whim gives me some idea of how hard they've been f*cking their customers over this whole time.

    I've been on premium for a while and have been wanting to downgrade. When this was first announced I was all 'you beauty', essentials + sports for $50 I can happily do

    Then I noticed they were removing FX, Soho, Cartoon Network, and Nick from essentials.

    So what I thought would be a liveable $50 is more like $80.

    It's a good deal for some but not the great deal I thought it was going to be. Going to call up and do the 'cancel threat dance'. Won't be too upset if they don't give me a deal I'm happy with and I have to cancel.

    Internet = Death of Poxtel.........nuff said.

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