Foxtel adds channels, doubles price?

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Ty is a journalist with 15 years experience in writing for IT and entertainment publications. He is in charge of the home theatre category for CNET Australia and is also a PC enthusiast. He likes indie music and plays several instruments. Twitter: @tpendlebury

updated Pay TV operator Foxtel could be almost doubling the price of its basic plan next week as it announces 30 new channels and iQ recorders for every customer, according to an anonymous tipster.

An updated logo is one of many rumoured changes for Foxtel next week (Credit: Foxtel)

The basic package could rise from its current level of AU$50 (including an extra $10 device rental) to AU$88 this year for some customers, according to a presentation allegedly given by CEO Kim Williams at Foxtel headquarters last night.

However, Jamie Campbell Foxtel's general manager of program publicity said that the pricing information itself is "completely incorrect", but was unable to give any further details.

Kim Williams announced a new name for the service — Foxtel Next Generation — which will feature a new logo and will come into effect on 15 November 2009.

Foxtel has announced previously that it intends to upgrade all customers to a version of the iQ, and this looks like it will occur from November, with all subscribers (bar those on a basic package) receiving an iQ for free. According to the source, the "Basic" package as it stands will no longer be offered, and current customers will need to add a "value pack" to keep their service — the trade-off being that they will then receive an iQ recorder instead of a straight set-top box.

Thirty new channels are expected to be added to Foxtel's line-up, which will include a whole host of new movie channels, including four Showtime channels — Comedy, Drama, Action and Action HD — a family movie channel (FMC), plus a new crime channel 13th Street. Fox Sports will now boast up to five channels, with all now in HD (and presumably simulcast in SD). A further selection of delayed "+2" channels will also be added, according to the source.

In April, Foxtel changed its online EPG and it foretold that the iQ EPG would get a similar upgrade in October, with changes including Box Office and On Demand getting full poster art.

One additional feature looks similar to the "Press Red for More" function that currently gives viewers more information about advertisers. This time, it looks like it will appear during program promos and let you record the advertised show with the press of one of the coloured buttons.

The EPG will now reportedly feature PIP in addition to playing the audio of the current program, as it does now.

According to the source, there will be eight new packages, with five in standard definition (iQ) and three in high definition (iQ2). These could include:

  • Basic: AU$88
  • Gold: AU$100
  • Platinum: ~AU$116 (iQ2 extra)
  • Platinum+HD: AU$135 (iQ2 included, with an AU$100 up-front installation fee)

On Wednesday, Foxtel leaked details of its new catch-up service Foxtel Download, which will be included as a part of the customer's package and allows customers to download missed shows for free, and movies for an additional charge.

Update: a reader has sent us a pricing page from Telstra which outlines more modest pricing changes of only a couple of extra dollars on the basic plan. But be aware this is only for people who have another service with Telstra, such as a fixed line or post-paid mobile. The page says that "Customers who joined Foxtel from Telstra before 1 October 2009 will not be impacted by the new pricing". We look forward to finding out the details on Tuesday.

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NickL4 posted a comment   

mining companies around OZ arent too happy with these huge price hikes. We arent all rolling in $. But to deliver 10 channels (including 4 freeview) down legacy coax to each room in all our fifo dongers we have to have 10 subscriptions (with 10 sep foxtel decoders, outputting AV through RCA combining all back into VHF plexer so users can use stock tuners/remotes on their tv.

Getting free iQ boxes means nothing to me, they are all stacked on top of each other in our comms room under a layer of dust. If we even decide to stay with foxtel, gonna have to send an tech out to each site just for the swap out. And they arent being reasonable/flexible on pricing. we looking to change, but foxtel is counting on their monopoly on satellite delivery. ideas welcome, but kinda of limited at our remote sites which have limited comms bandwidth too. maybe just 10TB of simpsons and porn on local lan?


Daniel posted a comment   

Get outside and exercise people. Foxtel on SD is close to unwatchable even with good content. I haven't had the service since 2002-2003. I consider it a social embarrassment when people are subscribed - talk about having nothing to do in their lives. Hang-on....I'm on CNET....oops


Foxy witch posted a comment   

I called Foxtel after noticing that their new plans are actually cheaper than what I'm currently paying. After speaking with the Foxtel salesperson on the phone, they had no intention whatsoever of adjusting my plan to reflect the new plans. So while I was expected to pay too much for the basic plan, I'm not even entitled to get an iQ box (that'll cost me an additional $100). As an old subscriber there are no loyalty benefits or specials. What you get is what you're stuck with.

I suggest you all get your plans checked so that you're getting all the right channels to reflect what you're paying for.

Maybe cancelling your plan and resigning again is the better option. That is, if you still want to be a subscriber...


Couch Potatoe posted a comment   

1997 foxtel was approx $12 mth no adverts
1998 add channels(UK tv) $24 mth no adverts
approx June 1998 $29:95 Mth
2 packages $24:00 or $36:95 Disney channel extra $6:oo

2000 adverts began to creep in By this time it was about $42 mth basic

2004 Lots of adverts crappy channels in different packages.
$100-$110 mth for gold
They make on the adds they re run constantly and chare ridiculous price for box office movies, I am now at the point one more increase I will pull the plug. When i sighned up in 1997 there catch phrase was no adverts :I hate adverts. When challenged they say its only in between films,They should give us channel options we select which ones we wish to subscribe to. The can do it it suited them to do this when people wanted the basic and the Disney channel when its was first introduced.


hosko posted a comment   

How embarrasing is this article to Cnet Australia?? You quote that basic is going to rise to $88 from $50. A little fact checking would have meant that you had the correct current figure of $40 and now Foxtel has announced its only going up to $42 or 5%. Slightly lower then double your headline suggested.

What a load of crap. I'm making sure I stay away from Cnet Australia, the local version is just pure crap!!!


James posted a comment   

when they say everyone will get a free IQ box, does this mean even the people currently on IQ get another one?


TyKnob posted a comment   

Shocking article, why blow everybody's minds with this bullsh*t Ty. New Foxtel presents excellent value, not an increase of 'almost double'. Get some credentials.


mike posted a comment   

If foxtel jacks up their price by even 5 bucks I'm outta here and so will alot of other people. I ain't buying Tivo either but **** already too expensive foxtel on the basic pkg. It's a joke if they think they can jack up the price and keep customers with the IQ rubbish. I don't give a toss about the IQ box. Just try jack up the price foxtel and see what happens idiots.


Wrong posted a comment   

So the prices were wrong.
The information in the telstra link in the updated section is correct


jeez posted a comment   

If cnet's writers weren't incentivised to write sensationalist stories (more hits = more cash) I would have been shocked!

Seriously - there is no evidence for these claims.

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