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.