Foxtel coming to Xbox Live

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CNET Editor

Former editor of CNET Australia, Pam loves being in the thick of the ever-growing love affair (well addiction, really) that Australians have with their phones, digital cameras, flat screen TVs, and all things tech.

On the day that Sony's new PSN Video Store launched in Australia, Foxtel and Microsoft have announced a partnership to make Foxtel available via Xbox Live.

The partnership opens up a way to get Foxtel content without a Foxtel installation. (Credit: Foxtel and Microsoft)

The service, scheduled to launch in Q4 this year, offers a way to access Foxtel content online, without the expense of a Foxtel installation and set-top box. This is particularly suited to people who move frequently or who live in areas of Australia where Foxtel services are not available, according to Kim Williams, Foxtel chief executive and managing director.

Foxtel by Xbox Live will live stream over 30 channels including Fox Sports, Discovery, Nickelodeon, Disney, Sky News and MTV. A range of Video-on-Demand and catch-up services, including television and movies, will also be included, although specific packaging and pricing announcements will not be made until closer to the end-of-year launch.

What you will need to access the new subscription service is an Xbox 360 and an Xbox Gold subscription, which currently costs AU$8 per month. For households wanting multi-room access to Foxtel, this works out cheaper than the AU$15 per month fee currently charged by the company for additional Foxtel set-top boxes.

The service also requires a high-speed broadband connection with generous download limits. While Telstra's stake in Foxtel was not mentioned at today's briefing, Williams did say that discussions with several ISPs were underway to exempt Foxtel by Xbox Live from metered content. While high-definition content could theoretically be offered, bandwidth caps and connection speeds mean that it's likely SD video will be the mainstay of the service.

Features available to Xbox Live gamers, such as online chat, are also open to Foxtel by Xbox Live subscribers, meaning you could simultaneously watch a footy match with someone using the service in another city and voice chat through connected headsets during the broadcast.

Microsoft has previously launched two similar content partnerships in Europe, with BSkyB in the UK and Canal+ in France. No such service yet exists in the US.

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hockey fan posted a comment   

Does anyone know if ESPN will be available as a channel??? i heard a rumor way back and can't remember where i heard it from.

 

Dani posted a comment   

is it going to be a one-timepayment like gold subscription or like a monthly payment via bill? also is there a confirmed release date?

 

Michelle Starr posted a reply   
Australia

Hi Dani,

Microsoft and Foxtel haven't made a pricing/release date announcement yet. We'll keep you posted.

 

smartalec posted a comment   

You mentioned that NRL and AFL games would not be included, what about super14? is that in the same boat?

 

Pam Carroll posted a comment   
Australia

To clarify, you will be required to pay for a Foxtel by Xbox Live subscription over and above your Xbox Gold subscription, however the packages and pricing options for Foxtel content have not been finalised as yet. Watch for those announcements closer to its Q4 launch.

 

Andrew posted a reply   

Hi Pam. I read on another website that you won't be able to view NRL and AFL games via Foxtel by Xbox. Can you confirm or deny this claim?

 

Pam Carroll posted a reply   
Australia

Hi Andrew, Yes that is true unfortunately, at least until the broadcast rights to those codes are renegotiated.

 

Dean posted a reply   

Oh I see, I think I misread the article... oh well, if it ends up cheaper than a "full" foxtel subscription, it'll still make sense for people who already have an Xbox Live account.

 

Pam Carroll posted a reply   
Australia

It will be various subsets of Foxtel programming, most likely with a fair few packages skewed toward family-friendly shows (and households likely to own XBoxes).

 

Pam Carroll posted a reply   
Australia

Hi Andrew, Yes that is true unfortunately, at least until the broadcast rights to those codes are renegotiated.

 

Pam Carroll posted a reply   
Australia

It will be various subsets of Foxtel programming, most likely with a fair few packages skewed toward family-friendly shows (and households likely to own XBoxes).


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