It might not seem like it just yet, but we’re seeing the rebirth of Foxtel right before our eyes. Originally a Cable TV company Foxtel expanded to Satellite shortly after when Galaxy collapsed and since then their dominance has seen them operate as the only Pay TV provider in Australia – until the Internet got interesting.
Internet streaming created new opportunities for companies to compete in this space, with Fetch TV being the biggest upstart in Australia. When Foxtel and regional provider Austar merged new competition regulations meant that the channel deals Foxtel had been doing where no more and many channels became available across several providers.
Next, enter Netflix, then Stan – internet streaming services that require nothing more than a mobile phone to use them. At this point, Foxtel have to re-assess everything.
The cost of maintaining and delivering live TV services via the Cable network, let alone the cost of Satellite transmission are high, very very high.
Now consider the costs of having an installer come to any new home wanting to connect to Foxtel and it all adds up to high costs, and those have to be passed onto customers.
Recently Foxtel launched their Foxtel Now streaming service, an app that allows you to watch Foxtel Live channels and catch up content on almost any device, at a price much lower than Foxtel has ever been.
While it’s available on mobile devices, games consoles and even Telstra’s own “Telstra TV” box, it’s important for Foxtel that they provide a full service delivery to customers – leading to today’s launch of Foxtel Now box – a $99 set to box (or little cylinder) that connects to the internet and your TV to offer a wide range of content, including Foxtel Now.
With subscriptions starting at $10 a month, and $39 including Sport, 2018 could be Foxtel’s biggest ever year.
People buying the $99 box, then signing up for Fox Sports rather than relying on mobile streaming via Telstra will get a big screen viewing experience that was once unaffordable.
It’s a huge deal for Foxtel.
While for many the alternatives like Telstra TV will be appealing, the Foxtel Now box is cheaper, provides a simple user interface and includes Live free-to-air TV also.
Fast forward five years, Foxtel IQ won’t exist. The idea of a heavy box requiring cable or satellite installation is just crazy in this day and age. Foxtel Now and devices like Foxtel Now box are the future of Foxtel and while many might have written them off – but sure, reports of Foxtel’s death are greatly exaggerated.
Foxtel Now box is available this Friday the 10th of November.
Trev is a Technology Commentator, Dad, Speaker and Rev Head.
He produces and hosts two popular podcasts, EFTM and Two Blokes Talking Tech. He also appears on over 50 radio stations across Australia weekly, and is the resident Tech Expert on Channel 9’s Today Show each day and appears regularly on A Current Affair.
Father of three, he is often found down in his Man Cave.