Peter Tonagh, Foxtel chief executive, who briefed media on the changes, said: “This is the biggest shift in our 22-year history and we need to address the rapidly changing, IP driven video-on-demand (VOD) landscape. Foxtel has about 30% of Australian households connected by HFC cable or satellite – 50% of those have been with us more than 10 years and yes, we want much more coverage.
“Foxtel has been a household decision to use a larger screen to consume various sports, news, drama, comedy, docos, kids and lifestyle packages and HD (720) using the IQ2 or IQ3 box but we need to cater to the individual who wants to consume on their smartphone, tablet, PC or Mac. That is where Foxtel Now comes in."
Tonagh was upbeat. “If you look at one category alone – we have 16,000 movie titles and about 1200 online over 10 movie channels at any one time. That is far more than VOD providers. Take Sport – live NRL, AFL, Supercars, F1, dedicated sports channels ESPN - 40 channels of entertainment, Australian produced lifestyle, docos, news, kids and more. We have the best overall content by far.”
“From tomorrow, all Australians can watch what they want, when they want, and where they want at a price that suits them best, from low-price, no-commitment, HD (720) streaming up to a state-of-the-art viewing experience via our cable and satellite iQ3 set-top box,” Tonagh said.
Subscribers to Foxtel Now will be able to sign up and watch the seventh season of Game of Thrones, in HD, for $15 per month.
Foxtel also reaffirmed its ongoing commitment to bring the best in local and international programming. Foxtel invests more than $100 million each year on original Australian programmes, outside of news and sport, and its Foxtel Original productions have garnered numerous industry awards in recent years, Tonagh said.
Foxtel’s exclusive deal as the Home of HBO guarantees the ongoing broadcast of Westworld, VEEP, Big Little Lies, Girls and Silicon Valley, in addition to Game of Thrones.
Foxtel has also been continually broadening its Foxtel-On-Demand library. Foxtel’s 20th Century Fox recent release titles arrive 12 months before Netflix and Stan, including blockbuster movies Eddie The Eagle, X-Men: Apocalypse, Independence Day: Resurgence and Ice Age: Collision Course.
Foxtel Now will initially be available on PC/Mac via the Google Chrome browser, Telstra TV, iOS and Android mobile. “We will cater for those who only want to spend $10-15 a month right up to those who want the Platinum experience,” he said.
Foxtel is also changing its branding and logo. It will also announce a new multi-dwelling sharing device that will allow previously uncabled apartments to access Foxtel.