Entertainment TV ‘New, improved’ Foxtel just another sad rerun
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‘New, improved’ Foxtel just another sad rerun

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Alright TV fans, here’s the news you’ve been waiting for.

With a host of TV-on-demand services breathing down its neck, Foxtel knew it had to move. So today, the company’s CEO swallowed his pride, purposefully stepped up to the podium, and announced … something.

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We think he was trying to say Foxtel was responding to new market competition by dropping its prices. But when we took a closer look, it appeared little had changed.

We went to the official statement in a bid to ease our confusion and look over the detail. It didn’t help.

Here’s Foxtel’s press release, minus the information about the set top box and the Kids’ channels, accompanied by our best efforts at translation (tongue firmly in cheek). See if you can work it out for yourself.

“Today at the 2014 ASTRA conference, Foxtel made a series of transformative announcements that increase the value of a Foxtel subscription for existing subscribers, maximise the availability of its services for new subscribers and improve the way customers enjoy entertainment,” the release said.

Translation: We’ve been copping some serious flak over our exorbitant prices, so we had to do something.

“Foxtel CEO Richard Freudenstein unveiled plans to provide existing residential customers with enhanced benefits, at no extra charge, as a way of adding even more fantastic value into their packages.”

Translation: The head of our company thinks he presides over a wonderful, generous, benevolent organisation.

“Key bonuses include giving the vast majority of subscribers access to all general entertainment channels; giving all customers who take the Premium Movies and Drama tier access to some pay-per-view movies at no extra cost; and giving all Essentials customers, who don’t currently have it, access to Foxtel’s award winning premium drama channel – showcase, the Home of HBO.”

Translation: We’re throwing in the unpopular rubbish you don’t want – for free.

“Foxtel will also launch a new BoxSets channel and video on demand service that gives access to the best of television from powerhouses such as HBO to most of its current customers at no extra cost.”

Translation: All our good stuff will be on one very expensive channel that requires an expensive, multi-tiered subscription to unlock.

“In addition, Foxtel announced plans to strengthen its High-Definition offering across all of its premium content packs by adding nine new HD channels including sports, movies and drama bringing Foxtel’s total HD channel count to 36.”

Translation: Like attaching a rear spoiler to a run-down Datson 180B, we’ve made Foxtel look new and improved, but the performance hasn’t changed.

“Foxtel is passionate about giving customers the maximum value for their subscriptions. From securing the best programming possible to providing innovative services like Foxtel Go and Look Back, we’re serious about going the extra mile.”

Translation: PLEEEEEASE don’t leave us for a TV-on-demand service, PLEEEEEASE!

“Foxtel also launched a new Entertainment Pack for just $25^ per month on a 12 month plan.”

Translation: There’s a gigantic pitchfork-wielding, fire-breathing, evil-loving devil who has set up camp underneath our formidable mountain of detail.

“The move radically changes its pricing structure for new customers and makes Foxtel available for as little as $25^ per month for Foxtel cable and satellite subscriptions.”

Translation: OK, so it’s hardly a ‘radical’ change, but we’re sure the price will be slightly different for some people.

“The Entertainment Pack will feature more than 40 channels and include many of the most popular channel brands such as FOX8, Lifestyle, TVH!TS, ARENA, MTV, National Geographic, Universal, TCM and more as well as access to the great functionality of Foxtel’s iQ set top boxes. The new pricing will launch in November.”

Translation: Stuff, stuff, stuff. Look at all our stuff. It’s great isn’t it? No – don’t look at the pricing! Look over here at all the great stuff.

 “We know that many Australians are aware of the amazing content and technology that Foxtel offers but feel that the price is not right for their budget.”

Translation: We wanted to get as much dough out of you as we could, before you noticed the superiority of our competition.

“As part of its new pricing structure, Foxtel will also revamp its premium tiers by offering the Movies pack at $20 per month*; the Sports Pack at $25 per month* and the Drama Pack, which includes showcase, BBC First, FX, 13th Street and the new BoxSets channel at $20 per month*.”

See previous translation.

“Three General Entertainment Packs will also be available including Entertainment Plus, Docos and Kids, each priced at $10 per month*. BoxSets will be available as a stand alone for $10 per month*.”

Translation: You’re not really going to read the footnotes*, are you?

“New customers who take Platinum HD will pay the same amount as existing Platinum HD subscribers.”

Translation: Nothing has changed. Nothing. Has. Changed.

“The new pricing is designed to make Foxtel more accessible to the broadest number of Australians possible and offers customers more flexibility in customising their subscriptions to best suit their entertainment needs.”

Translation: Our enormously cunning public relations strategy will surely have the huddled masses queuing at our doorstep.

“Finally, Foxtel announced that its much anticipated Triple-Play of television, broadband and home phone will commence final trials with Foxtel staff in November, with a full consumer roll-out expected in the first quarter of 2015.”

Translation: We’re getting out of this TV caper.

“The changes we are announcing today constitute a defining moment in Australian media. With amazing bonuses for current customers, new pricing designed to make Foxtel more accessible and with iQ3 and Triple-Play just around the corner, the time has never been better to take advantage of this golden age of television through Foxtel,” concluded Mr Freudenstein.

Translation: We’re panicking.

In summary, Foxtel is:

Improving the value of a Foxtel subscription by giving current customers bonus content at no extra cost;

Expensive

• Launching a radical new pricing model for its cable and satellite service to increase customer growth;

Desperate

• Creating a world beating viewing experience through iQ3;

Out of touch

• Continuing to invest in securing and creating great programming;

95% reruns

• Ramping up its cost effective Triple-Play service of Entertainment, Broadband and Home Phone;

Giving up


 ^Min cost $450 on a 12 month direct debit plan (including $75 standard install and $75 equipment fee) based on Entertainment with a Foxtel iQHD STU. New residential customers and standard install only. Cancel fee applies. Foxtel and some services not available to all homes.

*Premium Packs (Movies, Sport and Drama), General Entertainment Packs (Entertainment Plus, Docos and Kids) and BoxSets only available as add-ons and must be taken with a $25 per month Entertainment Pack subscription.

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