There was no mention of how many
subscribers the Company has attracted via their application on Samsung Smart
Foxtel who now has 2.55 million subscribers
reported earnings before taxes, depreciation and amortisation of $468 million
in the six months to December 31, driven by higher take-up of subscription
packages on Telstra's T-Box.
Subscribers dropping the service fell by
1.8 per cent on the previous corresponding period. Earnings before interest and
taxes surged 23.5 per cent to $273m.
Foxtel chief executive Richard Freudenstein
told the Australian newspaper which is owned by News Corporation Telstra's 50% partner
in Foxtel that revenue was affected by a big investment in new programming
deals, including premium drama channel SoHo and US imports such as HBO's Game
of Thrones and new content from the BBC.
"We made a conscious decision on our
broadcast platform last year to restructure the pricing to add more value at
each price point," Mr Freudenstein said.
"I'm still very optimistic that
broadcast growth will absolutely continue as it takes a while for those deals
to come to fruition and kick in," Mr Freudenstein said.
"At the moment we're not seeing
cannibalisation from broadcast to IPTV. I think we can grow both
businesses" he added.
"The mix has changed with increased
T-Box and internet subscribers, but revenue is still growing and subscribers
are growing very strongly and the bottom line growing very well. I think we're
opening up new audiences with lower cost products."
Mr Freudenstein revealed plans to add more
channels to Foxtel's line-up, but details remain under wraps. A video-on-demand
service called Presto offering movies will also debut this year.
"The result shows how our strategy is
taking effect," Mr Freudenstein said. "Growing subscribers at
different ARPU (average revenue per unit) levels on different platforms is
working. The ARPU has come down across the board a little, but as the synergies
come out from the Austar merger they are starting to be fully baked in so you're
not going to see those enormous increases in EBITDA."