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Foxtel is now getting a 59% share of all TV viewers and is out rating free to air TV in homes that has the Foxtel subscription service. It has also been revealed that the 50% Telstra owned entity is set to sell additional hard drives that consumers can attach to their HD set top box. This will allow them to record both Foxtel and Free to air TV and remove commercials.

Foxtel is now reaching 59% of all TV viewers and is out rating free to air TV in homes that has the subscription service. It has also been revealed that the 50% Telstra owned entity is set to sell additional hard drives that consumers can attach to their HD set top box. This will allow them to record both Foxtel and Free to air TV and remove commercials.


At today’s Telstra results announcement Foxtel said that subscription television continues to out rate free to air viewing in Foxtel homes. For the year to 31 December 2008, subscription television in homes with the service achieved a 59% share of viewing despite the impact of the Beijing Olympics.


It was also reported that for the 6 months to 31 December 2008 Foxtel earned a profit of $196m, an increase of 19% on the first half of the 2007 year. This result was achieved notwithstanding the additional costs associated with the successful launch of the Foxtel HD+ and the accelerated rollout of iQ said Foxtel executives.


Foxtel said “Taking into account all homes (i.e. including those who do not subscribe) subscription television was the most viewed of all of the television providers in the 2008 year with subscription television share increasing to 23% from 22.3% in 2007. Subscription television is now the clear number one source of viewing in Sydney and Brisbane and only 0.1 of a share point behind in Melbourne”.


Viewing growth was driven in part they said by continued solid customer growth. Foxtel’s direct subscriber base grew to 1,449,001 at 31 December 2008, an increase of 7% on the prior corresponding period. Including wholesale customers, Foxtel’s base reached 1,591,000. Despite the economic climate, new subscriber additions for the half were in line with the same period in 2007 and 11% up on the 2006 year while churn, at an annualised rate of 13.3%, was 0.2% lower than in the previous corresponding period.

 


Foxtel Chief Executive and Managing Director, Mr Kim Williams AM said “the months ahead appear confronting for the country and Australian business generally and this will inevitably provide Foxtel with challenges to maintain its growth momentum.”


Foxtel also said that nearly 45% of all subscribers now take their Platinum package and over one-third of subscribers taking a Foxtel iQ digital video recorder. In the six months to 31 December 2008, over two-thirds of new subscribers elected to take an iQ.


In June 2008, Foxtel launched its High Definition service, Foxtel HD+, and by 31 December had installed over 85,000 subscribers to this service.

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