Foxtel Users Facing Threat Of Bill To Watch Free To Air TV Programs

X

Free to air TV stations, Nine, Ten + Seven who are set to take on Foxtel with new Freeview and IPTV content services are tipped to be close to asking Foxtel for a multimillion dollar retransmission fee a move that could force up the price of Foxtel services.

The move could also result in consumers dumping their Foxtel service in favour of services from new players including Freeview Plus.

In February the Australian Law Reform Commission said in a report titled ‘Copyright and the Digital Economy’ recognized that the content from the free to air TV stations benefitted Foxtel.

At the time Free TV said it welcomed the report recognising that subscription television providers benefit commercially because they are able to provide free-to-air channels as part of their subscription packages without having to negotiate a commercial fee, or conditions, with broadcasters.

Foxtel who are 50% owned by News Corporation who also own the Australian newspaper told the publication that a recommendation by the efficiency review to achieve a “significant saving” by taking ABC and SBS off the subscription-TV platform would be “regrettable” and would lead to a loss of viewers.

Foxtel spokesman Bruce Meagher said the subscription-TV provider “facilitates integration of ABC and SBS into its satellite service as a convenience to customers. In particular, the EPG and PVR functionality help viewers find, watch and record ABC and SBS programs. It would be regrettable if this service were unavailable.”


Foxtel spokesman Bruce Meagher said the subscription-TV provider “facilitates integration of ABC and SBS into its satellite service as a convenience to customers. In particular, the EPG and PVR functionality help viewers find, watch and record ABC and SBS programs. It would be regrettable if this service were unavailable.”


According to several media analysts a large percentage of Foxtel viewers watch free to air TV content via their Foxtel service.


They claim that if this content was removed or if Foxtel customers are charged an additional fee for free to air content “tens of thousands” could desert the Foxtel service that is already one of the most expensive in the world.


Foxtel claimed that the loss of viewers on their service would result in a loss of viewers for the national broadcasters” however some analysts disagree claiming that viewers would simply move to the Freeview EPG service that is built into a new generation of TV’s now being sold in Australia. Some of these TV’s include models that come with twin tuners that allow multiple programs to be recorded to attach storage devices.


Foxtel claim that a large percentage of their viewers get free to air TV stations via satellite.


The satellite cost for carriage on Foxtel is a component of the costs of transmission of ABC and SBS services. The almost $300 million a year cost is what the Federal Government is trying to cut.


The Australian Law Reform Commission report said The Australian Government should consider whether the retransmission scheme for free-to-air broadcasts should be repealed.


This would effectively leave the extent to which retransmission occurs entirely to negotiation between the parties-broadcasters, retransmitters and underlying copyright holders.

They said that if the retransmission scheme is retained, the scope and application of the internet exclusion in the Copyright Act should be clarified.

Shortly the free-to-air consortium made up of Australia’s free-to-air networks is set to launch their new service called Freeview Plus it will enable the broadcasters to launch broadband services, integrated catch-up viewing and an enhanced electronic program guide capabilities beyond what Foxtel currently offers.

It will include services like Ten’s tenplay and Seven’s Plus7, allowing users to use them on their televisions instead of on a desktop or laptop.

Freeview Plus will be available to people who buy new TVs or set-top-boxes that can receive hybrid TV technology, which combines broadband and broadcast TV. 

Freeview Plus features include a 7-day, easy-to-use EPG; all FTA catch-up TV services through the TV screen and one EPG; the ability to browse and search programs for the next 7 days; and a favourites function with reminders.

TCL20 728x90 1 Foxtel Users Facing Threat Of Bill To Watch Free To Air TV Programs
PAN1992 MWO Banners LB 728x90px V2 Foxtel Users Facing Threat Of Bill To Watch Free To Air TV Programs
728x90 Foxtel Users Facing Threat Of Bill To Watch Free To Air TV Programs
SmartHouse Yoga Slim Carbon 728 x 90 Foxtel Users Facing Threat Of Bill To Watch Free To Air TV Programs
728x90 Leaderboard REL Foxtel Users Facing Threat Of Bill To Watch Free To Air TV Programs
728x90 MOTOROLA EDGE 20 Foxtel Users Facing Threat Of Bill To Watch Free To Air TV Programs
The Over ear Headphones Leaderboard 728x90 1 Foxtel Users Facing Threat Of Bill To Watch Free To Air TV Programs
ALOGIC 728x90 1 Foxtel Users Facing Threat Of Bill To Watch Free To Air TV Programs
728x90 Foxtel Users Facing Threat Of Bill To Watch Free To Air TV Programs
Media 728 × 90 Foxtel Users Facing Threat Of Bill To Watch Free To Air TV Programs


YOU MAY ALSO LIKE