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Foxtel owners News Corporation and Telstra are planning a major makeover of Foxtel in an effort to stimulate new interest in the pay TV network which is floundering with flat sales and a 14% churn rate.

New branding, a new set top box and new content are all part of the Foxtel relaunch planned for later this year according to sources. 

Under threat from both free to air TV and their sporting packages, IPTV services such as those delivered by Fetch TV, Google and Apple and new content services that are being planned by TV manufacturers in an effort to stimulate interest in their own content services that will be delivered to a new generation of OLED and 4K UHD TV sets, Foxtel is facing the real possibility that they may have to slash their subscription rates to stay competitive.

A new box being developed by Foxtel is set to double the amount of programs that can be recorded however users are not going to be able to attach additional back up storage devices. 

According to Fairfax Media ratings at Foxtel have sunk over the summer, period which has been dominated by free-to-air broadcasts of cricket and tennis.

They claim that Foxtel is suffering its worst average prime time audience for the summer period since 2005 to 2006.

Sources at TV Companies Samsung and LG claim that the Foxtel app that is embedded into their Smart TV services is failing to attract consumers.

Late last year Foxtel lost the broadcast rights for the Big Bash League cricket competition, which had been one of its best ?rating programs, to free-to-air broadcaster Ten Network Holdings last year.

Starcom MediaVest chief executive Chris Nolan said “There is some conservatism around where subscription TV is going. We’re not seeing audience growth and we’re seeing higher churn rates among subscribers.”

Fox Sports chief executive Partick Delaney and Anthony Fitzgerald, chief of Foxtel’s sales arm MCN, were unavailable for comment.

Foxtel secured the broadcast rights for the V8 Supercars motor racing series last year in conjunction with Ten with many races to be shown on Fox Sports exclusively. 

Harold Mitchell, the chairman of lobby group Free TV, told Fairfax Media that the best medium for live sport was free-to-air television. “Any sport will suffer if it is only on pay TV because it simply has limited reach.”
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