Foxtel is set to launch a brand new Q3 digital set top box early in 2013. They will also launch several brand new channels plus an expanded movie download service.It’s also tipped that monthly subscription fees could be slashed with users given the option of paying for movies and on demand when they want it.
The new Q3 box that will come with a terabyte of storage is part of a new strategy designed to grow Foxtel’s share of the IPTV market in Australia.
Both Telstra and News Limited will be the major shareholders in Foxtel in 2013 if a $1.94 billion takeover bid for the James Packer media investment vehicle CMH is approved. The two companies are currently working with Foxtel management to reshape the pay TV network with News Ltd keen to expand Foxtel’s sports coverage after bidding for 100 per cent of Fox Sports.
Chief executive Richard Freudenstein said recently according to the Australian newspaper, “It’s very true to say that both News and Telstra are very supportive and keen to see the business grow, and if you look at where we sit compared to a lot of the traditional media companies, you would have to say we are in a good position if we execute to continue to actually grow quite well”.
As part of their expansion plans Foxtel is tipped to launch a version of BSkyB’s IPTV (TV via the internet) service NOW TV, which offers instant access to movies. “We’re looking closely at what they’re doing”, Mr Freudenstein said. “We’re considering our options on that one”.
Also attempting to move into the pay TV market is IceTV who is trying to launch a new digital set top box that will deliver aggregated content from several providers.
According to IceTV management their set top box will be sold by Harvey Norman and Bing Lee and others; however, retailers claim they are not aware of any new digital set top box from the Electronic Program Guide Company.
A Harvey Norman franchisee said “If anything we are cutting back on set top boxes, we are concentrating on selling fewer boxes better”.