Foxtel is set to jack up the price of their HD content service to $135 a month. They will also launch 30 new channels and a new Internet service that will allow users to access over 400 hours of old TV content for free.
The only hitch is the Internet content will be up to 1.3GB in size which with some broadband users forced to pay additional broadband costs to simply download a movie.
The Foxtel overall, which is set to be announced today, at Fox Studio’s comes as Foxtel faces new competition from Internet based content providers. Also set to compete with Foxtel is Telstra who may be forced to divest themselves of their 50% stake in the pay TV provider.
Next year TV manufacturers including Apple, Sony and Samsung are tipped to be launching new internet based TV services that will deliver movies, music and with Sony gaming direct to a new generation IP TV.
At today’s launch Foxtel will launch 30 new channels, new movie and high-definition services and give away digital video recorders. Among the new offering is new standard-definition channels aimed at women and children, including a murder mystery channel called 13th Street and an ad-free station called Kids Co.
Also coming is new Showtime Drama, Showtime Comedy and a Family Movie Channel, as well as high-definition offerings Showtime Action HD and Starpics HD, a movie channel devoted to showing blocks of movies from one actor or actress.
The new channels which will be available from November 15th are possible following the launch of a new Optus D3 satellite claim Company executives.
Foxtel sales and product development executive director Patrick Delany told The Daily Telegraph
“What we’re doing is that we’ve transitioned from analogue to digital, digital to high-definition, and now we’re transitioning into a new era of hard-drive media,” he said.
The new download service will not be available to Mac users initially, Mr Delany said, and movies could be up to 1.3GB in size.
Fusion Strategy media analyst Steve Allen told the Daily Telegraph that Foxtel was smart to launch new HD channels as they had proven a strong lure for TV subscribers in the US.
But Mr Allen said while the new launches might serve to attract new subscribers, they might not convince existing subscribers to watch more Foxtel content.
“There is research that shows once you get past 80 or so channels new channels make no difference to viewership,” he said. “Adding more and more channels isn’t a particularly valuable driver in itself.”