Foxtel: Sexy new options for greedy viewers

How many times have you been sitting at work remembering you forgot to set your VCR? Foxtel today unleashed some new options for subscribers which ramps up the power of its IQ recorder. Digital rules,
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Foxtel today launched a new wave of programming and digital on-demand services that continues Foxtel’s leadership in delivering Australian consumers the best in personalised television experiences.

The ground-breaking initiatives include the launch of Foxtel On Demand – a world-leading video-on-demand service that enables Foxtel iQ subscribers to watch a selection of the best of Foxtel programming at the exact moment that its suits them, with DVD-like functionality. Foxtel On Demand programming will be refreshed weekly and will include local and international TV drama premieres, blockbuster movies, documentaries, and general entertainment shows. Foxtel On Demand will be made available at no additional charge – subscribers just need to be subscribed to the channel providing On Demand programming.

The wide-ranging initiatives announced by Foxtel include:
Foxtel On Demand – commencing February 2007
The launch of the Foxtel Online Guide, a web version of Foxtel’s Electronic Program Guide.
Remote Record, a new function which allows subscribers to book programming on to the Foxtel iQ personal digital recorder via the Foxtel Online Guide no matter where they are in the world.
Foxtel’s extensive Summer programming line-up – including exclusive new Australian dramas Dangerous, Satisfaction, Supernova series-2 and Love My Way series-3, plus the new Sci-Fi channel.
A Foxtel Broadband TV pilot launching in December 2006.
Plans for remote program booking on the Foxtel iQ via mobile phones
Plans for the next generation of digital set-top-units to launch in December 2007.
Foxtel also announced:

Foxtel is on track to become Australia’s first 100% digital TV broadcaster from platform to customer early in 2007.
Continued annual net subscriber growth at a rate of more than 10%.
Continued record low customer churn.
A sell in rate for the Foxtel IQ of 30% of new customers
Record high shares of television viewing in 2006 – in Australia’s largest city of Sydney, Foxtel is the number one provider of television regularly winning more of all TV viewing (including homes that don’t have Foxtel) than each of the commercial networks and national broadcasters.
Foxtel is on track to launch High Definition Television in 2008.

Foxtel this week also launched a $0 installation offer for subscribers to Foxtel’s top Platinum package which includes the Foxtel iQ and the first month of programming for $0. The “Foxtel for Nothing” marketing campaign and offer is open to anyone who places a sales order before this Christmas Eve.

These announcements follow the recent launch of other breakthrough Foxtel services, including Foxtel By Mobile on the Telstra Next-G network, and the commencement of the Virgin Live2Air in-flight service featuring 24 Foxtel channels.

Foxtel Chief Executive Kim Williams AM said the new programming and digital technology innovations led by the introduction of Foxtel’s first on-demand service meant Foxtel’s delivery of “anywhere, anytime” entertainment and information had been elevated to another world-leading dimension.

“Foxtel’s focus is completely on consumers,” Mr Williams said. “Our service delivery is constantly honing in on giving each individual the ability to view what they want, when they want, on any digital technology they want to use.

Foxtel’s Executive Director of Content, Development and Delivery, Patrick Delany, said: “We are developing and will be offering more and more choices. Foxtel On Demand is the first stage in our On Demand strategy. It will be continuously enhanced over time. From late 2007 we plan to extend Foxtel On Demand to offer Subscription Video On Demand that enables subscribers to purchase individual programs, in addition to the current packages of channels to which they subscribe. This is what consumers want, and this is what we will provide.

“Whether you are in your home, on the bus, in a plane at 30,000 feet, or online anywhere in the world – Foxtel will be at your service with the greatest breadth and depth of quality television choices and innovative technology options to enjoy them. We will keep delivering higher satisfaction to our subscribers, while enabling them to extract greater value from their service.

“In addition to our existing TV delivery systems, Foxtel is launching a Foxtel on Broadband pilot project to provide programming downloads to computers in the first instance. We will be in the Broadband TV space and at the forefront as it evolves.

“We are also developing the next generation of personal digital recorders which will have a massive increase in storage capacity from the current iQ of 160Gb increasing to 250Gb, including Broadband connection capability. With our analogue service switch-off and full digital conversion to be completed early in 2007, eventually every Foxtel subscriber will have a Foxtel iQ or equivalent with all its amazing capabilities as a standard service in their home.”

Mr Williams said the consumer response to Foxtel’s constantly evolving service offering and technology innovations was borne out by the latest share of viewing performances for subscription television.

“Foxtel has achieved an outstandingly strong and consistent average share of viewing across 2006,” Mr Williams said.

“In Australia’s largest population centre in Sydney, Foxtel this year has regularly attracted larger viewing shares than each of the 7, 9 and 10 networks as well as each of the ABC and SBS. This is counting all TV homes in Sydney, including those which don’t have Foxtel.

“The average share of viewing to subscription TV year-to-date in homes across Australia that do have subscription TV is 56.3%. This compares with 55.7% during the whole of 2005.

“Across the 46 weeks of 2006, the total subscription TV rating in all TV homes is averaging 19.2% on a five city metropolitan market share, up 17% or 2.8% share points on the first 46 weeks of 2005.”

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