Foxtel has been the staple of Australian pay TV for such a long time, it’s hard to imagine the country without it. But now that streaming services like Netflix, Stan and Presto have waltzed into town, could that spell the end for our fabled Foxtel?
Well, the statistics in Telstra’s half yearly results (they own half of Foxtel) speak to the contrary, showing growth of 5.5% in revenue, bringing in $1.66 billion for the telco. This is a pretty good sign that Australians are still partial to a bit of cable television, regardless of the plethora of ads that it his nowadays.
And people are still stoked to get on board too, with Telstra alone bringing in 100,000 new customers in the last six months.
So what’s keeping customers paying for the box? Well Telstra reckon it’s a result of higher investments in excellent content, and they’re not wrong. Foxtel are still the exclusive rights holders for popular dramas like Game of Thrones and a number of big sporting events.
That means that Netflix won’t be able to get their hands on these things (not that live sports would phase them too much) until they run out or Foxtel decide to give them up, which they’d be bloody crazy to do.
Another big win for the company has stemmed from it’s decision to cut their subscription costs in half, charging only $25 per month as well as adding extra channels to their base package.
A survey by Roy Morgan that aims to approximate the impact that Netflix is having on the Australian market has shown that around 1 in 7 of us no longer watch free-to-air TV at all, which could emerge as the biggest loser in the struggle for viewers.
So for the moment, Foxtel seems safe in its boots, but who knows how big Netflix will be in five years’ time and if they secure the rights to the content that most of us want, I’d say their days will be numbered.