Around $1,600 a year doesn’t sound like much money but surveys have shown that if people had to cut their household expenses they’d forego Foxtel before they gave up their broadband internet connection.
A consortium of free-to-air channels called Freeview has taken the fight to Foxtel with its “still paying for TV” advertising campaign.
According to Foxtel’s latest results, 1.58 million Australian households subscribe to the Telstra/News Limited-owned pay TV network. These households now have FoxtelIQ at 75%, while 40% have multi-room and 40% HD.
Foxtel’s current expansion policy is to target existing customers to “up-sell” them to higher packages and offer big incentives to new customers. Foxtel offers new subscribers free installation and three months of service.
But what do subscribers get in comparison with what’s available free?
Foxtel claims it has more than 200 TV channels. If you’re a current subscriber that hasn’t updated to IQ or HD yet, the additional setup cost is usually $150. The IDHQ package at the lowest monthly price is $77.
You have the option to switch between packages from month to month.
Programming can be repetitive. The first movie released may be repeated up four times per calendar year. Many of the “variety” style programs are also available via Freeview digital channels.
When you sign up as a new subscriber for special offers, be sure to read all of the terms and conditions. You may have to sign up for a 24-month contract. Also, there might be payment terms like mandatory direct debit.
Foxtel is drawing more households to Foxtel, even though they aren’t Foxtel subscribers. They report that they don’t plan to join the network because of the many digital options.
Freeview includes digital channels on the ABC, SBS, and Ten networks. Freeview also includes Nine, Nine Seven, Nine, and Nine.  You can also catch up online on any broadcasts missed by each network.
“Live and exclusive” sport is pay-TV’s obvious strength. You can view a live football game anywhere on the planet within 24 hours, seven days per week. However, the free-to-air networks are lobbying hard to end Foxtel’s stranglehold on sport.
And there’s the internet.
Access to complete seasons of virtually all programs online is also possible, often at no cost or at a fraction of what it costs.
What would you do with $1600 per annum?
While $1,600 a year doesn’t sound like much money. If you paid $1,600 more on your mortgage and deposited the same amount into an online savings account, you could reap even greater benefits.
A $1600 savings account that offers 6% and $132 per monthly could help you save more than $11,000. When you can make your own travel arrangements to Africa or South America, the National Geographic Channel is not necessary.