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Foxtel confirms NBN offering next month

Foxtel will become an NBN retail service provider in October, with the pay TV CEO announcing that ADSL customers will be shifted over to NBN services once they are eligible.
Written by Corinne Reichert, Contributor

Australian pay TV provider Foxtel has confirmed that it will begin offering retail services across the National Broadband Network (NBN) next month.

Calling it the "final piece in the puzzle", CEO Peter Tonagh said Foxtel will offer bundles of pay TV, telephony, and broadband.

"I am pleased to announce that next month, we will formally launch our service over the NBN, and that we have already begun rolling out some great new offers at competitive prices," Tonagh said at the ASTRA conference on Tuesday.

"For example, Foxtel Platinum customers can now receive unlimited broadband and standard and national phone calls for only an additional AU$75 per month, while other Foxtel customers can get the same service for AU$85 per month."

The pricing mentioned by Tonagh referred to Foxtel's current ADSL broadband offerings, with the pay TV provider's NBN bundles and pricing yet to be finalised.

The above pricing is also in addition to the amount charged for a pay TV subscription; for instance, customers would have to pay AU$26 for the basic entertainment package, plus AU$85 for phone and broadband.

Any customers who currently receive or sign up for Foxtel's ADSL service will be transitioned onto the NBN once it becomes available.

"We'll be selling NBN services soon," Foxtel's website says.

"Our ADSL plans give customers the benefits of taking up Foxtel Broadband now, and then provide an easy transition to the NBN network once customers become eligible.

"You can stay on your plan or switch to another NBN from Foxtel plan that suits you better."

Foxtel also announced that it will be moving to include more on-demand offerings in an effort to compete with increasingly popular and far lower-priced subscription video-on-demand services such as Netflix, Stan, and Presto -- while still standing by its traditional mode of delivery.

"For many years to come, we will continue to do what we have done since day one -- deliver high-quality, reliable, linear channels with the world's best content and the world's best brands," Tonagh said, referring to a report by the UK's Ofcom saying that "the rate of growth in on-demand viewing has slowed in the last two years".

"But equally, we will continue to expand and improve our range of viewing options for all subscribers: On demand, linear, anytime, across all devices."

Foxtel, which last year lost the broadcast rights for the next three seasons of the English Premier League (EPL) by being outbid by telecommunications provider Optus, also argued that fans prefer to watch sports on regular TV, not streaming services.

"Today, around 98 percent of sports viewing is watched live on a linear channel. The reason of this is simple: The best way to watch clear, live, high-definition, uninterrupted sport now, and long into the future, is via broadcast television," Tonagh said.

"Just ask an EPL fan."

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