Foxtel Unveils Plans for Broadband, Phone Products

The pay TV monopoly provider Down Under will become a triple-play provider in late 2014.

SYDNEY -- Australia’s national pay TV provider Foxtel will move into the telecoms resale business in late 2014 in a bid to boost revenues and subscriber numbers.

The company -- a joint venture between the country’s largest telco, Telstra Corp, and News Corp. Australia -- said Monday that it plans to launch broadband Internet and fixed-line telephony services bundled with its pay TV services, after finalizing wholesale agreements with Telstra. The deal allows Foxtel to sell packages on Telstra’s network and the Australian government’s National Broadband Network as its gets rolled out.

The move into what’s known as being a triple-play provider comes as Foxtel readies to launch an online video on-demand movie service, Foxtel Presto, next month and as free-to-air broadcasters here ready to launch a range of Hbb TV (Hybrid broadband TV) channels and services in 2014.

Foxtel CEO Richard Freudenstein called the move “transformative” for the company, which has seen subscriber numbers plateau over the last two years, with just 34 percent penetration of Australian TV households.

“It will enable us to greatly enhance the breadth, quality and value of the services we offer to customers while opening up significant opportunities for growth. International experience demonstrates that triple play and broadband bundles have been hugely popular with consumers and have allowed operators to boost take up of subscription TV services,” Freudenstein said.

“These new products will draw on Foxtel’s investment in customer service and billing capability, its strong brand and rich content offerings. It is anticipated that they will enable us to acquire new subscribers and reduce churn by increasing choice and broadening the appeal of our offering,” he added.

Foxtel also plans to release an IP (Internet protocol)- enabled set-top box and PVR in 2014.