With the rise of streaming services, cable TV hasn’t quite found the same legs as offerings like Netflix, Stan, and Amazon Prime Video, but Foxtel could finally have something that could turn the tide.
When it comes to streaming services, Foxtel hasn’t quite found its footing. Initially offering two services to stem the threat of Netflix and Stan, neither Foxtel Play nor Presto really ever found popularity, and the latter was killed off while the former has still stuck around, offering a little streaming in a package that was very heavily geared at video game consoles.
But while Foxtel hasn’t quite nailed the service with previous offerings, it might finally have something that could score viewers. A deviation from your typical cable package, Foxtel will offer “Foxtel Now”, a service that can be acquired using either online streaming or the Foxtel IQ boxes (IQ3), with the service basically being a rebranding and reintroduction of Foxtel Play.
Slightly different, Foxtel Now will drop the cost down to $10 per month as an entry point, with that bringing a sampling of TV channels, and extra payments delivering other channels.
For instance, if you want to watch “Game of Thrones”, the service will cost $15 per month from the Drama or Pop pack. Sports access is separately priced, with $39 per month providing access, while film access will cost $29 per month in addition to the regular $10 monthly price.
In essence, this is Foxtel providing access to its cable service without the cable box needed, shifting the technology to streaming and cable, making it your choice of how you connect.
“Foxtel Now is here and we’re thrilled to share it with customers hungry for the best choice in live sport, new movies, TV and complete seasons,” said Peter Tonagh, CEO of Foxtel.
“Over the past few months we’ve introduced some fantastic new changes to our subscription streaming service including lowering the entry point to $10 per month and launching on Telstra TV,” he said. “As part of the evolution of our streaming service, we felt the time was perfect to relaunch the service as Foxtel Now.”
More than just the streaming TV acting as a cable box replacement, Foxtel says subscribers will gain access to Foxtel’s library of content, with over 16,000 titles in the on-demand library, half of which are in high definition.
Without the cable box, Foxtel Now will connect using modern devices, such as iOS devices (iPhone, iPad), Android phones and tablets, Telstra TV, web browsers, and streamed to TVs using Chromecast. It will also see access on video game consoles in the near future, with the PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One gaining Foxtel Now access soon, though Foxtel Play will work for the moment. As of yet, however, there is no access for Apple TV owners.
“Foxtel Now represents our most flexible and affordable entertainment service and brings with it HD streaming, a great new look and feel and the freedom to jump in and out based on your viewing preferences,” said Tonagh.
As to whether Foxtel Now is worth it, that’s a question only the viewer can answer. We’re not sure if the expanded pricing is dramatically different from where it probably should be, from where the competition is over at Netflix, Stan, and Amazon Prime Video, but the customisable packages being offered over streaming is positive, especially since you can pay for a time and then cancel your subscription much like with other streaming services.
It’s hard not to point out that Foxtel is still expensive, because this could still rack up to be the priciest of the monthly streaming packages, but it at least offers a legal solution for folks keen to watch “Game of Thrones” as it airs instead of waiting until Foxtel lets go for the season.