Australia’s largest and longest-operating pay TV provider, Foxtel has been supplying premium subscription television in Australia since 1995 – first via cable, and later via satellite. From a modest beginning with around 20 channels, Foxtel has grown over the years to encompass over 90 channels delivering exclusive sports coverage, premium drama, blockbuster movies, documentaries, news and much more. As well as offering the most desired TV from around the globe – including content from HBO, home of Game of Thrones – Foxtel produces its own entertainment and sport content for Australian audiences. And as the internet becomes the dominant method of delivering entertainment via on-demand viewing, Foxtel has incorporated that into their service as well, integrating it into their advanced iQ4 set top box.
What Makes Foxtel Unique?
With regular television in Australia having been restricted to five free-to-air channels for decades, Foxtel was the first taste many got of a truly diverse TV service, offering a wider variety of content across a far greater number of channels. As TV has evolved, Foxtel has evolved right along with it, adding channels and expanding their genre offerings as needed – something that free to air TV is unable to do at anything like the same scale or speed.
Far less limited by broadcasting constraints, Foxtel has been able to expand its channel line-up on both a temporary basis (as seen with Olympic Games coverage) and permanently (clearly seen with the huge expansion of Foxtel’s sport channel line-up, now at 16 channels).
Unlike conventional TV, many of Foxtel’s channels have no need to stick to a typical television daily schedule, allowing frequent replays of programs and movies for people watching at different hours of the day, as well as content that doesn’t stick to conventional half-hour time slots.
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What Plans Does Foxtel Have?
With so many channels on offer, Foxtel structures its subscription plans by dividing the channels up into genre-based packs, making it easy for customers who are only after a specific type of content to pay only for what they want to watch, rather than having to pay for 90 channels to watch only a dozen of them.
When subscribing to a Foxtel plan, you’re effectively picking one, two or more of these packs, bundled together as an overall plan that saves you money in the process. So, for example, if you were to opt for the Sport + Drama + Entertainment + HD plan, you’d get the channel packs that the plan name suggests – sport, drama, the base Entertainment Pack and the HD add-on – all together in an all-included plan that’s priced at $58, which makes for a substantial saving over paying for each pack individually.
Foxtel’s bundled plans are almost always on offer but tend to change as new promotions come and go, so it’s best to check to see what’s on offer at the moment before deciding on a plan that suits you. Customers can always just build their own plan from the available Foxtel channel packs and add-ons, but when bundled plans are offered, there’s usually substantial savings to be had by taking advantage of them.
What Are the Channel Packs?
Al subscribers, regardless of any other packs or options they might add, get the base Entertainment Pack, which can be had on its own for $29 per month. Like its name suggests, the 45 channels contained in the Entertainment Pack encompass general viewing across all genres – drama, news, sport, movies, documentaries and special interest. For customers looking to broaden their range of available channels at the lowest possible cost, the base Entertainment Pack is the place to start.
From there, customers can add additional packs based on the content they’re especially interested in. These packs contain channels that are focussed specifically on their field, offering premium content that often cannot be found anywhere else. The available packs are:
Sport ($29): Full access to Foxtel’s acclaimed sports coverage, which takes in a massive range of sporting codes and events from around Australia and across the globe.
Movies ($20): A collection of ten channels, each themed around a specific movie genre (action, comedy, romance etc). Movies are played 24 hours a day, with no ad breaks or on-screen logos.
Docos ($10): Seven premium documentary channels delivering first-run doco content from some of the biggest names on the planet.
Entertainment Plus ($10): An enhancement to the base Entertainment pack that adds crowd favourites such as Comedy Channel and SyFy. Eight extra channels in all.
Kids ($10): Five premium channels for the kids to augment the ones included with the Entertainment pack.
HD ($10): This pack doesn’t contain channels, but instead opens up access to the high definition versions of many Foxtel channels, including all sport and movie channels. It also grants access to the new 4K channel when combined with the Sport pack.
What About Specialty Channels?
The great thing about pay TV is that channels can be added to cater for a smaller audience, and Foxtel’s done exactly that with some of its extra, more directed channel packs. Some have been merged into other packs, such as Box Sets (now in the Drama pack) and the three English football team channels (part of the Sports pack). But there are some more add-on options if you need them:
Antenna Pacific ($23): Greek television delivered directly from one of Greece’s biggest TV networks, to one of the world’s largest Greek populations outside their home country.
RAI International ($23): Acclaimed Italian channel RAI brought in via satellite with its mix of news, drama, sports and more.
Sky Racing + ($5): An enhancement to the Sky Racing channel already included in the base Entertainment pack, this low-cost extra adds a second channel that’s a must for racing fans. Requires the Sport pack to add.
What Sort of Content is on Foxtel?
With so many diverse channels on offer, it’s possibly easier to ask what’s not on Foxtel – there’s something for everyone across the wide range of channel packs offered, including some of the biggest TV shows, movies, sports and names on the planet. Just a glance at some of the key channels and content with each pack will give you some idea of how much there is to discover – because these are just a handful of the channels and shows on offer.
|Drama Pack||Fox Showcase, BBC First, Binge, Box Sets, 13th Street||Game of Thrones, Outlander, Wentworth, Big Little Lies, The Walking Dead|
|Sport Pack||Fox Cricket, Fox Footy, Fox League, beIn Sports, ESPN, Eurosport||AFL and NRL Premierships, Formula One championship, test and one-day cricket, A-League soccer|
|Movies Pack||Premiere, Action, Disney, Thriller, Movie Greats, Masterpiece||Deadpool 2, Solo, Skyscraper, Jurassic World Fallen Kingdom|
|Entertainment Plus Pack||Comedy Channel, E!, Lifestyle Home, Lifestyle Food||Last Week Tonight with John Oliver, The Jim Jeffries Show, Keeping Up with the Kardashians|
|Docos Pack||History, Nat Geo Wild, Discovery Science, BBC Knowledge, Animal Planet||When Sharks Attack, America in Colour, Louis Theroux’s Wild Weekends|
|Kids Pack||Nickelodeon, Cartoon Network, Disney Channel||Adventure Time, Thomas and Friends, Lego Ninjago, Where the Wild Things Are|
|Entertainment Pack||Fox8, UKTV, Arena, Universal, Lifestyle||Gogglebox Australia, Real Housewives, Suits, The Simpsons|
The iQ4 – Foxtel’s Advanced Set Top Box
When you connect to Foxtel, you’ll be supplied with the very newest and most advanced set top box that Foxtel has offered yet. The result of many years of development, the iQ4 is a compact powerhouse of a device that packs a ton of power under the hood. With its fast, fluid user interface, navigating between live channels, recordings and on-demand content is easy. The included 1TB hard drive can record hundreds of hours of shows, all catalogued for easy viewing later. And the multiple TV tuners in the iQ4 let you record up to four shows at the same time, while watching a fifth.
The iQ4 also introduces full support for 4K-capable TVs, and is the only device that can receive Australia’s first ever broadcast 4K channel – Foxtel 4K.
The iQ4 seamlessly merges live on-air TV, recordings and streaming content into the one interface, meaning all the TV you need is right there in the one clever box. You can check our extensive review of the Foxtel iQ4.
The iQ4 is only available to Foxtel satellite customers; new customers will be connected via satellite by default, but existing satellite customers who would like to upgrade to the new iQ4 can do so for a modest fee.
Foxtel Go – Take Your Foxtel With You
Another feature included at no extra charge for every Foxtel customer is the Foxtel Go app – the live and on-demand streaming version of Foxtel that you can watch anywhere you happen to be, via apps for your mobile phone or tablet, even setting recordings on your iQ4 box while you’re out and about. You can also jump into Foxtel on your desktop or laptop computer without the need for an app, thanks to the brand-new Foxtel streaming web-based interface that lets you view in full HD right there on your computer.
Foxtel Go is completely free for all current Foxtel customers, and is active from the moment you sign up for a Foxtel service – meaning you can start streaming live Foxtel channels or viewing shows and movies on demand before the technician even arrives to install your full Foxtel service.
Foxtel Customer Service
Existing Foxtel customers have plenty of options for contacting the company’s customer service team, who’ll be able to answer any questions about your Foxtel service and put you in touch with the right people for everything from plan changes to technical support.
The Foxtel customer service contact line is available for the cost of a local call on 131 999, with technical support for your TV service available from 7.30am to midnight, seven days a week. For pack changes, call between 9am and 9pm weekdays or 10am-8pm on weekends. For any questions about your account or billing, call between 9am and 7pm, Monday to Saturday by
simply dialing 1300 760 579 on your mobile phone. .
Nearly half of all Australian homes now have Foxtel bringing a whole planet’s worth of entertainment to their lounge rooms, giving them access to the largest range of drama, comedy, sport, and entertainment around. If you’re not in one of those homes, you’re missing out on a lot.