Best Foxtel Alternatives for Watching TV, Movies or Live Sport


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When it comes to entertainment of all kinds, Foxtel’s undeniably got it pretty well covered, regardless of what you’re into – drama, movies, sport, docos, and more. But that breadth of coverage and content does come with a few gotchas – it can be expensive, for one thing, with all subscribers having to pay for a base package of channels they might not even want before getting access to the channel packs they came for.

Of course, some people will love the fact that there are so many options and alternatives available anyway, and want to get the full Foxtel experience. There can be good reasons for that – especially if you’re after HBO’s shows like Big Little Lies and Game of Thrones, which aren’t available anywhere else at the moment. But how can you get Foxtel installed and still save a lot of money?

One answer is Foxtel From Telstra. The name describes exactly what it is – the full Foxtel service with the same iQ4 box, channels and channel packs, but sold through Telstra where you can bundle it in with your broadband and home phone to save money. Foxtel From Telstra prices tend to be cheaper than Foxtel direct (many of their plans waive the $29 base “entertainment pack” fee) and there’s also more choice offered with Telstra – including the option to add a streaming solution by getting a free Telstra TV 3 box with your bundle.

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What About Streaming Alternatives?

As you may know, a full Foxtel installation requires you to have a satellite dish installed where you live, which for a surprisingly large number of people is problematic. In some cases, it’s forbidden by the management of your building, while in other cases it’s simply not possible to find a place to install a dish.

So what do you do if you don’t want to go all in on Foxtel, or if you can’t get it at all? Well, the good news is that Australia is one of the luckiest countries on the planet when it comes to entertainment. We’ve devoured streaming services at a rate that’s surprised even jaded industry insiders, and as a result the days when premium, high-quality content could only be found on Foxtel are long behind us.

So if you’re on a tight budget and can’t justify forking out for Foxtel, a renter who can’t commit to a lengthy contract or a resident who couldn’t get Foxtel installed even if you wanted to, don’t panic! No matter what type of content you’re looking for, you’ll find there are ways to enjoy it – usually saving a ton of cash at the same time!

I Need Sport!

Yes, Australia is very much a sports-mad nation, and millions of us need our sports fix as often as possible. Whether it’s AFL, NRL, cricket, tennis, Formula One or any of the dozens of other sports that attract huge numbers of Australian viewers, you’ll probably think that there’s no other choice aside from Foxtel, since they’re got all the live coverage of all the big sporting codes. Well, think again – because now Kayo Sports is here! Costing only $25 per month – with no contracts and no hidden fees – Kayo lets you stream dozens of sports live, on delay and on demand, in full high definition. It has access to everything Fox Sports does – and therefore, everything that Foxtel does, just at a fraction of the price. And even better, Kayo comes with innovative features for sports viewers, such as Split View and Key Moments. 

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I Need Movies!

There’s an undeniably large library of movies available on Foxtel’s ten movie channels (and on demand via their iQ boxes) but if you’re a dedicated movie fan, you can actually satisfy your hunger for all things cinematic for far less money by heading for the triple-threat of streaming services – Netflix and Stan and Amazon Prime Video. Netflix has started producing its own movies that can only be seen on that service, and they always rotate a set of fairly current third-party titles. Stan, meanwhile, has a terrific library of movies that run the full range from gooey romantic comedies to gritty foreign-language dramas – including some movies that are very much not what you’d find on TV! And Amazon Prime Video has a surprisingly deep movie library that features both current titles and some truly obscure gems from back in the 1980s. You can subscribe to all three of these services in high definition for a little over 30 bucks a month, incredible value for what you get.

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For the much more recent, straight-from-the-cinema movies, meanwhile, the recently launched Telstra TV Box Office is a great place to look, especially if you’ve got the Telstra TV box (though it’s not required to use the service). Coupled with a Telstra broadband bundle, you can rent movies instantly on your Telstra account – and bundles currently come with the Telstra TV box free and enough Box Office credit for about 20 new-release movie rentals.

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I Need Docos!

Everyone loves a good documentary, and some absolutely must have them in their lives. Foxtel’s doco-focused channels like National Geographic and History Channel certainly deliver the goods, but if you don’t have Foxtel, you don’t need to miss out on your doco fix. The documentary-only streaming service DocPlay – a 100% Australian operation – has been delivering the best in docos for a few years now, and if you’re into all things factual, it’s incredible value at less than $7 per month. New titles are constantly being added in a wide range of categories including history, music, health, crime, sports, fashion, biographies and more. You can test-drive the full DocPlay service for 30 days completely free, too. Other great places to find docos are Netflix (which has some stunning exclusives like Making a Murderer) and for sports docos, Kayo has quite a few already and is constantly adding more.

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I Need Reality TV!

Whatever you think about reality TV, the numbers don’t lie – it’s big business and hugely popular, and while there’s a decent cross-section of it on Foxtel, you’re arguably better off saving a ton of money and heading over to hayu instead. A streaming service that’s completely devoted to reality TV – it has over 5,000 episodes of it – hayu is well-designed, friendly and fun with a price tag to match, only $6.99 per month. Featuring some of the most in demand reality shows – including the famous Real Housewives franchise, Love & Hip Hop and Keeping up with the Kardashians, there’s more reality TV here than anyone can handle, with new content constantly arriving.

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I Need Australian TV!

Nobody makes TV quite like Australia, and while in more recent years there’s been a bit of a shortage of new local TV drama, there’s a rich catalogue of shows that many have never had the chance to see. If you’re big on drama, we’d recommend the hugely popular popular local streaming service Stan first and foremost. Aside from their own original drama productions – Bloom, Wolf Creek and Romper Stomper, all excellent – Stan maintains an excellent collection of Aussie talent. From Janet King to Newton’s Law, Love Child to Doctor Doctor, Rake to Jack Irish and much more. The various Underbelly seasons live here too, as do several full-length dramatized bios such as Molly and House of Bond. There’s every episode of Macleod’s Daughters to revisit, classic comedy with Frontline and The Hollowmen, and much more. 

I Need Current Aussie Shows!

Of course, if you’re still after what’s being shown on free to air TV, you’ve got easy access to the free catch-up services from all five networks, all of which have been vastly improving in recent years. But the 10 network, now owned by US company CBS, has also introduced a paid streaming service, 10 All Access. Alongside some of 10’s current shows – both local and imported – there’s a collection of originals that can only be found on All Access, including Jordan Peel’s reboot of The Twilight Zone. And new episodes of the American late-night chat shows featuring Stephen Colbert and James Corden are added to All Access as soon as they’ve gone to air in the US as well. If it’s a mix of new and classic general TV you want, All Access at under $10 a month is a pretty good option to have.

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So Many Options!

With so many options and so much choice available to Australian viewers these days – most of it completely free of lock-in contracts and priced incredibly cheaply – it’s easy to pick the services you need for the stuff you love to watch, and pick up new ones as you need them. There’s certainly still a place for Foxtel in the market, but now more than ever before, there are real alternatives loaded with quality content that can save you a whole lot of your hard-earned money!

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