Even in this streaming-dominated entertainment age, Foxtel remains the king of live broadcast TV, with its dozens of channels drawing in millions of viewers every day. But with the presence of both Foxtel and Foxtel From Telstra, how would viewers know which way to go? We’re breaking down both cable providers to see which one gives the best bang for our buck.
If, like many at this time of year, you’ve been thinking that maybe it’s time to subscribe to Foxtel for that tasty sports action (or even the multiple channels of non-stop movies, lifestyle, news or premium drama like Game of Thrones or Westworld) then you may have done a quick Google search and found yourself confused.
There’s Foxtel… and then there’s “Foxtel From Telstra”! Separate offers on separate web sites selling what seems to be basically the same thing. Confused? Check.
Foxtel is, of course, part-owned by Telstra, but if you were thinking there’d be no difference in the actual service you receive once your cable or satellite box is delivered, you’d be absolutely right. Foxtel is Foxtel, regardless of how you ultimately get it.
So what’s the deal with “Foxtel From Telstra”, then?
Foxtel Vs Foxtel From Telstra
There’s often a bit of confusion about what exactly is the difference between getting your Foxtel directly from Foxtel or getting it through Telstra as “Foxtel From Telstra”. The big difference is convenience – after all, you’re getting connected to a pay TV platform that isn’t just about watching live TV via satellite. Your Foxtel service comes with a bunch of extras that make it a truly immersive experience.
There’s the comprehensive On Demand service, available both on the iQ4 box and via apps for your mobile devices, which lets you stream the latest movies with FoxFlicks, binge entire TV seasons with Fox Showcase or live-stream premium sport, wherever you are. It makes sense to pair your Foxtel with a fast broadband service and save money in the process.
That’s where Foxtel From Telstra really shines – you can get yourself a bundle that pulls together Foxtel with the premium Sports HD package and unlimited broadband for only $139 a month – meaning you can stream all you like without worrying about limits. If you’d prefer the full range of Foxtel channels you can get the Platinum HD bundle for $209 a month, again with unlimited broadband included. And it all gets pulled together on the one convenient bill – which you can also add a Telstra mobile service to if you like. You also get access to Telstra’s superb customer service.
Ultimately, it all comes down to convenience. Millions of people have their home phone and/or broadband service through Telstra, and there’s an undeniable lack of hassle about having your Foxtel service bundled in on the same bill – just having the one thing to remember to pay every month is a big bonus for some.
The key thing to remember is that Foxtel and “Foxtel From Telstra” are two separate things. If you’re subscribed to Foxtel From Telstra and see an enticing deal from Foxtel direct, you can’t just switch over to that new plan – you have to move from one service to the other.
That would be a big problem if it weren’t for the fact that both seem determined to come up with the best offers possible (almost like Telstra encouraging Foxtel to compete against itself!). As always, the winner is you as the customer.
Let’s take a look at what’s on offer from each at the moment.
Foxtel From Telstra offers some very keenly priced packages, such as the Entertainment + Drama or Movies pack. That gets you the base 45 channels plus either the movie or premium drama channels, along with a free iQ4 box, for a mere $20 per month. You can add sports to that and pay $49 a month, or if you’d rather just have the sports along with the base channels, it’s just $29 a month.
An easier option is to bundle all your Telstra communications and entertainment needs into the one package. That’s where Foxtel From Telstra’s bundles come in; for $139 per month on a 24-month plan, you get the full package. Unlimited-data broadband via NBN, Cable or ADSL, the latest Telstra smart modem with 4G backup, and of course the Foxtel iQ4 box included, as well as Foxtel with the Sports HD pack and access to the new 4K channel. If you’re looking for a “connect everything” plan then this one’s the bundle for you (even though you’ll need to add packages for additional channels on top of that monthly price, it still works out to be an amazingly good value deal – and if you don’t want any of the extra channel packs, you’re set!).
And as we mentioned, one advantage with all of these Foxtel From Telstra packages is that they’re included on your regular Telstra bill, keeping things nice and simple.
Going direct through Foxtel (and signing up online), you can get a good deal right now – including the new 4K-compatible iQ4 box with no installation charge and no contract. There’s the movies or drama plans, which give you all the dedicated movie channels or the premium drama channels like Showcase, along with the base Entertainment Pack of 45 channels, for only $49 per month on a 12-month plan. Or the Sports HD Combo which gives you access to Foxtel’s acclaimed premium sport channels plus the new 4K channel. All bundles are currently free for the first two months.
Sport on Foxtel Vs Foxtel From Telstra
If sport is your big thing – as it is for hundreds of thousands of Foxtel viewers – then Foxtel from Telstra’s Entertainment + Sport bundle easily wins out. You get the same access to 15 channels of live sport from Australia and around the world such as Fox Sports 1-7, ESPN 1 and ESPN 2, beIN 1, 2 and 3– including dedicated AFL (Fox Footy), NRL (Fox League) and Fox Cricket channels – as well as access to the new 4K channel if you add the HD pack (which we recommend). That puts your monthly cost at $39 with Foxtel From Telstra, versus $68 direct through Foxtel, which equals a 44% savings.
Drama on Foxtel Vs Foxtel From Telstra
With Foxtel’s premium drama channels being the home of so many can’t-miss shows – from Game of Thrones, Westworld, the hit show Outlander and the entire HBO library to fan favourites like The Walking Dead and Wentworth, Foxtel is heaven for drama fans. And if it’s drama you’re after, Foxtel from Telstra wins again, with the Entertainment + Drama pack only $20 per month (or $30 with HD) compared to $49/month direct from Foxtel. That’s a 40% saving – and you get the convenience of everything going on your regular Telstra bill, too.
When you subscribe to either the sport pack with HD, or the top-of-the-line Platinum HD pack, you get access to Foxtel’s latest innovation – a true 4K channel delivered via satellite, beaming in everything from live sport in 4K (including cricket) to nature docos, rock concerts and more. It’s Australia’s first and only 4K TV channel, and the only way you can get it is via your iQ4 box (which, by the way, is free with a Foxtel From Telstra service!).
Ultimately, you’re going to get the same Foxtel service no matter which you choose – but the choice is the key. You can just go straight to Foxtel and order the packages you want while staying with your current broadband and phone providers, or you can go with Foxtel From Telstra and get a separate set of deals that all tie in to your existing Telstra services – or your entertainment can be bundled if you’re moving and just want Telstra to handle everything with a minimum of fuss. There’s no denying, though, that currently, Foxtel From Telstra wins out pretty clearly on both price and convenience.