This is what you really want to know – Is the programming on Foxtel better than on Freeview?
One word answer: Yes.
Two word answer: Hell yes.
We know you had to ask, and we respect that, but really, Foxtel has 92 channels. Even at its most basic, the service offers 43 channels catering to everything from kids’ TV to movies, from drama to documentaries, and invests heavily in producing and acquiring the best content in the world.
If you’re addicted to soaps, you can watch them all day and all night on Foxtel. If you absolutely, positively must watch all the sport all the time, you’ll find coverage of every event that matters on one of the fifteen dedicated sports channels as well as the sports news channels. Including the option to live-stream popular sports to eligible mobile devices using the Foxtel Go app. If you choose the full 92 channel package, there’s a serious danger that you’ll never leave your house again. Headline shows for 2015 include Fear The Walking Dead, Empire and Falling Skies.
Free to Air TV on the other hand, offers 29 channels from a variety of broadcasters, but unlike with Foxtel, it’s not the case that whenever you tune in there’ll be something worth watching. At the time of writing, it’s 8:45 am, and the best picks right now are the shopping channel, an unbelievable amount of kids’ TV, and news in Chinese, Arabic, English, and Russian.
Granted, this isn’t the best time of day for high drama and entertainment, and looking ahead to this evening’s schedule, we can see back to back episodes of The Big Bang Theory on channel 99, Gone In 60 Seconds on Channel 7, and a whole host of solid British and American TV shows from the last decade or so.
Live AFL and NRL Coverage
Australian’s love their sport, so any review between Free to Air and Foxtel wouldn’t be complete without a look at the quantity and quality of their respective coverage of the most popular codes.
Telstra NRL Premiership: Network Nine will offer a minimum of three Live matches on Free to Air TV during each round, Thursday and Friday night, as well as Sunday afternoon, with the last five Saturday night game on channel 9 in the lead up to the Grand Final. Fox Sports will televise every game of every round live, in HD, and ad-break free before the grand final.
Toyota AFL Premiership: Channel Seven will offer a minimum of three live matches on their Free to Air network each full round in all states and territories, which will generally include Thursday and Friday night, Sunday afternoon, as well as the Saturday afternoon game shown on delay. Foxtel will continue to deliver every game of every round live and in HD, before the Grand Final. Between Fox Footy and Fox Sports the matches will be televised across multiple platforms including cable, satellite, Internet, tablets and smart phones (PC and Mac excluded).
The above comparison can be used to describe Freeview TV content as a whole. It’s solid, not dazzling. It’s good, but it’s not inspiring.