Foxtel on Xbox 360 starts at $20 a month


Foxtel today unveiled the pricing and content breadth of what is slated to be yet another internet television and video on demand play aimed at Australian consumers, with much of the pay TV operator’s content to be available for the price of $20 per month through Microsoft’s Xbox 360 console starting from November.

For $20 a month, Xbox 360 owners will be able to gain access to the FOX8, MTV, Nickelodeon, Channel [V]. LifeStyle YOU, Discovery, National Geographic, TV1, Sky News, FOX Sports News and CNN channels through Foxtel for “less than $20 a month”, according to a Foxtel statement issued today.

Additional channel packages — covering, for example, entertainment, sports and movies — will start at $10 a month.

The Entertainment package, for instance, will cover a number of live streamed Foxtel channels such as the Comedy Channel, the Sci-Fi channel and Disney. Sports will cover the Fox Sports Play, ESPON, Eurosport and more, while the Showtime and Movie Network packages will provide the Foxtel Showcase and Showtime Premiere, and Movie One and Movie Two channels respectively.

In addition to the paid channels, the Xbox 360 service will deliver customers a selection of what the TV networks refer to as ‘catch-up TV’ programs at no additional cost.

Customers who buy what Foxtel describes as its “Get Started” package — the less than $20 monthly plan — will be able to watch episodes from the associated channels as a catch-up TV option, and the same applies to the other channels. So for example, customers who buy the Movie Network package will be able to watch movies which have live streamed on the associated channels — but later on as a catch-up option.

A further offering which Foxtel will offer Xbox 360 customers is video content on demand, which lets customers purchase from a selection of movies and TV episodes on an ad-hoc basis. The company will charge customers $5.95 per movie, $3.95 for what it terms a ‘library’ movie from its archives and TV episodes for $2.95 each. Some children’s TV episodes will go for $1.95.

The company currently has “hundreds” of movies available and over a thousand TV episodes. But it’s planning to expand that combined total to over 5,000 by the end of 2011.

To utilise the Foxtel services on Xbox 360, the company is recommending customers have a broadband connection with a minimum speed of 1.5Mbps. In addition, the services is only available to Xbox 360 owners who live in the metropolitan areas services by Foxtel — and they need an Xbox Live Gold subscription as well.

Image credit: Microsoft


  1. My daughter has an XBox 360 (and XBox Live Gold). So I read through all this, thinking, “Hmm, this sounds all right, it might finally be time to get into paid online movie/TV content of some description,” but then I reached the final paragraph.

    Not available outside the cities, huh?

    Next time, please put a disclaimer at the top, e.g. “As usual, this service is not available to regional Australia.”

    • Yeah sorry, you’re right Clytie — I should have put that front and centre ;) I do think this is a bit of a cop-out from Foxtel — and one wonders why it is being run this way. After all, it’s not as if they’re paying for the bandwidth to the rural areas — the user will pay for that. I’ll query them on it.

        • Ah, that is a very good point. I wonder if this is something they put in black and white to keep their partnership happy, but they’re happy to take anyone’s money (since, after all, we’re just IP addresses)

  2. An on demand service from Foxtel for $20/month like iView from the ABC would go pretty well – I’d pay for that.

    Why restrict it only to Foxtel’s network though? If I want to slam my metered internet internode connection with the Simpsons and Family Guy from Foxtel rather than a shady streaming site off or similar, then why shouldn’t I be allowed/encouraged to?

    And for that matter, why restrict it to X-Box Gold customers?

    Until the local players hook up a deal with Hulu, Aussies are going to continue to be some of the most prolific downloaders of TV content in the world (per capita), legal or otherwise.

    • hey Geoff,

      I don’t think this is restricted to Foxtel’s network (IE, Telstra HFC cable). I think anyone in the cities should be able to get it. Their stipulation that it doesn’t work in regional areas is a bit weird. I’m going to look into what precisely that means.

      I think the Xbox Live Gold thing is basically a marketing exercise with Microsoft. Microsoft obviously wants more paying Xbox Live subscribers, so they probably threw this in as an artificial overhead.

      *sigh* once again in Australia IPTV comes so close — and yet can’t step over the line to do what people want.

      • I’m not in a metro area, so perhaps I’m wrong, but I thought that “serviced by Foxtel” means you need HFC rolling past your house? In the regions we have Austar which runs off microwave… after the debarkle of having 2x lots of HFC rolled out to one lot of homes, you can see why those of us with none are even more rabid about getting the NBN ;-)

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