Netflix’s House of Cards hits Foxtel; and Foxtel only



news Netflix’s remake of the popular British TV series House of Cards is set to debut in Australia on the on-demand platforms of local pay TV giant Foxtel, the company revealed this morning, as debate continues to swirl about the timeliness of US content releases in Australia.

House of Cards debuted on the US-based IPTV service Netflix on February this year. The series was notable because it was one of the first TV series with high production values and top-level stars such as US actor Kevin Spacey to be entirely distributed online through Netflix’s Internet platform, instead of through cable television in the US, as is the norm for such shows. Netflix bid for the rights for the show and distributed it online in one hit — avoiding the traditional method of showing one episode a week.

In a statement issued this morning Foxtel revealed the show would premiere in Australia on its Foxtel Go mobile platform, its Foxtel On Demand IPTV platform, and on its normal ‘showcase’ channel. All three platforms require an active Foxtel subscription.

“In a win for Foxtel internet TV users, the first full 13 episodes of the critically acclaimed series starring Oscar winner Kevin Spacey will be available to watch from Tuesday, May 7 at 8.30pm AEST,” the pay TV giant said. “The series will also premiere on Foxtel’s premium drama channel showcase with a special three episode marathon on Tuesday, May 7 at 8.30pm AEST and will continue on Tuesdays at 8.30pm AEST.”

“Foxtel iQ customers who have their set top unit connected to the internet and subscribe to showcase will be able to download every episode of the series On Demand and watch when suits them.”

Brian Walsh, Foxtel Executive Director of Television said: “The Netflix strategy for the House of Cards release recognises the online audience is hungry for content to watch either all at once, or at a time that suits them. By offering the complete first season to our own online customers on Foxtel Go and On Demand we are providing Australian audiences an alternative to broadcast viewing and giving them the option to watch the entire series when they like.”

Mark Young, Senior Vice President of Distribution for Sony Pictures Television in Australia added, “House of Cards brings together the best talent in front of the camera and behind the scenes to create a riveting, unforgettable story that has wowed audiences and critics alike. We are excited to be partnering with Foxtel to bring this much-talked-about series to Australian viewers.”

Upon its exclusive all episode debut on Netflix, lead actor Kevin Spacey said: “We want our audience to be more intrigued and to want to know more. It’s sort of the way that audiences are watching TV now. They consume in large chunks. They stay home all weekend and watch three seasons of Breaking Bad. And I think that we are primed to fit in that particular wheelhouse.”

However, although Foxtel has made the series available via those three platforms, it has blocked the series from being available on a wide range of its other platforms — for example, it’s not available through Optus’ Foxtel distribution medium, it’s not available through Foxtel’s Xbox 360 app, and it’s not available to Telstra customers who consume Foxtel through the telco’s T-Box platform. Netflix does not allow Australian customers to sign up for its streaming TV and movies on demand platform.

The news comes as debate continues to swirl regarding the availability of the top US content in Australia. This week, analysis by file-sharing news site TorrentFreak showed that Australia continues to be the world’s most enthusiastic nation globally in terms of illegally downloading HBO’s hit TV series Game of Thrones, despite the fact that the series was made available legally, cheaply and in high quality in Australia shortly after it was broadcast in the US, through both the Foxtel and iTunes platforms.

Well, this is great news for Foxtel customers, but it’s honestly irrelevant news for everyone else. House of Cards is no doubt one of the most pirated TV shows in Australia at the moment, due to the fact that Netflix has not allowed it to be distributed locally. Nice one, Netflix. Couldn’t you just have allowed Australians to download House of Cards via a platform such as iTunes, at least? That would have given locals at least one decent legal option to get the show.

Image credit: Netflix


  1. We know how this is going to end… Next weeks news: House of Cards, second most pirated show in Australia.

    I am sure we could just copy and paste all the comments from GoT article from yesterday into this article :-)

    • “I am sure we could just copy and paste all the comments from GoT article from yesterday ” – Pretty much.

      Mine for example. I made the comment that the biggest issue for me is that shows like GoT are hidden behind multiple paywalls. $43 for the basic Foxtel package, then another $10-$20 to get the channels that show what you really want.

      This is yet another example of how the industry rorts the end user, then tries to justify it. Giving people what they want? Sure, as long as you pay through the teeth for it.

      Sports are the only reason I’m sticking with Foxtel right now, and thats looking less and less worthwhile.

  2. Loved House of Cards and finished the whole first season in 4-5 days when it came out. It is a supremely well made show. Right up there with HBO shows like Boardwalk Empire in terms of production quality, and probably even better in terms of casting and directing. It manages to stand out even in this golden age of TV. It really is TV at its best.

    I gave up on Foxtel and switched to FetchTV about two years ago, and recently switched from Fetch to Roku + Netflix. At $8 a month for Netflix + $5 a month for a proxy/VPN service to get it in Australia, it beats the hell out of Foxtel and Fetch, has infinitely more content, is so much more intuitive and easier to use, and is available on my tablet and smartphone as well for use on the go.

    • With the Roku are you able to set it up with internal settings for the DNS or did you need to setup your router?

      • Yeah you need to set DNS on your router as the Roku itself doesn’t have anywhere to set DNS in it. But any modem/router these days allows you to manually set your DNS server easily.

  3. Just finished downloading the whole season yesterday coincidentally. Very much looking forward to watching this not-on-Foxtel.

  4. So the Americans get unlimited streaming of movies/TV via Netflix for $8/mth while Foxtel charges $8/rented movie and we are getting excited because they have signed up to offer a show to their CURRENT CABLE subscribers?

    ANY provider in Australia is pushing sh$&t uphill trying to offer the studios flawed model. Why charge one market $8 a movie while the US market enjoys a 15,000 movie buffet with Netflix? And they wonder why piracy is so rife…

  5. Available for streaming on Foxtel in HD? If not, waste of time. Also, why the hell not?

  6. The series was good, but it could have been even better. I’d put it on par with say Damages, but below Game of Thrones or Breaking Bad, say.

  7. Foxtel still trying to pull the wool over the eyes of it’s customers. Way overpriced with limited content (not counting repeats)

    For $20 a month and a $100 Roku I have on demand access to thousands of show via Netflix, Hulu+ , Crackle etc.

    Roll on NBN and they will be in real trouble, if not already. Only saving grace for them is their Sports content.

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