Seven and Foxtel Sign Retransmission Agreement

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After years of verbal barbs, thinly veiled criticisms and the occasional spout of open hostility towards eachother, Channel 7 and Foxtel today kissed and made up, signing an agreement for Foxtel to retransmit the Channel 7 signal to its cable subscribers in the major capital cities within "a matter of weeks". Satellite subscriers aren't as lucky, having to wait until 2009 for the launch of the new Optus D3 satellite before they can receive the free-to-air channel.

It also means that Channel 7's EPG information will be made available to Foxtel, giving the Pay TV operator the most comprehensive EPG on the Australian market.

The press release below doesn't mention whether or not the new 7HD channel will be included in the agreement, although it would be realistic to expect that if it is included, it would only be for cable subscribers as well, and only then after Foxtel has launched its HD+ service.

MEDIA RELEASE: FEBRUARY 14, 2008

FOXTEL AND SEVEN SIGN DIGITAL RETRANSMISSION DEAL

Sydney, Australia, February 14, 2008 – In a win for Australian Television viewers, FOXTEL and the Seven Network have signed a retransmission deal which will see FOXTEL retransmit the Seven Network’s signal on FOXTEL’s digital platform.

The Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director of FOXTEL, Kim Williams AM, and the Chief Executive Officer of Seven Media Group, David Leckie, signed the agreement in Sydney today.

The retransmission deal will provide cable retransmission of Seven’s digital signal on FOXTEL’s platform, ensuring a clearer digital experience, in addition to Electronic Programming Guide information, for FOXTEL subscribers watching Seven. It will be available to FOXTEL’s cable subscribers in Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane, Adelaide, Perth, and the Gold Coast in a matter of weeks. FOXTEL’s satellite subscribers in Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane will receive digital retransmission in early 2009 – as soon as the new Optus D3 satellite is operational.

FOXTEL’s CEO, Kim Williams said: ““Today’s retransmission deal with FOXTEL and the Seven Network has been a long time coming and means that FOXTEL now has retransmission agreements with all networks. Consumers will enjoy unequalled access to FOXTEL’s comprehensive range of digital services including the Electronic Program Guide and iQ recording functionalities. FOXTEL will continue to work towards the Government’s digital switchover plans.”

Commenting, Mr Leckie said: “This is great news for our viewers and we are excited about this new positive phase in our relationship with FOXTEL. Seven’s objective is to deliver our programming to all Australians, and we look forward to making our programming content and information available to more viewers than ever before.”

Ends

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