Australian TV Execs Are Upset That Netflix Exists

Netflix is really knocking it out of the park with original programming right now. Starting with Lilyhammer and following it up with Arrested Development's revival, along with the amazing and award-winning House Of Cards. It's so attractive that we're tunnelling our way into the US to get access to it, and that's upsetting Australian TV execs. Won't someone think of the fat cats?!

For those who have been living under a digitally-shielded rock, Netflix is an online streaming service that costs $US7 per month and gives subscribers access to a massive swathe of content. The only problem is that it's not officially available in Australia, but that won't stop us from using VPN services to get access to the service.

According to The Australian's Media section, Aussie TV execs are upset that people are "illegally" accessing Netflix from Australia, which in turn denies them vital subscriber dollars.

There are estimates that Netflix now has anywhere up to 200,000 subscribers in the local market.

Aussie execs are even contacting their US film counterparts to try and put pressure on the streaming service to stop accepting Australian credit card payments, as it could potentially lower the value of future content deals.

From The Australian:

The major issue now for Australian broadcasters is that any local subscribers Netflix allows dilute the value of their output deals with international partners, such as Nine’s with Warner Bros or Foxtel Movies’ with various Hollywood studios. The number of viewers lost to Australian networks is unquantifiable though.
“This is an issue the US studios should be taking up with Netflix because they’re not getting paid,” one network executive said.

Could a potential solution be to create content good enough to bring people back to the Australian TV market? Food for thought.

Read more at The Australian.

WATCH MORE: Entertainment News


    haha too bad, dickheads. stop bitching & start being competitive if you want our money.

    Edit: also, its funny how the Australian is the paper bringing this up. Owned by News ltd. -> Murdoch -> Foxtel.

    pretty soon I fully expect the govt to introduce legislation making it punishable by death to not have a foxtel sub.

    Last edited 03/03/14 11:56 am

      Ironically people who watch Foxtel wish they were dead.

        I know I did. Oh why oh why does the universal channel even exist? Transmitting Mega Shark vs Crocosaurus should be classed as a torture device.

          No, this is a torture device: Keeping Up with the Kardashians.

            @dknigs and @wisehacker the best torture appears to be self inflicted, you do have the option to not watch garbage.

              Hence why I only had foxtel for three months haha.

              Month 1: Oh look, new shows!
              Month 2: Oh, a couple of new things, still heaps I haven't watched
              Month 3: Fuck this, there's like two new things, there's more repeats than FTA.

              Last edited 03/03/14 5:44 pm

                They are getting the money, even if it's pocket change. $7 x 200,000 = $1.4m per month from Australian subscribers. The banks also makes a nice little cut out of the international transaction fee. Netflix will stop the loophole as soon as they open up shop in Australia, forcing the 200,000 subscribers to join up. Then we will here the real whinge from the fat cats.

                  The whinging will be from the users because you can bet the Aussie NetFlix will have crap content.

        Counter-point: I have Foxtel because I can't get Broadband where I live. NBN Fixed Wireless is available in my area, as is ADSL. Yet in both cases I'm denied - NBN because I'm in a tiny black spot of wireless coverage; ADSL because of pair gains. Means I'm stuck with MBB and horrendously restrictive quotas.

        So where does this leave me? Sure, we can watch FTA and hope that someone will eventually screen Walking Dead or GoT, but it'll be quicker to just wait for the box sets to come out. Likewise for kid's shows or new movies - Could go visit the local Blockbuster, but convenience. For us it's a case of paying the money I'd be putting towards broadband to Foxtel instead.

        Would I rather be using a VPN and getting content via Netflix or something similar? Absolutely. Unfortunately this is the best we can get unless we move or NBN Co decide to build a new Fixed Wireless tower that will basically just benefit us, or even if I figure out where the Pair Gain System is and go smash it in the hope it somehow magically will let us get ADSL...

          or wait for it you could get cable since you know cable comes down the exact same copper line as your foxtel, you wouldn't even need to "have it installed" as they say, just get an account with whatever cable company you want and plug a cable modem in.

            Chances are he is receiving his Foxtel by satellite.

            Awesome reasoning except Foxtel is also available by Satellite in the very common areas with no cable... Which is likely what this guy has.
            And what world do you live in that you think you can "just get an account with whatever cable company you want" (your choices are Telstra or Bigpond?) even if he did have cable?

            Last edited 04/03/14 4:07 pm

            Sorry - I should've clarified, I'm in a Satellite area. Kinda forget that now Austar isn't a thing, there's no easy way to identify between the two.

            Believe me: If I could get ADSL/Cable, I'd have it in a heartbeat.

      pretty soon I fully expect the govt to introduce legislation making it punishable by death to not have a foxtel sub.
      Nah, that isn't going to happen until the year 100 billion. Shameless Doctor Who references ftw.

      Welcome to the global future broadcasters - and Im talking to Foxtel as well as FTA. Lift your game and change your business model or be out of business. You can only lobby politicians so much to prevent Australians accessing Australian content, people will always find a way. Embrace the technology and change your business.

      I believe that's why the Liberals want to deliver an inferior NBN, which cannot really handle fast downloads. This will keep Foxtel competitive. In exchange the Liberals get a good wrap in the Murdoch media...which will hopefully help them remain in power for a long scratch my back I scratch yours kind of agreement

        I'm using Netflix and Hulu on ADSL and there's little to no problem watching anything. Don't need NBN to enjoy it.

        I'm using Netflix on my 5mbps connection. Sure it could be better i only stream at 480p but so much instant content even at standed deff is still better then Foxtel. Sure i could torrent but when you want a movie instantly instead of waiting 30 mins or so its so good.

      Perfect +1000

    Because heaven forbid any sort of competition in this industry that might force us to lower our extortionist fees. How ever will I afford my gold plated Bentley now :-(

      Its not the first time this has happened actually. Back in the 90s lexus put a huge pressure on the australian government to put blocks on the import of various japanese cars because the japanese versions were considerably cheaper and better equipped than the ones being sold here. Toyota made the claim that a half price 1 year old second hand toyota celcior from japan was destroying the value of the base model lexus ls400 sold in Australia. the celcior and the ls400 are identical btw exept the celcior has a much much better feature list.

      they argued that it also put pressure on the australian manufacture of cars....which is a crock seeing as toyota never made either of these cars here.

      And unfortunatly they succeeded...and ever since you can only import from an approved government list.

      hopefully now that thte gov has killed our car industry they will finally release the bans on importing.....pfft fat chance

    It's their own fault for sitting on their hands and not doing anything to compete for are viewership. There's nothing on TV but reruns, reality shows, reruns of reality shows (on the weekend), bad Aussie dramas, more reruns, reruns of their morning shows, and pixelated SD content (mainly on the FTA channels). Did I mention the reruns? We are using services like Netflix for a reason. Instead of bitching about it, look into why we are and fix your broken system.

    Last edited 03/03/14 12:02 pm

      I'd say its probably too late.
      Even if they solve the problem tomorrow (how I'm unsure I cant do magic) there is over 200,000 people who will already have their VPN and Netflix Subscription wont just abandon it, they're just going to say "this still works fine" and keep with what works.

      Ultimately the lose lose situation for us is to delay the episodes of the TV shows going up on Netflix until they've aired in Australia as well but WHY would Netflix do that?

      From Netflix Vision statement;
      Becoming the best global entertainment distribution service
      Licensing entertainment content around the world

      You can thank FreeView for that. Effectively put an end to growth and advancement of FTA TV in Australia.

        why would you say that? isnt freeview about having more channels to choose from which would a growth and advancement from the hdtv innovation?

          The practice differs. There are more channels, yes. But most of them are freaking shopping channels for exercise machines!

          And how can you support HDTV if the broadcasts are using lossy codecs? MPEG 2 is not suited as it's designed to compress content to the point where the eye supposedly cannot notice the loss of detail.

          MPEG2 is also a gutsy codec data bandwidth wise. It requires more data bandwidth to handle content (SD or HD) that the same content with MPEG4.

            yeah im not talking about the codec, but just your statement about putting an end to growth and advancement of FTA TV in Australia - genuinely curious.
            most are shopping channels, but that could change with/when more content. ten has 1 for 24/7 sports. abc has abc3 for 24/7 news. i think its just up to the channel to use it wisely.

              I don't mean to be rude, but ABC 3 is the kids channel. ABC News 24 is the 24/7 news channel.

                nah you're right - abc2 and 3 are my little ones faves - all i remember is pushing the up channel button once or twice :)

                Since switching to netflix, now the only FTA i watch is ABC & SBS.

                  Same - rarely do I see any advertisements anymore and I genuinely feel 'healthier' for it.
                  ABC/SBS and tor...I mean VPN Netflix ftw.

            Pretty much every video codec you're likely to use is lossy: from the DVB streams you get from free to air television and Foxtel to Blu-ray discs.

            You're right that MPEG4 is more efficient than MPEG2 (you can get the same picture quality with roughly half the bandwidth). The Freeview consortium would probably be quite happy to see it introduced since it would be trivial to double the number of channels, or upgrade all existing channels to 720p without needing any additional spectrum. In fact, TVs with the Freeview logo are required to support MPEG4/H.264 decoding.

            However, the broadcasters would need government approval to switch codecs. They don't want to be in a position where digital televisions or set top boxes they got everyone to buy no longer work. It took ~ 10 years for the analog to digital switch over, so that's the kind of time frame of parallel broadcasts you might need to introduce a new digital codec. And if it might take that long, why bother with H.264 when H.265 is just around the corner?

          More channels but they're owned by the sam. Corporations. The govt also limits the bandwidth it sells and prices every one except the top players out of the market.

          More channels?

          Free View is meant to confuse the average punter. Yes there are more channels, but it still remains that there are only three free to air TV networks. for example, Channel 7 (Prime) cannot compete with 7 Mate etc...that's because they are run by the same network.

          However, if we had several other networks come in, the competition would be higher...which can only mean better viewing experience for us...

      Add to that the cost. All the "good" shows. The high quality content is always at the top tier, all the shows you WANT to watch are in the most expensive bundles. I remember when foxtel had NO COMMERCIALS. Gone are those days.

      Pay for the highest tier to get the little bit of content you want, pay for ads, pay for shit you don't want. OR.. maybe.. pay a reasonable price, for just what you want..

    Why don't the TV Execs (fat cats) buy massive shares in Netflix and do Netflix localy?!

      Because they know nobody will pay $99 a month for it with half the content, and they're too greedy to actually make it competitive.

      Netflix has a market cap of $26bn.
      If you add the entire market cap of 7, 9 and 10 together, it barely scrapes 5bn. And that includes all the other non-tv stuff, like magazines.

      In other words, the reason they don't 'buy massive shares' is... math.

    Are we trying to be super-ironic Mr Hopewell by linking to an article behind a paywall ?

      Who on earth would pay for a subscription to the Australian?

        Andrew Bolt.

          There was a drunk pensioner down at the RSL the other day, ranting about lefties, commies and the poofs.

          Pretty sure Andrew Bolt has some competition now!

      I posted a link to the free version of the article further down the comments.

      google search for 'More Netflix pirates on board' and look at the whirlpool link from today

      Last edited 03/03/14 2:49 pm

    Murdoch is out to ensure that Freeview ends up with little or no content so everyone has to subscribe to Foxtel. He's just stolen the V8 Supercar series and, as silly as this might sound, Days of Our Lives. Now that he also owns the government, there's no-one to stop him.

      For that to happen, Murdoch had better buy into the other four networks. He only has stake on one of them.

      But then again, FreeView was a train wreak from its inception. It's the networks themselves that are the problem. Even if Murdoch wasn't there we'd still have this problem.

        Murdoch had better buy into the other four networks

        Um no... He just needs to outbid them and secure exclusive deals to anything worth watching. Why bother buying a stake in the networks when you can just buy their content from under them?

          Exactly right. Hence the deal with V8 Supercars. It's a joint initiative with Ten, which he only did to avoid issues with the anti-siphoning laws. But it also means stripping the rights from Seven who've held them for years and are considered the best at this sort of coverage.

          The same thing happened with Days of our lives (DOOL). They monitored the various fan sites, Facebook etc and discovered there was an opportunity, so did a deal with Sony. DOOL has a very large and loyal fan base. While it's currently still available to view on Crackle, it's only a matter of time before he steps in to stop that as well.

          I'm sure there are other shows he will outbid the FTA networks on.

          It's the studios that eventually decide, not Murdoch so the claim I made still stands.

          FreeView has created an environment of group think among the broadcasters of Australia.

          Classic example, setting a PlayTV for the PS3 to Australia actually limits the capabilities of the device. And it is compliant with numerous standards including FreeView Australia.

            At that point, the studios are only interested in how much money they make. They'll just accept the highest offer and we all know that Rupert has very deep pockets. Much deeper than the FTA networks.

      Freeview are fighting back though - google "internet tv hits free to air"

      Later this year you will be able to buy "Free View Plus" equipment (TVs, STBs, etc) that connect to the internet and provide you with catch up TV services from all the stations, as well as some extra online only services.

      Hopefully it's not all "home shopping" crap.

        From Channel News:

        All you need is an internet connection to watch catch up TV from the likes of SBS on demand, Seven plus, ABCiView, and you don't need a 'Smart' or Internet connected TV.

        TVs have been able to do that for years and most home consoles.

        Once again this is like life boats on the Titanic. Too little too late.

        But still, thanks for the source.

        Last edited 03/03/14 3:21 pm

    The TV studios bring this on themselves, Breaking up TV series with large gaps between episodes, showing the episodes out of sequence, constant changing of the TV schedule, more and more adverts, the massive delays in bring the Series to local television, the constant "coming soon" adverts for TV series that they don't intend to show for at least another 6 months or more, the constant recycling of old shows (FFS! Mash and The Brady bunch... let them go!)
    The constant bombardment of Home Shopping, then the Home Shopping segments in the middle of shows which then feature more adverts during the commercial breaks.
    I gave up on free to Air years ago, and Foxtel is even worse (Gave it up years ago and have never missed it)

    TV in Australia is fucked and run by short sighted fuckwits!

    Last edited 03/03/14 12:10 pm

      TV as we know it will soon be dead and it will all just be streamed through the internet.

        Crap, if Murdoch has his way the NBN will be blocked, buggered and useless also.
        With Ziggy running the NBN, it will stall and turn into a disaster in very short order!

        And yes I'm a cynical prick. :)

        Last edited 03/03/14 12:13 pm

          You Sir are spot on. Murdoch owns the Govt now after helping get Abbott in power. So Murdoch is putting the pressure on them to crack down on piracy etc. If he had it his way NBN would be in the bin

            NBN is already in the bin.

            No he isn't. Murdoch did not decide nor help Abbott. Australian's decided long before the election and Kevin Rudd handed the election to the Coalition on platter by trashing his own party's creditability.

            Murdoch is not in control here. If he is, then start giving him credit for the inception of the NBN, the stimulus package and the good outcomes of the schools program and the bats schemes.

            If you are going to spread this fallacy that he is in control of our government then you have to give him credit as well as blame. You cannot be selective. Either give all due (good and bad) or give nothing.

            The real problem here is FreeView. All the execs have been brought into their own ivory tower, have come cancerous with group think and have no motivation to update the offerings nor the decades old technology the FreeView "certified" devices use.

            Last edited 03/03/14 1:01 pm

              The problem with Australian parliament isn't that rich people help out the parties. It's that Australians vote against who they don't want, and the other party wins by default. That's how we end up with a giant douche or a shit sandwich.

              you can be responsible for influencing the things that concern you (nbn) and not be responsible for influencing things that dont concern you (schools program and the bats schemes) at the same time.

                If the claim is Murdoch has Australian politics under his thumb then we have to thank him for the NBN, the Bats Scheme and the Schools Program.

                There is no selection here. If the claim here is 'control' then all goes to him. No exceptions and no conditions. All or nothing.

                  people can be under the thumb without having to pass ALL decisions along though?
                  I see what you're saying, but I dont agree with it - murdoch wouldnt waste energy on those things that dont concern him making money.

                  I see what you're saying but agree with @zen. Murdoch is only concerned with his business. What does he care about schools program etc, means nothing to his media empire. He is obviously putting pressure on the Govt to crack down on this kind of thing, just over 2 weeks ago there was an article about a Govt crack down on piracy:


                  Now 'The Australian', owned by News Corp, has just published an article about the networks being worried about Netflix 'illegal' Australian subscribers.

                  I can only see this pressure getting worse and worse as Murdoch wants action.

                  @matt0: The piracy crackdown will only pay for the studios. Even if Murdoch is a player, he will only get pennies compared to the studios.

                  Also, if it does happen, it will be like prohibition but it will be those who invest in VPN connections that will become overnight millionaires.

                  Furthermore, people keep forgetting that Foxtel here is only half owned by News Corp. Telstra owns the other half yet don't consider Telstra as having a vested interest.

                  Seriously, look at what Telstra has done to iiNet in the past. If anyone has an issue with newer technologies such as the NBN, it is Telstra because they have the monopoly on telecommunications here and most of it in copper.

                  Most other providers, Optus, Vodaphone, etc, don't have their own communication infrastructures and or towers. They often have to rent out existing access from Telstra.

                  Go back to the early stages of the NBN. You will also see that one of the major hold ups was Telstra playing games.

                  Granted, the Howard Government started this with the sell off of Telstra but if keep going back we'll eventually fall into creationism and start blaming God for our problems.

              mate, it's pretty obvious that Murdoch helped.. just read any News Corp publication to see how biased their selective reporting methods are.

                They were biased against Howard in 2007. And the papers were only really covering what people already knew.

                So no, there was no help there. The decision had been made long before the election. It had been made when Gillard called the election in the first half of 2013.

          Sadly it's all true. We are all moving away from a broken model, and the suits are trying to force us back. It's never going to work. They need to accept that the current way is broken and look at why and how it has broke.

          Abbot already killed the NBN - costs too much, there is a much cheaper copper alternative.

            No, the Coalition killed the NBN. Abbott is just the figure head put out in front so no-one finds out the real twit when things go wrong or the brains when things go right.

            Also, cost was only part of the problem. The Coalition have the skills set to make it work given the state of the budget. 90% of the reason it was scrapped was because it was a Labor invention and they actively chose to not use the skill set to save it.

            It never was a case they can't save it: they chose not to.

        Not without the NBN, it won't. You tell me how I'm supposed to stream with any half decent quality on my 1.5Mbps ADSL connection. And it's not like I'm in the middle of nowhere - this is about 4km from Melbourne CBD.

          Just saying if your willing to pay exorbitant fees $100+ a month then cable will get you pretty similar speeds. I get around 60-100mbs.

          i stream perfectly on cheap cable. ($60 a month) have Hulu in the loungeroom on Apple TV. Hulu in the bedroom on XBox One. Hulu on the PC via browser. all three can stream at once without a hassle whilst my brother is on Xbox live. Maybe you should think about upgrading from ADSL.

            I'd love to upgrade from ADSL, but there is no cable anywhere near my house.

        TV has been dead in Australia for years. It was taken off life support when that train wreak FreeView got formed.

        FreeView basically put the control of broadcasting and the devices required into the hands of advertisers and not the broadcasters themselves.

          can you give more info please?

            My favorite example is the PlayTV for the PS3. If you have one, play around with the region setting to see what options disappear.

            If you don't ask around or look online. You will find that on the Australian setting it has less features.

            This is because the idea is it is the advertisers pay/contribute to the transmission (hence why ads are present in FTA TV) and thus features like 30 second skipping is disabled because viewers don't see the ads (and subsequently don't become aware of and then purchase the products shown).

            And in what can only be described as honoring the over entitled studios, the move to the home screen/media bar command is disabled when on the Australian setting. This means to shift your recordings off the PS3, you need to constantly change the region to Other, move the content, and change it back so the EPG remains current.

      TV in Australia is fucked and run by short sighted fuckwits!

      No, even ****wits have some intelegence to themselves. TV in Australia effectively died when FreeView formed. Even the UK FreeView is better than ours but no the one we have here is 20 years behind the times.

      For example, name another country that still uses MPEG 2 for the audio and video components of the broadcast?

      Most (if not, all others) have moved to MPEG4 so why the blazes are we still on the same codec as used for DVDs? Even the channels that are in HD used MPEG 2.

        Just a guess, but moving on from mpeg2 to mpeg 4 is not as straightforward as it may seem. We just finished a retardedly long transition from analog to digital (the reason why the technology in use is so lod in the first place) requiring people to upgrade their shitty old tech. This change would mean factoring in what effect it would have on receivers people already have (not all DVB-T receivers are mpeg4 compatible), and it might be a bridge too far when we should be thinking of upgrading to DVB-T2 anyhow.

          This will blow your socks off, Kaflooey. A couple of years ago there were some TV channels using MPEG4.

          From memory, it was One HD and TV4ME (back when it was only partly a shopping channel). Both were using MPEG4. But over time both went to MPEG2.

          My guess is its because so many people had early FreeView devices which did not support MPEG4 because it requires more processing.

          Which is horrendous as the devices should have been MPEG4 capable for the get go and not require this painfully slow stages they roll out over time.

          Instead of offering inceptives to upgrade devices, my guess is FreeView simply scaled back the technology.

            Hey, I'm not saying it *shouldn't* be switched, just that it probably wont. I made sure my TV receiver was mpeg4 compatible when I bought it (one ca dream, right), same reason why I told anyone who would care to listen that an SD set top box will imit their viewing options. I'm just saying the old ladies that write letters to ministers are actually quite good at stiffling progress

          Blame old nan and pop who don't know what an intarwebs is let alone mpeg4. Can you imagine explaining why an mpeg 4 stream doesn't play on one device whereas another mpeg 4 stream does? Just look at the whole xvid/divx codec evolution. Mpeg 2 is ubiquitous at least.

            Can you imagine explaining why an mpeg 4 stream doesn't play on one device whereas another mpeg 4 stream does?

            Yes, I can imagine it, and I have attempted to do it also. Mostly people don't care *why* and just want to know how they can get it to work, and quickly lose interest if you tell them they can't.

      Yea but Australians also don't want to subscribe to the US TV model. Out of the last month a lot of shows only broadcast new episodes last week, because they had a midseason break. I vpn my way to Netflix and Hulu, while pirating HBO shows like the best of them. But the yanks fuck their viewers around just as much if not more.

      Not to mention the fact that whichever private company laid cable to your suburb is your only choice for internet and cable TV over there.

      Last edited 03/03/14 1:40 pm

    I'm so sick of the smut being dished up & re-gurgled to death that I'm not surprised people are flocking away in their 200 000's.
    Suck it up channel 7/9/10. You have not invested in alternative options or moving with the times. You could have come up with a netflix too couldn't you? No point crying over spilt milk.

    The only thing Foxtel have Australians by the balls with is Live Sport. Everything else, they can cram it with walnuts.

      Actually, online streaming has solved all of my need for Foxtel. The cricket is available for free online, the Premier League is harder to get, but still available online and Tennis has always been available online.

      Dear Foxtel,

      If you would like my (or anybody else's business), start offering a half-decent product at a semi-affordable price.

      Hundreds of dollars a year for exactly the same amount of ads as FTA = no sale.



        I do my fair share of streaming sport also, but its hard to compare the very low quality streams to a Foxtel HD feed. I can justify the $47 per month (base + sport) for Fox because I watch a fair bit of sport and an internet stream doesn't cut it on a 2m projector screen.

          You're right that Foxtel HD is higher quality than low-quality streaming, but Cricket and Tennis are available in HD (720p or 1080p).

          Even so it's obviously lower bitrate so still not quite the same quality (looks like the average 720/1080p youtube video), but my point is that streaming doesn't mean crap quality like it used to. Frequently streaming will give you as good or better than a FTA broadcast.

          EDIT: Also, although I'm yet to find a reliable HD stream for the Premier League, 15-20 minute MOTD style highlights packages are almost always available which is all I really want to watch of non-Liverpool games.

          Last edited 04/03/14 1:07 pm

            EPL On Demand is a decent Foxtel service, but it's cheaper than actual Foxtel, if your team is regularly broadcast there.

    Sounds like a good excuse for a holiday to the US to open a US bank account and get a US Credit Card..
    Incredibly that tactic would pay for itself within 20 months compared to buying the basic Foxtel package!

    As for this:
    "Could a potential solution be to create content good enough to bring people back to the Australian TV market?"
    That's not how a Free Market works!
    No a Free Market is where you're free to bitch and whine to the Government you just bought and make them change the rules so that while you can freely export jobs overseas to lower your operating costs and maintain the same price, noone can "import" goods that are cheaper and superior.

      Don't need a US credit card for either Netflix or Hulu. One worked out of the box, the other I just added a zero to my postcode so it would authenticate with my bank.

        Read the article...
        especially the bit that says
        "Aussie execs are even contacting their US film counterparts to try and put pressure on the streaming service to stop accepting Australian credit card payments, ... "
        My comment is in response to it.

          I'm pretty sure there are already online services that give you a US credit card number, plus you can always get your bank to add a US address to your card, so a shipping forwarding company or similar.

    If getting content legitimately online through VPN/iTunes etc (or illegally via torrents) becomes impossible, I would sooner wait for my TV shows to come to DVD and buy them rather than pay for a Foxtel subscription.

      And even then, I'd be buying them from Amazon... Case in point, Chicago Fire and Vikings have not been released on DVD/BD here yet (Vikings was mid-march I believe, but CF doesn't have a date from what I've found.)

      I looked them up on Amazon, and got the both of them shipped here for $70AUD.

    Aussie execs are even contacting their US film counterparts to try and put pressure on the streaming service to stop accepting Australian credit card payments, as it could potentially lower the value of future content deals.

    That would be an absurd thing for Netflix to consider. 200,000 Aussies at $8/month is a fair chunk of cash to throw away.

    The main issue is that even if Aussie TV execs tried to put something together (like Foxtel Go), there is no way they can compete on price. $16 a month for both Netflix and Hulu is a steal.

      Actually, they can compete on price. The execs just don't want to.

        This, with the clout they have Foxtel could EASILY match or undercut Netflix on price, but they are lazy and used to a complete lack of competition, so they won't (they'll just dwindle away until they've gone the way of Blockbuster).

    I find the Netflix promo graphic ironic - "anytime, anywhere." and "Sorry, Netflix isn't available in your country yet". the geographic area's we provide service :)

    p.s. for those wanting to read the article on 'The Australian' for free

      So that's where The Australian got it from. Thanks.

      Let's see what it has to say.

      the only issue holding his Company back from launching their service in Australia was the cost that movie studio's wanted to charge Netflix for granting access to their content.


      ..........OK, that's the rage steam against the studios out. If I keep this up, I'll put the Angry Videogame Nerd out of work. And I happen to like his videos.

      We have also been told that Foxtel executives have approached US studio executives about the potential of losing viewers to Netflix, the subscription TV service is concerned as to the impact that Netflix could have on their growth moving forward.

      No doubt sent by News Corp, Australia, Telstra or even both as they both have equal stake in Foxtel.

      Foxtel's biggest concern is that Netflix is flouting international regulations by accepting payments from Australian credit cards.

      Then take a lesson from Apple, Foxtel, and offer us an alternative.

      Foxtel said that the major issue now for Australian broadcasters is that any local subscribers Netflix allows dilutes the value of their output deals with international partners, such as Nine's with Warner Bros or Foxtel Movies' with various Hollywood studios.

      That's a problem for Channel Nine and those related in FreeView, Foxtel. Cleanup you own house and keep out of others.

      "This is an issue the US studios should be taking up with Netflix because they're not getting paid," one network executive said.

      Errr, yes they are. It's going to the US studios after Netflix pays the royalties. The only players worried are the execs in TV, Foxtel, News Corp and Telstra who see the gravy train is coming to an end.

      This week, Foxtel confirmed plans to establish a beachhead against Netflix with the launch of its Presto subscription video service on March 13.

      Like life boats on the Titanic, it's too little too late!

      Complementing its Foxtel Play service, the stand-alone streaming service will not require a Foxtel home subscription and has a competitive advantage with its strong movie line-up.

      Only problem is after shafting Australian's for so long most will switch to Netflix anyway (even if it turns out to be more expensive) out of spite and principle.

      Last edited 03/03/14 1:32 pm

        But we cant have netflix, foxtel will loose money, telstra will loose money, our internet will be even more bogged down. Showing how we do need the nbn so the govt will look bad. They all loose with netflix.

          Correct, the only winners there are Australian citizens.

          That's why we can't have the NBN - it only benefits every Aussies, startups and the economy - there's not a huge benefit for slow, incompetent corporations.

    Boo-effing-hoo. This is what you get for treating your viewers like morons for the past few decades. I also like the fact that they've immediately jumped the gun and said that accessing Netflix via VPN is "illegal", despite the fact that it is a grey area at worst. I highly doubt anyone would be given either a fine or prison time for it.

      It's probably a breach of Netflix user policy. That's about it. Hardly a legal matter.
      The fact that Netflix doesn't care means that the user policy is just there to satisfy the legal department. Netflix could easily stop us streaming, refusing AUS credit cards would make it that much harder. But we love them because they don't care!

        It's illegal for Netflix to provide it to us, but they sufficiently try to stop us via geoblocking. They're not licenced to distribute to our region. The only thing they could do further is stop accepting AU credit cards. As for us getting Netflix, that's nothing more than breaching Netflix TOS, we're not breaking any AU laws.

      The worst that could happen is Netflix cancel your services. Though the real question that needs to be answered is what copyright breaches are there for us that are streaming it out side of the US? Can the providers of the content still go after us even though Netflix have stopped are service. If I was Netflix I would start making plans to get it to Australia.

    If it wasnt for the EPL I would not have a Foxtel subscription, I hate that money hungry baboon Murdoch!!

      I believe you can get EPL stream from NZ like a league pass. @lukehopwell could you look into this and do a how to guide. plus perhaps a review.

      I had NBA league pass a couple of years back and it was AWESOME!!! like all the games + stats +highlights. Easily the best sports viewing experience and to be honest I'm not really that in to NBA in comparison to football (soccer).

    Netflix, and possibly now Amazon, are hopefully going to change the way that shows are made and distributed. It is only a matter of time before some local version of this exists. Its just annoying that we have to wait to catch up to the rest of the world for yet another thing.

      the problem is as was stated the other day, some of the content owners have been refused licences for content in this region (most likely the partners protecting foxtel and their monopoly)

      As soon as the NBN (or any form of decent broadband) is released foxtel will be forced to evolve or cease to exist (look at newspapers and magazines)
      I know SMH lost my readership as soon as they started limiting the amount of articles I could view.

        Funny thing is you can view all the same articles free on smaller circulation Fairfax sites like CanberraTimes.

          Our you could just open the article in an incognito window

            you can also in chrome block the cookies from smh and all those sites and you get unlimited articles anyway!

    If Netflix is smart they will tell the Foxtel CEO to go fuck himself.

    The number of viewers lost to Australian networks is unquantifiable though.
    I don't own a TV. Just saying...

    As one of these people using the methods to access netflix.
    I would rather PAY than pirate, but I am not going to PAY hundreds of dollars a month for something I use 2 - 3 Hours a week.
    If a local version was available for around the same nominal value I would jump to it.

    My work has a foxtel subscription and we get 40+ channels right now, foxtel sent us a letter the other day stating our existing plan (135'ish) would now be 190'ish and if we wanted to stay at the current price point we could only choose some of the old channels we had.
    They also said that to choose some of the channels we had before "they only come in x package that costs xxx a month making it a very costly service indeed.

      I bet if you threaten to cancel they'll give it to you for half price!

      The pricing of foxtel for business is very different to that of consumers. At your work, many people can watch at once, but at your house the number of people who can watch at once is more limited.

      Like you, I am a netflix subscriber, but recently i also some bought foxtel play as well. I wouldn't have it at all but for the fact that bigpond mobile broadband (which is different to telstra mobile broadband) has it unmetered. If they ever start metering it i will cancel the foxtel in lieu of netflix, hulu, BBC, 4oD, Tenplay, JumpIn, Plus7, TVNZ On Demand, etc.

      A local version sorta "IS" available in the form of QuickFlix, I signed up to their trial and cancelled the service after 3 days of use. It's selection is poor, it's mobile apps don't resume from where you last left off, and it promotes "pay per play" content above everything that's streamable in such a way as to make streaming content much harder to find. Stick to netflix proper, don't waste your time (in my opinion)

    Another entrenched industry caught with its pants down by technology shift. I bet this is how photographic film manufacturers felt about ten years ago when we were all shifting to digital photography.

    Adapt or die, fools.

    Getflix + Netflix....epic!

    $15AUD a month including the 'work around' to get content - loving it!

      Whats getflix? Is it similar to UnblockUS ? I use those guys and pay 13 bucks a month all up, also loving it :)

        I used to use UnblockUS and I have to say it was good, but after an outage on their end took my whole network down (router DNS method) I decided to switch to Getflix, I really haven't noticed any difference, it works, and thanks to me liking their Facebook page it only costs $2.50 a month, a bargain!

          Getflix is a great local company - i had an account with them for a while.

          But as a regular user of public transport (which happens to be where i watch at least half my TV), and mobile broadband (on Telstra's network no less) i found updating my IP address so frequently to be a hassle, so a proper VPN is much faster to startup and easier for me. (gizmodo/lifehacker have done several VPN/top 5 VPN stories in the past)

          Last edited 04/03/14 3:23 pm

    If Foxtel would do something about their pricing and packaging, then people would actually subscribe to them. Adopt the same market idea - for $7 a month, many people would subscribe, probably even me. But why shell out a $100 a month for just rubbish?

      Pay TV is just as expensive in the US than it is here. And the US has more of a competitive market when it comes to 'cable' TV. But American's do not care.

        How so? You can get Cable internet and cable TV from whoever owns the cable in your suburb. Otherwise you can get satellite TV and satellite internet with a shithouse ping, or ADSL1. It's pretty anti competitive over there, there's just more companies, not more choice.

        This is how Abbot wants our internet in Australia to progress, as a "free market". Instead of using the NBN to do what the govt should do and promote competition in an area that has been failed by the free market.

        Last edited 03/03/14 1:53 pm

        Yeah, but they have alternatives: Netflix, Hulu and the like. Our alternative is called Piratebay... Not like it's a secret that us Aussies are the worst "offenders" in that department anyway.

          For a very good reason; price.

            Also availability. I bought Game of Thrones on iTunes when it was coming out right after airing in the US, despite the cost.

            Obviously that's no longer an option.

          The fact Ozzies are the biggest pirates should say something about the state of pay TV and television in this country. Every other industry has been affected by free trade, why should Foxtel and the networks not have the torch put on them too?

          With the likes of the AFL contemplating broadcasting their own TV channel, it won't be long before other entitles wise up and do the same. It's time for a revolution or the industry in this country will end up like the dinosaur.

            With the likes of the AFL contemplating broadcasting their own TV channel

            Have you got a link for further information on this?

            The AFL have done their own "direct streaming to fans" through Apple/Android for the last 2 years (cost is $100 per year, which is quite good value really)

              It was mentioned yesterday, as the CEO stood down, with spectrum on the FTA network becoming free. The very strong rumour is they want to control the TV rights and have their own subscribers watch their own channel across every platform. The networks already pool resources to broadcast AFL football between 7 and foxtel. This would give the AFL a greater bargaining chip. It will happen before the decade is out.

              Last edited 04/03/14 5:49 pm

    If I had a connection that was good enough to stream video content (1.5-2mbps does not cut it) i'd be joining those Aussies with a subscription to Netflix, and possibly Amazon too, but since I am not going to have a better internet connection anytime in the next few years (if then?) it's a no go. I won't be buying Aussie pay-tv either though, screw them.

    Aussie execs are even contacting their US film counterparts to try and put pressure on the streaming service to stop accepting Australian credit card payments, as it could potentially lower the value of future content deals.

    Which will fail because people have been working around such a limitation with iTunes for decades.

    The value will only lower because the value is not there.

      Not to mention: You can even get a "prepaid" credit card. Works like a credit card, but only has x amount of credit on it - once exhausted, the card is worthless. Try stopping those.

        Lemme try.

        *Walks away and comes back a moment later.*

        OK, I was able to stop the wind, make fire cold, get Gina Rineheart a date that is actually interested in her, and convinced Kim Kardashian to get a real job.

        But I couldn't find a scheme that blocked pre-paid cards.

          I doubt, Netflix would want to lose customers who pay by prepaid credit cards.

            Sorry, I misread your post then.

            *Gets out the humble pie, again.*

            Last edited 03/03/14 3:02 pm

        Theres listings on eBay for 12 month Netflix subscriptions (Crazy cheap too! $12 for the year!). The seller emails you the username and password for the account. All feedback for it so far as been positive.

          Don't do that, they are just exploiting netflix by letting other users share their accounts. $8 a month is cheap enough already, and we should at least support netflix and not rip them off.

            I'm aware of what is happening, and I definitely don't condone it, just stating another way to get around the 'Australian Credit Card' block if it was to be implemented.

        You might have some difficulty getting one with a us billing address.
        If you can find one online please point me in that direction so I can buy hulu plus

        Last edited 04/03/14 8:17 am

          You don't need a US billing address on your card. i use my St George MasterCard for Hulu Plus. all you have to do is put 90210 as your postcode.

          Last edited 04/03/14 10:41 am

            Thanks I did not know that and will definitely consider it for the future.

            At the moment though the lure of free data through bigpond mobile broadband still has me paying for foxtel for "i just wanna see some TV" times. The difference in cost (even if I pay $60 a month for say entertainment + documentaries + movies/premium drama) is still less than the cost of the 15+ gigabytes of data I would transfer a month through mobile bigpond unmetered. Then of course i also get some Australian only content and HBO content that isn't available on Netflix/Hulu.

            I just wish foxtel was more like hulu plus and netflix and less like foxtel.

            Still I have to say almost everytime i get on a train or bus lately, it has got something on that I would like to watch.

            Last edited 04/03/14 11:24 am

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