Earlier this week a leak from News Corp revealed that Foxtel would be partnering up with Netflix.
The early news came in the form of the new Foxtel remote which included a Netflix button.
The news is now official, and we have all of the juicy details for you.
From today Foxtel will begin rolling out its new software that offers an entirely upgraded interface. It’s incredibly reminiscent of the aesthetic we’re used to seeing in streaming services such as Netflix and Stan.
In fact, the Netflix content will be directly integrated amongst Foxtel’s, as opposed to using a separate app.
It is understood that customers with Foxtel’s IQ4 box will begin receiving updates from today through to August. Customers with the older IQ3 box will receive the software update later and could be waiting as long as November.
Speaking to Gizmodo Australia, Foxtel CEO Patrick Delany stated that the reason for the progressive rollout is to ensure that no major tech issues occur.
“This is such an extensive software update… it gets done over the air and via the internet. As a matter of precaution to make sure we don’t have some massive stuff up they’re doing it as they usually do it.”
“Fifty thousand get rolled I think today ans that sits there for two weeks to just check there’s no issues. And then we’re rolling at something like one hundred and fifty thousand a week after that. Then there’s a pause and we start on IQ3s.”
Delany also addressed the tech issues that Foxtel has had previously
“It’s not as though we have had a trouble free past with the IQ3. We have all of it fixed and we want to restore our reputation that Foxtel is bullet proof when it comes to things working and doing what we’ll say we’ll do when we do it.”
Integration of the Foxtel and Netflix content
The pricing around the new remote was confirmed in an email to Gizmodo Australia from Foxtel’s Chief Communications Officer, Paul Edwards.
While long-term customers can receive it for free, there will be a cost for other customers.
“The New Foxtel Experience is designed to work on all our remotes using the Home button so there is no need to upgrade to enjoy the new experience. That said, we’re recognising our long-standing customers’ loyalty and are offering customers who have been with Foxtel for eight or more years a complimentary remote; customers who have been with us between three to eight years can purchase them for a discounted price of $29 while newer customers can purchase them for $49.”
It’s worth noting that you will still be able to use the Netflix functionality with the older remotes, you just won’t have the new dedicated button.
There has not been a specific Netflix/Foxtel package announced, however, you will be able to get six months of Netflix for free through any Foxtel package that costs $49 or more.
This is for both new and existing customers, however, the latter will need to re-contract for another twelve months. This offer is available until September 4.
Once the free access is over you will need to pay exactly the same amount you would for an individual Netflix subscription – $13.99 a month for HD or $17.99 a month for 4K.
There is no discount for bundling Netflix with Foxtel at the present time, which is disappointing.
Speaking to Gizmodo Australia Patrick Delany also confirmed that pricing alterations can be expected around September or October. This is being referred to as ‘stage two’ of the changes to Foxtel.
“Stage two is that we are going to clean up all of the pricing and packaging for Foxtel, and there will be bundling into the pricing for Netflix.”
But while it may not seem that exciting to tech-savvy consumers, it makes sense for both Foxtel and Netflix to join forces in order to drive signs ups and build up their audiences. Especially when there’s no discount being offered.
And for Foxtel customers who don’t have an Apple TV/Telstra TV/console to stream through, this will potentially be convenient for them.
While it is unclear whether the likes of Stan and Amazon Prime Video will be integrated in the future, it was announced that SBS on Demand will be added to the updated Foxtel interface later this year.
This article has been updated to include a quotes from Foxtel’s CEO Patrick Delany and Chief Communications Officer Paul Edwards. It was originally published at 12:15pm.