Foxtel boss Kim Williams: Our future will be IPTV first, broadcast second

Foxtel boss Kim Williams has signalled that he intends to move the pay TV provider from a mass broadcast model to digital delivery of individual content. And he has also revealed that a major rebrand of the company is underway.

Speaking at the annual conference of pay TV provider ASTRA, Williams announced plans for new set top units which will make it as convenient for consumers to watch internet-delivered content as broadcast material. He said:

“Whereas today’s STUs are broadcast centric with strong IP functionality, tomorrow’s will be IP-centric with strong broadcast functionality.”

He announced that the broadcaster aims to bring a new HD Foxtel IQ unit to the market in less than two years.  

He said: “Foxtel is currently refining the functional scope and delivery timeline to launch a next generation iQHD hybrid broadband/broadcast set top unit. It will be brought to market in the 2012/2013 fiscal year and after the last 18 months of rigorous scientific and market investigation I know it will provide a terrific consumer experience.

“The new HD hybrid broadband/broadcast STU will offer all the smarts of our current broadcast STUs but will also offer even more IP centric intelligence than today’s generation of STUs.”

Foxtel currently offers some internet delivered material via its On Demand service.

Williams said: “The new STU is all about providing the flexible platform which meets consumer expectations as we mutually ride the digital wave.  Foxtel’s next generation HD Broadband /Broadcast Set Top Unit will offer web based interfaces, fully integrated contemporary search and recommendation functions, better storage capacity and content management. It will be hotwired to the internet provisioning access to a magnificent Cloud of tools and content goodies.”

In  nod towards the coming conflict between the old broadcasting model and individual content creators, he said: “Consumers want to find things as easily as possible and then to either watch a superbly programmed service or pull single pieces of content down simply. And they want to be enabled to watch what they selected on a smart device of their own choice.”

Williams also revealed that Foxtel is to undergo a “major” rebrand. Earlier this year Foxtel switched its advertising busienss from Three Drunk Monkeys to Clemenger BBDO.

Williams said: “We are currently working on a major internal branding project to ensure that every customer touch point is refreshed over the next six to twelve months to reflect the confidence and enthusiasm we all have for our product and service. From that work the brand itself will enjoy a renewed sense of energy and purpose which will eventually be reflected in an even better public marketing and communication projection of Foxtel.”


  1. @handypearce
    30 Mar 11
    10:10 am

  2. “We shall go on to the end, we shall fight in France,
    we shall fight on the seas and oceans,
    we shall fight with growing confidence and growing strength in the air, we shall defend our Island, whatever the cost may be,
    we shall fight on the beaches,
    we shall fight on the landing grounds,
    we shall fight in the fields and in the streets,
    we shall fight in the hills;
    we shall never surrender”

  3. waithersmore
    30 Mar 11
    1:22 pm

  4. Hope they improve the presenters and journalism – if you can call it that!

  5. crash
    30 Mar 11
    3:31 pm

  6. Foxtel can re-brand their services howsoever they see fit and/or deliver their services by whatever means they might imagine….but it will still be the same tired, repeated programming….until such time as there is a fair degree of competition in pay tv sphere, announcements like this from Kim Williams don’t amount to a pinch of sh!t.

  7. Feeonar
    30 Mar 11
    4:40 pm

  8. Could someone tell me what is the point of rebranding the same service with the same sales model? Wouldnt it be better to introduce the new technology, then rebrand?

  9. Anonymous
    30 Mar 11
    5:26 pm

  10. Translation – we’re going to shift everything you’re currently watching to a pay-per-view model and charge you three times the price.

    You heard it here first.

  11. Coco
    31 Mar 11
    2:00 am

  12. ha ha ha…..yet another company missing the boat! Cable and satellite TV providers are going the way of the recording industry…..down the tubes. These dinosaurs will never learn…..ever…ever…ever.

  13. jees
    31 Mar 11
    10:47 am

  14. Coco, in 10 years time when the tv networks are still around and making more money than they are today, you’ll look back at that comment and realise how wrong you really are. Re-read the article and have a think about it.

  15. Chris
    3 Apr 11
    6:42 pm

  16. They simply aim to make as much money as possible by getting people onto contracts and promising allot and delivering repeats and old seasons of popular shows that are 2 or more seasons behind the U.S. or U.K. bought at discounted prices all to multiply profit. reducing of the amount of content delivered by satellite will I pressume cut costs a great deal. I am a platinum subscriber with IQ2 (hd recorder box) and even on the HD channels they repeat the same blocks of 6-7 shows in a row for 24 hour periods even though it would be hard to need to watch a repeat with a recorder box since if you wanted to watch a show you could simply record it with the box which you need to have to watch HD anyhow. I saw this speech on TV today from this british pay tv wanker and a section of the speech was cut for australian viewers lol. They need to double their annual spending on programs from $500 million to $1 Billion if they don’t want people who are out of contract jumping ship to FTA and torrenting.

    sorry for the rant lol