Piracy: At least the Lannisters pay their debts

Following a series of special reports on piracy on Mumbrella this week Foxtel’s Bruce Meagher explains why the company is airing Game of Thrones as it is.

Much has been made in the past few days of the fact that fans of Game of Thrones are unable to acquire the series through services other than Foxtel until after the final episode airs. Unfortunately, there has also been much misinformation about how Foxtel is making Game of Thrones available to the public.

Bruce Meagher

Bruce Meagher

The criticisms relate both to price and the Foxtel business model. Some even conclude that unauthorised downloading is justified because of these objections. As KGB commented in relation to a recent Mumbrella story, that’s like justifying stealing a Ferrari on the basis that the waiting list is too long or the price is too high (maybe it’s because you don’t want all of the features). You only have to state the proposition to realise how absurd it is.

Another argument that is sometimes made is that you’re only making a digital copy, not actually stealing an object. Try telling that to the actors, extras, writers, camera crew, make up artists, editors, special effects teams and the many others who make Game of Thrones. The artistry and skill they bring to the production has real value and deserves to be rewarded.

Having said that, at Foxtel we recognise the need to be flexible to meet consumers’ reasonable expectations as to speed of access and pricing. That’s where Foxtel Play comes in. Foxtel Play is the best comparison to iTunes and similar services.

Foxtel Play is a streaming service available over the internet via a range of devices: PCs and Macs, Sony PlayStation 3, Xbox360, Samsung and LG smart TVs and Samsung Blu-Ray. You can also use your Foxtel Play subscription to activate Foxtel Go on a range of Apple and Android phones and tablets.

It takes a few minutes to sign up and there are no lock in contracts so customers are free to come and go on a month to month basis. Because we air each episode Express from the US you can sign up and be watching within a couple of hours of its US broadcast.

What’s more you can register three devices and watch on two simultaneously. So, for example, if a member of the family or household is travelling they can still catch the latest episode as it goes to air or on demand even if someone else is watching at the same time.

All episodes of Games of Thrones season 4 (plus 2 and 3) will be available in the catch up library for the duration of the series. You can watch as often as you want and new comers can get up to speed with past episodes.

As a special Game of Thrones offer Foxtel Play including the Movies and Premium Drama Pack is available for $35 per month for the duration of the series. Plus, the first 14 days are free to new subscribers.

For that price you also get a range of other channels and programs, including past seasons of Game of Thrones and other exceptional dramas such as True Detective, Girls, True Blood, Boadwalk Empire, access to around 1,000 movie titles and much more.

Of course some people say they don’t care about all of that, they only want the most recent episodes of Game of Thrones. However, HBO has decided that is not the way they intend to sell this season either here on in the United States. As the content creator and risk taker on the show, they are entitled to make those commercial decisions. As I have said elsewhere, dragons don’t come cheap.

If consumers’ only choice was full Foxtel, with lock in contracts and a delay in access due to the need to get installed (a fantastic service by the way for people who love great television) I could understand the objection. But with Foxtel Play available those objections vanish.

What we are left with is an argument at the margins about a few dollars. Yet some people still feel that they should be entitled to take this show for free without the consent of its creators rather than pay a reasonable price for an extraordinary product.

The Lannisters may not be a pleasant lot, but they, at least, always pay their debts.

Bruce Meagher is director of corporate affairs for Foxtel.


  1. Jake
    10 Apr 14
    12:27 pm

  2. So last year I could buy a season pass to GoT for ~35 through iTunes and get exactly what I want. GoT on demand.

    This year to watch GoT legally in Australia, I would need to pay for a 4 months subscription to Foxtel Play, with the 14 day free trial, that is a total cost of $105 or a 300% price increase.

    Now I know I get a whole bunch of extras, but if I don’t want them, I still have to pay for them. If I want a Ferrari with less features, I don’t have to pay for all the added extras.

    Ultimately business need to provide value for customers, if Foxtel can’t provide the right value proposition, then I’ll go somewhere that does. This consumer feedback should be a signal to media companies that the game is changing, and their business models need to change too. It isn’t the consumer that must fit the business, it’s the business that must fit the consumer.

  3. Paul
    10 Apr 14
    12:28 pm

  4. All valid points. If only Foxtel Play could provide an opportunity to view the show in HD, which was possible using iTunes. If that was possible, I’d seriously consider doing the right thing (i.e. subscribing to the service, even if only for a short time) vs other less noble options.

  5. AdGrunt
    10 Apr 14
    12:29 pm

  6. Thanks for the extended advertorial, Bruce.

    So if I want to watch GoT I have to stump up $35 a month…

    Can you see where this is going wrong?

    Maybe that’s why HBO said they see torrents as a positive – http://insidetv.ew.com/2013/03.....es-piracy/

  7. Bruce Meagher
    10 Apr 14
    12:46 pm

  8. I’m not sure that saying it is flattery is the same as saying it’s a good thing. It’s instructive to note that HBO in America has adopted the same approach that we have requiring a cable subscription in order to view the series. In fact, I don’t think they have an equivalent of Foxtel Play (others may know more than I do on that front).

    I get the objection, the problem is that if everything went a la carte many channels and programs would disappear. If you couldn’t be certain of getting a return on each program you’d be less likely to produce them and they’d become more conservative. It would be a brave executive that suggested investing north of $5 million per ep on an untested fantasy in the hope that enough people would pay a few dollars per ep to view it.

  9. Matt
    10 Apr 14
    12:51 pm

  10. Pay Foxtel $105 for three months to reward the producers of Game of Thrones. Great logic there.

  11. Leslie
    10 Apr 14
    12:52 pm

  12. Bruce, have you actually /seen/ how Lannisters pay their debts? #RedWedding

    With regards to Foxtel and local price gouging, perhaps it is an appropriate comparison after all.

  13. Hungry
    10 Apr 14
    12:55 pm

  14. “I’d like a Hawaiian pizza please”

    “Ok sir, one pizza with the lot. That’ll be $35.”

    “Um, no. I just wanted a Hawaiian. Ham, cheese, pineapple.”

    “Yes. This pizza has ham, cheese and pineapple. But you also get anchovies, olives, sun-dried tomatoes, prawns, capers and mushrooms.”

    “But, a Hawaiian pizza is only $19. Plus, I’m allergic to mushrooms, and anchovies make my wife spew.”

    “Well, you don’t have to eat those ingredients. They just come as part of the whole pizza. And hey, you never know. Your wife may grow to like anchovies.”

    “How about I give you $25 for just ham, cheese and pineapple?”

    “Yeah, no. That’s how the pizza shop owner has decided to sell the pizza. If you don’t want one with the lot then you’re just going to have to go hungry.”

    “But I’m not me when I’m hungry. It makes me do things like shout at women from building sites and pirate awesome tv shows that I’d otherwise be happy to pay a reasonable price for.”

  15. Bruce Meagher
    10 Apr 14
    12:57 pm

  16. Jake, many businesses rely on a bundling models – Ferraris have standard features you can’t avoid. But a better analogy is probably the magazine or newspaper business. If you only want to read one article you still have to buy the whole thing, you can’t tear it out and offer to pay just for that article. It certainly doesn’t justify stealing the publication, nor does the fact that you think it’s over priced.

  17. Bob
    10 Apr 14
    1:03 pm

  18. I prefer the option where Murdoch and his family don’t get any of my money. A virtual proxy it is.

  19. Billy C
    10 Apr 14
    1:13 pm

  20. Bruce is of course correct. People should not take something without paying for it.
    But this is like telling people not to tape songs from the radio or copy cds from friends to cassette. It’s just not seen by a lot of people as morally wrong.
    We had, the ability to buy and own episodes from iTunes at a reasonable price. Now we have to sign up for $35 a month and we don’t own the episodes. If I download episodes and then buy the DVD or Blu Ray has the production lost any money? No. They still got all the money they were ever going to get out of me. I just get to see the episode early. How is anyone losing money? It’s like radio advertising cds.
    I understand Foxtel can’t sell the episodes and they’re trying to give people a good deal but 95% of what Foxtel broadcasts is of no interest to me. Legalities aside why should I feel guilty for downloading when I’m going to buy the DVD? The producers are not losing a cent. I have box sets of shows I’ve downloaded that are still shrink wrapped.

  21. Jake
    10 Apr 14
    1:24 pm

  22. True as that is Bruce, the publishing business isn’t exactly thriving at the moment. My broader point was that just because a bundling model has worked in the past, doesn’t mean it will work forever. As the sentiments and habits of consumers change, business will need to adapt. It is unrealistic to expect people to conform to the interests of a corporation, the world is moving on from that structure.

  23. Stevo
    10 Apr 14
    1:32 pm

  24. Yep, it’s like ripping CDs, not stealing Ferraris.

    Re CD’s, music is digital now and CD’s are going the way of the dodo – it’s all online, not music shops anymore. No reason to buy the whole album, just the song you want, streaming on demand, create your own radio channel etc etc etc all for very reasonable prices compared to $30 for a CD with one good song and the rest fill.

    Sorta relevant for another category where the distribution model is a bit old, eh?

  25. Bruce Meagher
    10 Apr 14
    1:33 pm

  26. Before I shut up I should correct the record on one thing, the series runs over three months, so it is not correct to say you will have to pay $105.

  27. Rebecca
    10 Apr 14
    1:40 pm

  28. Old school model is old.

  29. Hungry
    10 Apr 14
    1:44 pm

  30. Hi Bruce,
    HBO do have an equivalent of Foxtel Play. It’s called HBO Go.
    I’ve done your research for you. http://hbowatch.com/how-to-wat.....es-online/
    I know you don’t want to pay my hourly rate as you could have found this out for yourself for free on the internet, but I’ll send you a bill anyway.

  31. K
    10 Apr 14
    1:46 pm

  32. I’ve wanted to pay for Foxtel for years but my apartment building isn’t wired up.

    I wanted to purchase an xBox to stream, but the best channels weren’t available on that service (!).

    If I’d known about Play, I’d have it. No wonder the marketing department at Foxtel is currently undergoing ‘restructure’.

  33. AdGrunt
    10 Apr 14
    1:49 pm

  34. Bruce, three things:

    It would be a sane exec that did a pilot for a new show. That’s the usual way to tell if it’s worth lobbing more cash at it. Ask Brian (Walsh)

    Your offering would actually appeal to more customers if you removed the dross. The insight here is that many who are put off by PayTV are put off by the “I don’t need all that” mentality, which is entirely valid.

    Many others are in the iTunes mentality and expect the ability to pick’n’mix their programs like their music. Linear programming is dead. It died a long time ago. Time to update your business model to match.

  35. AdGrunt
    10 Apr 14
    1:50 pm

  36. I may be counting on my fingers here, but isn’t 3 x $35 = $105?

  37. OtherAndrew
    10 Apr 14
    1:50 pm

  38. A valiant effort to defend it, but as most of the commenters note, it’s not sufficient. The fact is Foxtel are an intermediary, and intermediaries are useful in generating an initial audience but their value proposition drops off after that.

    I don’t actually watch the show but am finding the debate interesting (and particularly like @Hungry’s analogy above – well done).

  39. Jake
    10 Apr 14
    1:51 pm

  40. 1 month subscription to Foxtel Play is $35
    3 Month series run = $35*3 = $105

    My assumption is that I can’t pay for a half month subscription after my first 14 days are free as a new subscriber.

    Even if Foxtel allows pro-rata half month payments, it’s still $87.50 for the 3 months of the series. Or a 250% price increase.

  41. Mark Snow
    10 Apr 14
    1:52 pm

  42. Umm, Bruce, if you’ve been paying attention, most traditional magazine and newspaper models are going to the dogs, hence the reason why the most dramatically successful (and possibly only) new magazine titles are all FREE publications (just Google Freemium magazines if you’re not keeping up). So, sorry, your magazine analogy just doesn’t stack up, or relate to this argument at all. People should pay for what they want. If that’s a subscription to Foxtel, great. If it’s a single series, then so be it. Lets be honest – no-one anti-Foxtel is suddenly going to change their mind and become a happy little subscriber because of this, they’ll just be forced to the dark side.

  43. GOT Fan
    10 Apr 14
    1:56 pm

  44. So howcome Sky in the UK shows GOT on Sky Atlantic which is available to any Sky subscriber on the most basic package (currently around $38 per month)? If Foxtel chose to have Showcase on the standard entertainment or drama package, I would hazard a guess that subscriptions to Foxtel would increase. I would love to watch the shows aired on Showcase, but to pay extra because its linked to the Movie package is ridiculous.

  45. Chareth
    10 Apr 14
    1:57 pm

  46. Bruce, thanks for going into more detail on this and providing an opportunity to discuss it with you.

    You’re right that Foxtel Play is a service above and beyond what HBO and cable providers offer in the US, and that’s welcome. However, to make it a truly equal value proposition to HBO Go and also to counteract key advantages of torrenting, Foxtel Play needs to offer two things: HD streaming and availability on catch-up as soon as the episode ends.

    I know HD streaming is a bugbear for Australian broadcasters when connection speeds vary, but providing the option for those with a fast enough connection makes sense. If Crunchyroll – a niche anime streaming site – can provide 720p and 1080p streaming options, why not Foxtel?

    And these days, the viewers you’re trying to win over don’t want to have to structure their evening around catching Foxtel’s live stream of the episode. Episodes are only available on catch-up at midnight, mitigating your Express from the US strategy to a significant extent. HBO Go makes episodes available the minute the episode finishes being broadcast. Even ABC iView does.

    Can you confirm whether Foxtel Play will be able to offer these features? They would increase its appeal dramatically.

    Incidentally, frustration over packaging would also be mitigated if content distribution was consistent. Putting Silicon Valley on Comedy Channel two days after the US rather than on your ‘home of HBO’ channel is frustrating for those who would take up Foxtel Play and select a movies package largely for HBO programming, whom you evidentally believe constitute a substantial portion of your potential audience given you’ve locked up access to HBO shows.

  47. Bron
    10 Apr 14
    1:57 pm

  48. Do we really have to pretend this press release is actually news,

  49. Chris
    10 Apr 14
    2:00 pm

  50. The Ferrari analogy is bogus. To a Game Of Thones fan, you guys own a car yard with one Ferrari and a thousand Datsun 120Ys, yet you want us to buy all the cars or none at all. Plus there’s a guy next door giving Ferraris away for free. Moral high ground aside, what do you seriously expect the customer to do?

  51. Bruce Meagher
    10 Apr 14
    2:00 pm

  52. Hungry, sorry to get HBO Go you have to have a HBO cable subscription, that’s clear from the link you sent, so I’m afraid I probably won’t pay that bill.

  53. Random Reader
    10 Apr 14
    2:00 pm

  54. Billy C I completely agree. If I didn’t download it, I wouldn’t bother seeing it and I wouldn’t buy it. Instead I download it and if I like it I’ll buy. The chances of them making money off me have gotten sustanitally higher because I downloaded it.
    If people don’t want your product, change your product, don’t blame the consumer for not using it.

  55. Raesene
    10 Apr 14
    2:01 pm

  56. @Bruce I believe the series runs over 11 weeks because it always takes a 1 week break for some big sporting event to avoid a ratings drop. So even with 14 days free I believe that will therefore require 3 months subscription to foxtel play (just by a day or two). And of course that is just to watch it and no in HD either.

    $105 to watch SD episodes only while the series is on vs. Last year’s downloading HD episodes and watching any time for $35. Obvious ripoff is obvious.

  57. AryaStark
    10 Apr 14
    2:03 pm

  58. That Ferrari comparison makes no sense. A Ferrari costs thousands of dollars and there has been only ever been one way to consume a Ferrari – from a showroom. We’re talking about an episode of a TV show here, and the way that people consume TV has changed drastically and there are many options to view TV shows now, and yes, like it or not, one of those ways is downloading. That comparison just makes you look foolish and out of date.

    Nice ad for Foxtel, but we’re not silly.

  59. Dave
    10 Apr 14
    2:07 pm

  60. I can’t believe some of the comments. Quibbling over paying $35 a month to watch a show and in addition getting access to other shows (Newsroom is starting!).


    If you don’t want to pay $35 a month, then wait for it to come on DVD. If you want to have something here and now then you should be willing to pay for it.

    Millions of dollars goes into creating good content, as you should all know. It is up to us to support it to keep it going.

    Otherwise, don’t come crying when your client no longer wants to do TVCs (who watches those anyway) because they are getting better uptake sending stuff out for free on social media.

    You expect your clients to pay for good content and good quality. You should do the same.

  61. PL
    10 Apr 14
    2:09 pm

  62. Stevo, you’re what’s wrong with this world. The art of creating a coherent album will be lost because of idiots like you and your narrow minded idea of music. You’d pick the overplayed ‘singles’ wouldn’t you?

    And Foxtel Play isn’t like HBO Go at all. HBO Go is tied to its cable TV subscription, much like the Foxtel Go service. Foxtel Play is a stand-alone internet offering so you don’t need to get the set top box…etc. Get it right.

  63. Kate
    10 Apr 14
    2:14 pm

  64. No, I wouldn’t steal a Ferrari, but I’d sure as hell download one if I could!

  65. CM
    10 Apr 14
    2:18 pm

  66. I can’t believe foxtel would misread the market like this. They have basically ensured a whole new audience who weren’t torrenting have now learnt how to do so. It was an insane business decision!

  67. Lucky
    10 Apr 14
    2:19 pm

  68. Perfectly legitimate for you to have that business model. Telling your customers “take it or piss off!”. Legitimate but let’s see how that works out for you. Oooh, what was that noise, another dinosaur in its death throes?

  69. Spin
    10 Apr 14
    2:20 pm

  70. Guess what media types – Foxtel is a tax deduction for you… Wake up!

  71. JT
    10 Apr 14
    2:25 pm

  72. Foxtel is the Tywin Lannister of the Australian media industry. You can’t try and suppress the people without expecting a revolt!

    Your business model is tyranny.

    Perhaps you should consider giving the people what they want at a price they can afford. Spotify proved this is possible.

  73. JD
    10 Apr 14
    2:32 pm

  74. So if you pay $35 a month, you get a service that is inferior to the free service?

    Also you are better off signing up to the traditional foxtel offering as you get more channels for effectively the same price, given that is cheaper for foxtel to stream their channels how can they charge the same?

    And anyone who wants just GoT should save money and get it in HD on Apple TV.

  75. Pirate
    10 Apr 14
    2:34 pm

  76. The industry runs on exclusivity. Foxtel are smart, and that makes us angry.

    Stop whinging and jump on your ships pirates!!!!!! Ah HOY!!!!!!!!!!!

  77. discordian
    10 Apr 14
    2:46 pm

  78. So what about for people who don’t have fast enough internet to stream TV shows? They are shit outta luck I guess? Or they could have the show download in High Definition glory over several hours while at work and have it ready to go when they get home.

    Services like Steam have shown that when you offer a product as good as people can get for free, at a reasonable price, customers will come. Being that I can’t re-watch the show without continuing the subscription, and can’t watch it offline, and can’t even use it with my current internet, your product does not even come close.

    Of course you feel no need to learn that lesson when you have a total monopoly on Pay TV in this country, eh?

  79. Gareth
    10 Apr 14
    2:47 pm

  80. I’ve been anti-piracy for so long but the decisions made by HBO and Foxtel for this season of Game of Thrones almost changed my mind. Ultimately I’ve decided to wait until the full season is available to buy on iTunes this time around but I am no longer hassling my friends who choose to pirate.

    I looked long and hard at Foxtel Play as an alternative to iTunes this year but the reasons I chose not go with it are:

    – The devices compatible with Foxtel Play are too limited. The only device I have that is compatible is my laptop which is too small to watch TV on.

    – Foxtel Play is not HD

    – The price is just too much. If I wanted all the other stuff on Foxtel I’d already have Foxtel. All I want is GOT and I’m not willing to fork over $70-$100 for it.

    – If I ever wanted to watch GOT again later on down the line I’d have to pay for it again. The cost of Foxtel Play doesn’t give me ownership of the season to watch when I want, as many times as I want for the foreseeable future. For that I’d need to continue to subscribe to Foxtel Play, and the price goes up to $50 a month once the GOT season has aired.

    This time I’ve chosen to wait because GOT seasons aren’t that long and I’m not worried about spoilers as the books have been out for years. But next time? Who knows…

  81. Natas
    10 Apr 14
    2:59 pm

  82. OK, with the Foxtel Play pricing as it is currently listed, it’s $35 a month. And for that $35 you STILL have to first pick from 1 of 4 packages of shit you have no interest in. Then, and only then, can you add the showcase package. I cannot for the life of me figure out how this is not $105 as Bruce stated, unless you’re taking into account pro-rata costs and missing the first 2 eps, which take it to $70 for the remaining 8 episodes.

    Whatever it is, that’s an outlay of $70 to watch an SD stream of a show you don’t own, which is in the realm of twice what I paid last year to get it on iTunes.

    For the record I already have Foxtel HD Sport for the AFL, but I still have to fork out to get GoT along with 8 odd movie channels I don’t want. A drawcard like that should run on another channel, like FX and The Walking Dead, not hidden behind yet ANOTHER package.

  83. Jay
    10 Apr 14
    3:06 pm

  84. This is 2014. I don’t want to be chained to a specific viewing window for my TV shows. What if I want to watch Game of Thrones at 4:30pm, or 7:00pm or at 2:00am on my laptop?

  85. Concerned citizen
    10 Apr 14
    3:06 pm

  86. I’m of the opinion hat the majority of Australians who download torrents would be more than happy to pay a reasonable price to access the content through the correct avenues. The problem is that there are no reasonable prices for these services in Australia.

    A great example is the music industry – which was rife with illegal downloads until services like iTunes, Spotify, Pandora and more recently iTunes Radio entered the market… The success of those business models is testament to the fact that consumers will pay reasonable prices for content.

    An even better example is Netflix in the US. They funded the entire first season of House of Cards with no pilot, and with the success of that repeated the process with Orange is the New Black. The Netflix service is extensive and costs less than $10 per month and is 100% on-demand – this model fits what consumers want and they are happy to pay for it.

    Lastly you note that the model is the same in the US, however the value proposition there is considerably better than it is here (including providing more options) and almost all channels in the US offer catch-up online if you are a subscriber.

    The issue is that Foxtel doesn’t provide value for most Australians because it assumes all consumers see value the same way and they do not. If Foxtel provided a fair and reasonable pricing/package structure and/or provided considerably more value to subscribers through much more content, I have no doubt Australians would support it.

  87. Simon
    10 Apr 14
    3:11 pm

  88. Well, that’s 41 argument against Foxtel’s business model. Maybe they’ll listen? Or maybe we’ll just all keep paying $7 for Netflix….and then download GoT from a torrent site…

  89. Michael
    10 Apr 14
    3:11 pm

  90. I am as keen as anyone to see this season of GOT but not at any cost.
    Looking at the Foxtel offerings for Movies and Premium, there is so little that I want to see that $105 as a special introductory offer to not own GOT makes no sense as there is little else that I would want to see.

    There is a lot of good TV around at the moment and getting it through Apple TV, iView, SBS on Demand, Bigpond or… OK… Netflix provides us with hundreds of hours of material to watch now at no, little or sensible costs. And there are catch up services of varying qualities from the FTAs too.

    Waiting for two or three months to watch the series in HD and then own it is far far preferable to any of the other alternatives (most particularly piracy).

    GOT is a great show and still will be in June.

  91. Ed
    10 Apr 14
    3:12 pm

  92. Hi, I’m the Sales and Marketing Director at Foxtel.
    We are a subscription TV service, that’s what we do.
    We buy rights to broadcast live sports to our members, games they otherwise wouldn’t see.
    We pay to commission original content like Top Model, Wentworth, Real Housewives of Melbourne, Coast, Top of the Lake, shows for all different tastes that otherwise wouldn’t be made.
    We also buy shows and channels from the US and UK mainly, that otherwise people wouldn’t be able to see.
    It’s the reliability of the income the subscription TV model gives to the channels we license and the studios that we buy from that allows them to take risks with programming that produces break out hits like Game of Thrones, Dexter, The Sopranos, Breaking Bad etc.
    The DVD of the series and pay per episode is a nice little side earner for them, but it’s tiny revenue compared to the pay TV sector and wouldn’t come close to funding the productions we all love. And while we know that some people love this model, most people, with the amount of TV they watch, can’t afford to watch their TV this way.
    We’re happy to pay studios less for their shows so they can make them available everywhere, they are worth more to us if they are exclusive as we attract new members with exclusive content. Many studios choose the distribution strategy that makes them the most income, so they can afford to make the best show they can.
    That’s why Game of Thrones is so lavish at $100m a series.
    If the whole industry moves to al la carte we’ll get fewer shows made, they will be lower cost and there will be few chances taken, just safe franchises.
    Just look at the movies being made today…

  93. Ed
    10 Apr 14
    3:13 pm

  94. @Natas you can add Showcase for $10 a month for the 3 months GOT is running.

  95. AryaStark
    10 Apr 14
    3:19 pm

  96. Spot on CM. I overheard a couple of people at work this week asking others for a quick lesson in torrenting. Backfire.

  97. Jack
    10 Apr 14
    3:22 pm

  98. NBA league pass thrives even though there is pirated streams around on the internet for free.

    League Pass – higher quality service, $242 a season
    First Row – Lower quality, free

    Foxtel Play – lower quality, $35 a month
    Torrents- higher quality, free

    See the problem Foxtel?

  99. Chareth
    10 Apr 14
    3:28 pm

  100. Also Bruce, don’t tar all those who download TV shows with the same brush. Some will never pay and contribute to the content creators, true, but many others buy the DVD, Blu-ray, or digital copy when they’re eventually released in order to support the shows they love.

    Many of them solely download TV shows due to the prompt and ready availability of movies, music, and games, which also aren’t burdened with package deals. This good-citizen/freeloader binary does you and the anti-piracy lobby no good in terms of credibility. When the motivations for many Australian TV pirates are availability and cost rather than getting a free ride, you’re not going to make a dent if you continue to demonise them.

  101. Ed
    10 Apr 14
    3:29 pm

  102. @Gareth
    HD, start over and on-demand as broadcast starts are all on the Play road map, the Dev team are flat out with iQ3 at the moment.

  103. But...
    10 Apr 14
    3:32 pm

  104. Dear Foxtel: As I mentioned in the other article, I’m paying for Foxtel Play this season after leeching the past few years. It’s not ideal, but I’m happy to pay for content I like so long as it’s in a format that I can use.

    If Foxtel Play would allow me to download that weeks episode, even if only for a limited time, in 1080p, it would be close to an ideal service. That way you’d be offering me exactly what I can get for free on any torrent website and I’d be happy to give you my hard earned cash in return, as I’m sure many other people would.

    Yours truly,

    Internet random telling you something your content gurus and marketeers should be paid for.

  105. Aaron
    10 Apr 14
    3:33 pm

  106. Everything Foxtel offers, I can get for a fraction of the price thanks to Netflix and Hulu with the help of a VPN/SmartDNS service. There are a few guides around if anyones interested in this approach.

    Grabbing GoT and holding on to it tight seems like a desperate move from a company who have really dragged their feet in adapting to new technologies and distribution formats.

    Perhaps Bruce, rather than whinge about what people are doing to get content, maybe try to adapt your business model to what the increasingly tech-savvy consumers want? I’ll give you a hint as to what that is: not anything that you currently offer.

    Probably should get on to that before Netflix and the other streaming services become available in Australia? Unless you like watching your company haemorrhage money.

  107. Getoveryourselves
    10 Apr 14
    3:36 pm

  108. Boo Hoo, Fcuking latte sipping, chardonnay quaffing, boutique beer drinking yuppies that watch 1 show a week on their apple TV on their 50” LED screens in their $2m apartments in Sydney’s Eastern Suburbs want the whole business model of television changed to suit them so that the vast masses watching 40 hours a week can’t get what they want. You saved the wales, that must make you feel good enough to steel the shit other people sweat to make.

  109. Kaldek
    10 Apr 14
    3:37 pm

  110. Foxtel will never again get a dime of my money. It’s bleeding obvious they paid HBO serious money purely as an exercise purely to get more users locked into Foxtel. Until Foxtel released their Play service ($35 a month, no HD streaming, terrible catch up options), the price was over $70 a month, when Foxtel knows damn well the only thing I want is GoT from their entire catalogue of channels (pay for Foxtel, still get ads).

    I know the world takes time for good things to happen but I can’t wait for the day that Google, Netflix and others smash Foxtel into the dirt. People bitch and moan about American companies getting all of our Aussie dollars, but at least they’re not total bastards like Foxtel. The arguments used by Foxtel to justify their prices just make me more mad, because I – like most other people – are not stupid. We all see right through the marketing garbage, and do not like being treated like morons.

  111. Jayd
    10 Apr 14
    3:48 pm

  112. Would I download a Ferrari if i could? Absolutely! Because it’s not an original version. It’s just a copy with no production cost and no tangible value.

    Would I subscribe to Foxtel to watch anything (let alone GoT)? Not on your life. Don’t get me wrong I used to have Foxtel from 1998 to 2013 but a number of things drove me away.

    1) Price. Seriously, $130+ a month? That’s more than my internet costs.
    2) Funeral Insurance ads. Sorry Foxtel, but the sheer number of these vulture ads you allow is a huge factor in why you lost my custom.
    3) Rupert Murdoch. I don’t think that the term “obnoxious right wing nutjob” goes far enough to express my dislike of this meddling American, but after seeing what his media empire did during the recent election I made a conscious choice to never give him my money again.

    Would I buy this on iTunes or Google Play or Netflix… Absolutely!
    Would I subscribe to Foxtel to watch it… I would rather drink a litre of sewage.

  113. Michelle O'Donnell
    10 Apr 14
    3:53 pm

  114. If you download any content illegally then you are stealing. The excuses of delay or cost will never justify the means. Would you wander into a supermarket and steal a loaf of bread because you thought it was too expensive or the check out process was going to take too long ?
    If creators are increasingly robbed of the ability to make some sort of return on their output our film and music industries are not sustainable.

  115. Michael
    10 Apr 14
    3:58 pm

  116. @ Ed

    I do not argue that Pay TV is a way of aggregating audiences for the production of TV shows and that that is a good thing. It is.
    However, many people for their own reasons (cost being only one of them) do not want to commit to cable and hence the relatively low penetration into Australian households.

    Note that in this conversation, people are not arguing that we should all go and pirate shows – people are looking for a way to pay you!

    As you noted to @Gareth:

    “HD, start over and on-demand as broadcast starts are all on the Play road map, the Dev team are flat out with iQ3 at the moment.”

    Well, sorry, but telling us why the service is not what is useful to people but that you will charge a premium while you are working on making it better is not good marketing, not sensible promotion and certainly not a good way of getting people to come on board and pay.

    The model that we are now used to is a mixed one. I had presumed that Foxtel was getting a share out of the iTunes downloads in Australia. The question that you could ask is: if not, why not? Foxtel is after all doing all the promotion for it and taking the lion’s share of the risk.. It beats me why you would not insist on a share! Maybe that is a better model for you to look at.

    I reiterate, the majority of comments here are from people trying to find a way of paying for a service, just as we can with so many other shows. I chose not to watch Love Child on Nine as the commercials ruined it completely in the bit that I saw. I chose to pay the money to watch it on iTunes. Everyone wins… if the deals are done properly.

  117. PS
    10 Apr 14
    4:03 pm

  118. Geez – it’s only $103 for three months – it costs that much for a family pass to the Easter show…

  119. Jazz
    10 Apr 14
    4:07 pm

  120. You may think Foxtel overall provides great value for the price. But that’s value looking from the business end. In terms of a customer who only wants to watch one or two specific shows, it’s not value for money at all. And until there’s a more relevant option, people are going to go for the next best, which is to download through other means. Hell, if there was a website set up by the GoT producers for donations per episode, I would very gladly pay them directly!

  121. Ben
    10 Apr 14
    4:12 pm

  122. If Foxtel offered a more flexible service I would not mind paying $35 a month for it. But bundling everything into pacakages just kills it for me. Realistically I only want Comedy / Docos and Sport so I have to buy 3 packages .

    Instead, sell channel slots and open up the whole range allowing us to pick and choose what we want. I would be more then happy to pay for it then as I’m actually getting a service that I want rather then a bunch of meaningless channels that I switch to for background noise.

  123. Chareth
    10 Apr 14
    4:14 pm

  124. OK Ed, let’s say I accept that I need to support pay TV for these shows to exist and that I’m glad Foxtel Play is available to do so. Why should I pay for a subpar service? No HD streaming, delayed catch-up, paltry offerings on catch-up compared to the entire schedule, etc. Compared to what we know is out there, we would feel like schmucks to pay for it.

    Yes Play is innovative, but no-one was surprised when the end result felt like such a compromised half-measure. You constantly take five steps back for every one step forward, so it’s no wonder that the prevailing narrative among non-subscribers is that you pointedly do what’s best for you rather than your customers, and that your monopoly status has made you arrogant.

    I’d actually like to support you, but when you even make a killer app like HBO into a poisoned chalice, why should I?

  125. MN
    10 Apr 14
    4:16 pm

  126. I can’t believe that Foxtel are trying to justify the business on a marketing website on the grounds that “We are a subscription TV service, that’s what we do” (comment #46)

    The customer doesn’t care what you do, the customer cares what you can do for them. Old business model is old.

  127. Benny
    10 Apr 14
    4:22 pm

  128. Making this argument for television bundling is like trying to push back the hands of clock- which you can do, but even that doesn’t make time go backwards.

    The only reason why television has traditionally bundled was because that was all the delivery systems of the time were capable of. As delivery systems have afforded consumers the possibility of a la carte viewing, you don’t have to be a technology seer to know that that’s how people are going to see TV in the future.

    100 channels? Can’t I just have the NBA, Game of Thrones, True Detective and Silicon Valley? It is 2014, after all.

  129. Dave
    10 Apr 14
    4:22 pm

  130. Stop trying to make Foxtel Play happen.

    It’s absolutely not going to happen.

  131. But...
    10 Apr 14
    4:24 pm

  132. @Getoveryourselves, One of the reasons “those” people have money to afford all the luxuries you’ve mentioned is because they’re not stupid enough to overpay people for things they don’t want and/or need. Don’t hate the player, hate the game.

  133. @Ed
    10 Apr 14
    4:27 pm

  134. “We also buy shows and channels from the US and UK mainly, that otherwise people wouldn’t be able to see.”

    Yes I would because I can use a computer

  135. Ted
    10 Apr 14
    4:32 pm

  136. WHINGE WHINGE WHINGE! You’re the Gerry Harvey of media right now, retail dinosaurs who don’t realise we all have the internet (that’s how people are pirating it, after all!) and know how cheap this stuff is overseas (and in much better quality).

    Come up with a product people want and people will buy it, until then keep selling to bogans who don’t know any better (funny how that applies to Harvey Norman too).

  137. PM
    10 Apr 14
    4:33 pm

  138. I’m already a Foxtel subscriber and have been for a number of years. There have been many times where I’ve been wanting to cancel it, but I keep it so we can entertain my largely housebound grandmother (well over 90 and still going).
    However, what irks me is that Showcase is included in the movies package as opposed to the drama package. I already have a number of packages and end up spending $79 a month. Surely there could be an option to select a certain number of channels per month – even if some such as Showcase are ‘premium’ and attract a higher fee. The fact that I have to have the basic package + one of the drama packages (although there is another one I’d want ideally) just to cover the handful of channels my family actually watch already irritates me. Then you expect us to pay even more for a movies package when we just want the channel to watch DRAMA tv shows. That’s just being greedy in my humble opinion.
    If you moved Showcase into one of the drama packages or if it was offered as one of the ‘Speciality channels’ for $5 a month, then I’d buy into it.

  139. Alex
    10 Apr 14
    4:39 pm

  140. What happens when YouTube buys the exclusive rights to a show like GoT? 1 billion users able to access the show in HD and on demand. That’s when the industry will change.

  141. dwids
    10 Apr 14
    4:44 pm

  142. The Foxtel people here put up illogical nonsense arguments. The market has moved on from your 1980s forced bundling. Your Masters, News Ltd are rank hypocrites as they rail against geoblocking when Adobe etc do it (the “Australia Tax”), then you do exactly the same thing with GoT. Netflix, who are a la carte, are now making shows (you may have heard of House of Cards, Orange in the New Black etc), so that model is working. Did you read that Microsoft and Amazon are now making real shows too? You are middle men. You add no value. You are living in the past. The consumer has the power now. Look up “disintermediation”.

  143. Leslie
    10 Apr 14
    4:54 pm

  144. That’s right, Ed, there’s no /possible/ way a big-budget series can ever be made unless Foxtel can charge a premium for it.

    FWIW, House of Cards cost $60,000,000 and Netflix subscribers get to watch it, and other original, expensive, programming (like Hemlock Grove, at $4,000,000 per ep) for a paltry $8 a month.

  145. anon
    10 Apr 14
    4:58 pm

  146. Here’s a timely reply at the Guardian: why one Australian viewer watches Game of Thrones without paying Foxtel – http://www.theguardian.com/com.....ing-foxtel

    With Foxtel Play the objections don’t vanish – it still costs too much, far more than in other countries, and doesn’t allow the one-off purchase of just Game of Thrones and nothing else. Many people aren’t interested in the ocean of crap that’s on the rest of Foxtel – and they don’t want to subsidise it by buying a package, even for just a month.

  147. Reek
    10 Apr 14
    4:59 pm

  148. Bruce, you can whinge and moan about piracy all you like, but the facts are clear: Customers are voting with their feet and their wallet, and flocking to services like Netflix, Hulu, iTunes and Google Play where they get a much better service, for less money.

    Customers want HD video on demand, on as many devices as they choose to use, and they want to pay for them piecemeal or use season passes. They don’t care about all of the other rubbish passed off as “bonus content” and they don’t care if it dies.

    The old cable subscription business model is dying quickly, because customers know a rubbish deal when they see one, and they won’t be taken for fools any more. You can either give people what they want, or you can allow your company and its archaic business model slide into obscurity.


  149. Natalie
    10 Apr 14
    5:05 pm

  150. I think everyone is forgetting that you do actually have to have cable to access HBO and Game Of Thrones if you are in the US… so why shouldn’t the same apply internationally?
    Sure, there are comments from people targeting the overall global distribution model but when you specifically blame Foxtel for taking an exclusive offered by HBO, you are essentially saying that you think Australians should be able to access the show in a different way to how Americans can.

  151. Rstar
    10 Apr 14
    5:08 pm

  152. Hi Bruce. Never has this video been more fitting until now.

  153. Penguin Alert
    10 Apr 14
    5:11 pm

  154. It’s as if Foxtel have no understanding of the market they operate in today.

    The piracy problem is partly (if not largely) a service delivery problem. The solution to it is a service delivery solution.

    Now, go home and have an actual, proper think about what that means. 1,000 words on my desk by tomorrow, thanks.

  155. KGB
    10 Apr 14
    5:13 pm

  156. There are some interesting comparisons are being made to the print media. Indeed, the print media is struggling, as are paid online news sites. Why? Because people would prefer to get something for free, rather than pay for it. The comparison is completely apt.

    However, look the the standards of journalism deteriorate as revenues and salaries fall and the ‘media’ becomes less attractive as a career. Bloggers, Twitter and pseudo-news sites start to replace ‘proper journalism’. Is this really what we want as a society?

    If content creators are denied their dues, the quality of an entire industry will suffer. The same applies to TV. If everyone took it for free, there would be no industry.

    Finally, it is apparent that no matter how cheap a product is, if the option to take it for free is available, many will take it.

    Some will even dress up their refusal to pay in high-brow arguments about outdated business models. I could steal a Ferrari an not get caught, I would. But I wouldn’t deny being a thief (in a very fast car).

  157. Ceph
    10 Apr 14
    5:15 pm

  158. @Michelle O’Donnell

    No, but I can buy my own flour and yeast for cheap and make my own bread.

  159. me
    10 Apr 14
    5:16 pm

  160. A Ferrari? Don’t you rich people own any other kinds of cars?

    A 100 dollar Ferrari? That makes perfect sense ….

    Yeah, what a bunch of twaddle. I’ll stick to buying the dvd’s instead of having a foxtel, murdoch sword at my throat. Your bundling packages are designed to milk the maximum ammount from your customer, and not to offer what it is they actually want

  161. John
    10 Apr 14
    5:19 pm

  162. And here in New Zealand, there are no streaming option, on sky, and standard def.
    Or a pristine 1080p copy that works on my TV and tablet and phone and Linux PC and my Mac and my windows pc…

  163. The Internetz
    10 Apr 14
    5:19 pm

  164. This feedback is gold for your product development and marketing teams, so don’t shy away Foxtel. Lap this up and use it as a guide for a product/offering revolution – Your market obviously wants a change!

  165. VPN Wizard
    10 Apr 14
    5:34 pm

  166. What we all need to do is teach everyone how to setup a VPN to access content direct from the US.
    Why pay foxtel….. when you can go direct for better pricing, quality and services.

  167. Ed
    10 Apr 14
    5:36 pm

  168. So, if I get your metaphor, you’re comparing Foxtel customers to a pair of incestuous twins. Nice one.

  169. Greg
    10 Apr 14
    5:37 pm

  170. Sir Bruce of House Murdoch shall never be appointed master of coin in the capital. He would need Little Finger’s budgeting approach to fund himself through a season with math like that. It does make one chuckle when the director of corporate affairs for House Murdoch so publicly displays he has no idea how much watching season four might cost a viewer, then obviously shys away from being held to task on it. Don’t worry Sir Bruce, even if you lose a hand and engage in some lewd acts with your sister, House Murdoch will stand by you. Erm…at least, until the fourth season.

  171. Aliasalpha
    10 Apr 14
    5:43 pm

  172. I never really pirated much in the past and I don’t pirate at all any more. I’ve actually taken the stance that if companies don’t want to sell me their content in a timely manner then I’m not going to bother consuming it at all.

    There’s a chance I might miss something remotely good but frankly I’ve survived quite well without seeing the latest episodes of Game of Breaking Gear of S.H.I.E.L.D. and I’m beginning to suspect that I’m substantially better off for it. On the extremely unlikely chance that I see clips of something that catches my interest, I might wait until I do one of my quarterly large orders from UK Amazon & grab it on DVD if I remember at the time. If not, meh, fuck em.

  173. dwids
    10 Apr 14
    5:54 pm

  174. Bruce, I’ve been thinking more about this and it’s not good. You’ve lost control of the message. And for someone in your position, that is not good at all. It has spun out of control.

    You need to stop and think what your next step is, Bruce. In this wired world it is patently wrong – not to mention arrogant – to TELL the consumer what is good value for them. In 2014 THEY tell you or they go elsewhere. We are reasonable people. You took away the Apple offering, via your actions, and did NOT replace it with something that people see as of the same value. That’s one key element you need to address and address now.

    If I was you, Bruce, I’d be very quickly announcing a “We Listened!” campaign. GoT via the Internet at the same price and quality and deal as Apple. You can spin it all you like , but you need to back down. This is not going well and you risk moving from a meme to a laughing stock if you don’t start listening to your customers. And potential customers.

  175. Rob
    10 Apr 14
    5:57 pm

  176. Foxtel packaging is a little like those show bags you get at the show. A big bag of goodies for a huge price tag. Like the show, after you’ve paid for your goodies and settled down at home to go through the goodies you find most of it is just garbage. A few weeks later you’re no longer looking at it. Foxtel offers no real choice, bundling garbage with the good stuff and calling it a Value Package Deal. It’s marketing nonsense and nothing more.

    Foxtel Play did have some benefits – they were explained in detail to me as I was in the process of cancelling my Foxtel account. But the price is way to high. Almost anyone with a tiny bit of technical knowledge can get a VPN up and running and stream directly from the USA for as little as $10–$15 AUD a month. The US version of iTunes also a bonus having plenty more content than the Australian version. Getting all the benefits of Foxtel Play without the hefty price tag.

    We have free trade agreements in place with the US and other countries but for some reason we’re getting ripped off by our own folks (well that’s if you can still call Rupert Murdoch one of our own) with these region pricing differences.

    We’ve been gouged enough by Foxtel over the years and I for one wont be paying them another penny even if it’s to watch Game Of Thrones. If I can’t find it legally through my VPN and legally paid for US content provider or US iTunes account then I’m waiting for the DVDs to come out. Sourcing from the USA is far cheaper than watching them on Foxtel Play and you actually get true choice without the added nonsense.

  177. andye
    10 Apr 14
    6:03 pm

  178. The gatekeepers of content in Australia still haven’t come to terms with the fact that the fences have all fallen down. Foxtel, rather than providing the product in a reasonable price in a reasonable format have opted to bundle. They want to use exclusivity and a hungry market to their advantage. This is just a continuation of the kind of pre internet complaints about TV channels holding on to series until to suited them. This is like how many retailers are suddenly seeing international competitors move in and succeed after they have whinged and moaned about the environment stopping them.

    Instead of making money out of a great product (GOT), Foxtel have used it to try to prop up a clearly failing model. Australia is sick of being manipulated by those who control the gates. Once we were remote, but information is no global. Adapt or die.

  179. Guest
    10 Apr 14
    6:16 pm

  180. Thanks foxtel. I learned to torrent this week. No foxtel here, satellite not reliable and no broadband. Previously I would drive to town and download from itunes to my phone. It was expensive, but the data cost was much more than the cost of the show anyway.

    Now I have no choice but to buy prepaid data and torrent from my car (after I have driven to where there is reception). It costs me around 10 dollars an ep to pirate GoT. I would happily pay for it if it was as simple as downloading from itunes.

  181. AB
    10 Apr 14
    6:21 pm

  182. Foxtel Play – is that SD or HD Bruce? And can I pause and play on demand?

  183. AB
    10 Apr 14
    6:25 pm

  184. I posted my comment before I saw @Ed’s response above. I’ll be happy to pay for Foxtel Play once HD and play-on-demand are available Thanks Ed for letting us know and thanks to Bruce for also responding to comments.

  185. Sairys
    10 Apr 14
    6:42 pm

  186. Yeah… gtfo foxtel.

    Like really? You want to sit there on your piles of money and whine that the world has moved on from your outdated business model.

    The technological world is constantly growing and evolving, we’re able to access and interact with content in ways that wouldn’t have been possible say… ten years ago. I can now sit at my desk load up sound cloud and have music streamed through my phone all day if I feel like it, I can have songs suggested to me that I’ve never heard of before and many of those songs are stored on my phone because the service is priced reasonably and is actually gives me what I want.

    If Foxtel wants to keep its business model, that’s nice… the people that don’t want to (or can’t) pay for your service just won’t, they’ll do what they’re doing and when someone intelligent enough to provide the service that people actually want they’ll be gladly handed the money that you are trying to extort from people.

  187. Knuckle
    10 Apr 14
    6:58 pm

  188. So … I have used to have Foxtel’s Platinum IQ 2 and then FetchTV came along … I have found far greater value for money. I pay less, I have a higher performing STB … I don’t need to install crap on my roof. Furthermore, I don’t own an xbox or playstation … I work too many hours to have the time to waste on a video game.

    Previously I used the VOD servers from itunes/googleplay etc … now what do I do? Wait until its finished? I’m sorry but who the hell does Foxtel think they are?

    HBO and Foxtel cannot complain if the content is not made readily and reasonably accessible … I, as a rule, don’t download .. but I refuse to have an economic gun held to my head or be strapped over the proverbial barrell. One could be forgiven for thinking that this deal is in breach of federal market competition law.

    When I did have a foxtel subscription… I constantly had billing errors to deal with and god forbid if there was a storm or wind outside!! I had to threaten a manager in the call centre with legal action for cleaning up Foxtel’s own ineptitude and the same manager got all upset when I asked where I send my invoice for the costs associated with me doing his job!… why would I want to go through all that puss and pain again?

    IINet and FetchTV have been fantastic … content both paid and free is expanding … the service delivery and customer service is excellent AND I don’t have billing errors. Furthermore, as a customer, I know that I can engage with people responsible for managing content.. rather than dealing with rude call centre staff with horrid attitudes.

    Why not have a free registration to the Foxtel website (or access Foxtel play’s catalogue for those that use that medium) and be able to pay per episode upon demand … but no .. another corporation with their snout in the trough … I actually called up about a subscription and it was suggested I lock into a 24 month contract… bloody typical..

    No wonder people move to the “darkside”

  189. Jones
    10 Apr 14
    7:24 pm

  190. The fact is Bruce, you offer but one Ferrari ( what a dumb analogy) in a crowded marketplace, pushing a product that isn’t worth as much as you say it is. Piracy..is a brilliant marketing tool and if you actually thought for a second outside the square and worked with it rather than against you’d make more profit…but seeing as News Limited feel the need to go kicking and screaming into a new era and feel the need to bullshit people, divide and conquer…in the end you are losing dimes in the dollar, you’re still making great profits and its nothing but sheer arrogance that’s stopping you from seeing potential in a threat. Look at Channel 10…classic case in example..old model new era..no idea…boring for you boring for the public. People will pay the vast majority do..if you look at Piracy as great marketing influencing the mainstream..its a cheap way of getting your message across…watch our great show., word of mouth is better than a billboard…the real theft is in the consistent lies…coming from News Limited. I mean how many Billions do you need? How many phones do you need to tap? How many governments do you need to overthrow? Never enough it seems…I really wonder sometimes what makes that old man tick.

  191. No GoT
    10 Apr 14
    7:26 pm

  192. I don’t watch GoT anyway.

  193. Phil
    10 Apr 14
    7:43 pm

  194. Bruce you’re analogy is ridiculous and any person who has taken first year economics would see why.

    Ferraris are a private good, meaning my usage of one excludes anyone else from using it. So to steal one from your showroom would mean you were unable to sell it to anyone else. Most people would view that as unfair to your dealership and against their morals.

    Digital products such as TV shows are a public good, where use by one individual does not affect the ability of others to use it. See the difference?

    So a more appropriate analogy would be that you own an outdoor cinema. You used to charge $10 for customers to watch a movie, and even though people could still see/hear the movie from outside your cinema they figured the experience of being inside your cinema was worth the price of admission. You just raised the price of admission to $30. Now many of your customers have now decided that it is no longer worth it and they would rather sit on the hill and watch the movie for free.

    In terms of GoT, it’s a valid business decision if you think the number of people willing to pay you will be greater than 1/3 of the customers who used to buy it on iTunes. But be adult enough to take responsibility for that decision, don’t try to make out that consumers making their own decisions are the bad guys.

  195. Morgan
    10 Apr 14
    7:51 pm

  196. You’ve clearly overlooked the hole in your argument. You HAVE increased the price, I don’t give a shit about the extras – if the customer doesn’t want extra products, they don’t want extra products. If I walk into a dress shop and ask for the dress on the mannequin, to which I’m told (according to your analogy) comes with the jacket and the shoes and the bag and the earrings, all of which may be really nice and pretty but I still have to pay for, but OH what a deal! (…) Well actually no, I just want the dress, I’m going to walk out the shop, I’m not going to steal it. So with that logic, I have neither paid for, nor consumed the product… Except that I did consume your product, AND I didn’t pay for it! (hehe guilty – #sueme). Perhaps if you didn’t make your (potential) customers resent you and your ridiculous business model you might actually get some more business.

  197. Stevo
    10 Apr 14
    7:52 pm

  198. Thanks PL, now you’ve identified me as what’s wrong with the world for purchasing single songs from iTunes on occasion, all problems can be solved simply by hiring a hitman and eliminating me from the earth. World peace ensues.

    Of more relevance, how about this offer from Sky?


  199. Greyjoy paying the iron price
    10 Apr 14
    7:55 pm

  200. If you wanted to use the ferrari analogy, it’s more like this-

    You want a ferrari that costs $20k (not real numbers, just number examples), but the ONLY way to get that ferrari is to pay $200k and you get 30 other shit cars that you don’t want and have nothing to do with them and there is no way to buy just the ferrari. If you do pay the $200k, then you are obliged to get it repaired every week, regardless of whether it needs repairing (ads) and the ferrari will only turn on at certain times that are chosen by the company selling the ferrari.

    So you decide not to get the ferrari because you don’t want all the other cars and it is too much to warrant paying for them all when you only want the one car. So a guy comes up to you and says he has a super 3d printer that he can scan the ferrari and print you out one that is almost the same as the other ferrari, but this one you never need to repair (no ads) and you can use it whenever you want.

    Then the ferrari company gets upset and says here, we are launching a new service that you can get your ferrari for only $80k and you get some cars that you don’t want.

    So tell me then, what are you going to pick when you want just the ferrari and you are willing to pay for the ferrari if thats all you have to pay for.

  201. A quote from Gen Y
    10 Apr 14
    8:01 pm

  202. A quote from a friend: “I was at my parent’s last weekend and they have Foxtel. There were hundreds of channels with nothing of interest, and the one program I was interested in was a repeat. Which made me realise I need to watch the latest episode on the internet when I get home.”

  203. Darky
    10 Apr 14
    8:31 pm

  204. Perhaps Brucey should borrow the Pirates content distribution model. At least they know what their ‘market’ demands!

    They get popular content quickly to their customers and in various formats. No additional garbage (i.e. extra channels/programs) and no contracts to sign up to and lock you in.

    If Brucey could provide such great service I’m sure people would spend a dollar or two… (but probably not $35/month).

  205. nofanoffoxtel
    10 Apr 14
    8:37 pm

  206. I happily paid iTunes last year – HD, same time as US.
    But I had very bad customer experience with FOXTEL last 2 times I subscribed.
    You can see where this is going……
    I really enjoyed 720p season 4 episode 1 the other night. I’ll be donating to World Vision – they need it more than any Murdoch.

  207. xFoxtelFan69x
    10 Apr 14
    9:10 pm

  208. News Corp can buy an election I’m sure they can afford a few pirates.

  209. ElShauno
    10 Apr 14
    9:38 pm

  210. No sympathy for HBO. Has a product people want, but allows pirates to distribute it better. Then complains and cries poor, despite leaving iTunes users high and dry.

    Not sure why Foxtel is worried, I don’t think Hitler docos, b-grade movies and 80s TV shows are big on The Pirate Bay, yet they constitute the 99 per cent of crap shown on their channels.

    What’s worse is that free to air has almost mirrored this content, further devaluing Foxtel’s offering.

  211. not impressed
    10 Apr 14
    10:02 pm

  212. I’ll open by saying that I really enjoyed watching GoT on iTunes the last few series. I strongly believe in paying for my favourite shows. But as for the drivel you just served up Mr Meagher…
    I’ve tried foxtel play – its not even in HD! The app is a sluggish pain in the A***. Although better than your ridiculous cable service its still overpriced and full of shows I don’t have the time or inclination to watch. I’ve seen your cable “HD” – it’s also way more compressed than iTunes HD.
    So you’ve gone to the trouble of buying out a better competitor and expect us to be grateful for the s*** you’ve left behind. Get real.
    I’ll wait for iTunes or the blue ray.
    I’m so angry at Foxtel right now that I will avoid them out of principle for years to come.
    And I’m off to take a cold shower and cool off. And maybe rewatch the first three seasons and avoid social media for a few months.

  213. Cheshire Cat
    10 Apr 14
    10:13 pm

  214. Ummm…HBO Nordic? That’s something like 8 euro per month…kind of kills your $35 foxtel play or whatever you call it.

    so if you want HBO and can put up with Swedish subtitles that’s one option (use unblock us or VPN etc) that’s a lot cheaper than foxtel and our attorney general said getting around geoblocking was ok :)

  215. Me
    10 Apr 14
    10:59 pm

  216. Does buying the book second-hand cross the moral threshold? What if I got it at an op shop? Fantasy dweebs up in arms, this is better than television.

  217. logic101
    10 Apr 14
    11:58 pm

  218. Ok .. for you cheap bitches who dont want to pay for goods and services .. get a job
    if you think its your right to get for free what others have invested time and money for .. we stop making it .. plain and simple .. are you satisfied with that outcome?
    For you morons who bitch to foxtel about how they should run their business .. find an alternative or stfu .. speak with your wallets .. your words are worthless
    Having said that .. Foxtel .. im a subscriber but as soon as a service comes out that will truely allow me to tailor my viewing experience .. im giving them my money. Why? Your model is archaic and will fail youl soon. Now consider .. 6 million people get GoT free via piracy .. 6 million x 0 = .. carry the zero = $0 .. say those 6 million were happy with paying $10 a month to watch 1 show .. that 60 million a month for 3 months that you dont currently earn. Theres much to be said for a per channel subscription model. Even if you say impose a min 4 channel choices as a minimum buy into the custom model. Charge those who want choice more vs the traditional package buyers. People have choice but make em pay to be picky. Everyone wins.
    You can argue out of your ass that you supply variety so people have a wider range of shows to watch and that you support a variety of tv productions. Why support productions that produce few ratings? Make these productions earn their money by creating content people will pay to watch! Stop funding shit. You only encourage them to produce shit. Whilst wanting to spread your money around to support a variety of productions is admirable, you are not encouraging these productions to create quality viewing.
    So stop being lazy because your old school model worked in the early days of paid subscription tv .. it wont last .. the only constant in the universe is change ..

  219. Kamika
    11 Apr 14
    12:34 am

  220. The Ferrari analogy keeps turning up. I cannot see myself going and purchasing a Ferrari.. Paying a good amount for a Ferrari.. Then after signing the paperwork finding out it’s a used minivan with a Ferrari emblem on it. Not only is it not what I was expecting for the price that I paid, it has too many seats and it’s too slow. I can just borrow my friends Ferrari for free anyway.. I just want to watch GOT for a reasonable price until I buy the box set. I would be happy to pay on demand prices of 3 dollars an episode to watch. I would play HBO go 20 dollars a month to watch. I do not have a cable subscription because I don’t want to pay a ton of money for crap I don’t watch, and I’ve never wanted to pirate a show until now. It’s not accessible to me within my budget in the quality that I want it in. That’s the bottom line. If foxtel was offering a quality service at a slightly lower price I would consider it, at least just to get caught up on got, but I just cannot see myself paying for sub par service.

  221. Skeeve
    11 Apr 14
    12:56 am

  222. Bruce, you might not like the al a carte way of purchasing, but it is the way the entire world is going, whether you like it or not. It is called ‘innovate or die’. Look at the trouble channel 10 is in… you want to be next?

    We live in an on-demand consumer driven world. If you can’t make your value obvious and reasonable, the makers of GoT will do the next thing – take it directly to the fans and bypass the broadcast mediums all together. I am sure that when they numbers add up, organisations like the oligopoly of 7,9,10 and you guys will die in this country and others overseas.

    Do you really think you are any different to newspapers? They used to be mediums that gave you everything when you only wanted a piece. Now look at them, dying in the droves…

    Rupert’s empire is starting to crack, and will eventually collapse if he doesn’t innovate and give the customers what they want, as opposed to the shovel force feeding way you operate now.

    I will NEVER EVER subscribe to Foxtel…. and I look forward to the day that services like Netflix and Amazon Prime arrive (and many others) and destroy your business model.

  223. Anti Greed
    11 Apr 14
    1:10 am

  224. I agree with what one person wrote. Steam has a perfect system that shows that people, when given the right platform, are more than happy to support the creators. Who knows more than downloading than a gamer right? and yet steam is just getting stronger every year. I suggest having a look at their business model.

    What I would like to know is why NETFLIX is not available is Australia. It has an amazing business strategy that does work.

    I know that I would love to have pay tv. In fact I have Fetch TV atm, and there is no way I would go any higher than $20pm. Of the 20 odd channels I get I only watch 3 of them. And the foxtel packages, non interest me. There are only like 6 channels that interest me. and I am not going to pay ridiculous amounts for a heap of channels I don’t watch.

    And to go with your magazine/newspaper analogy Bruce, you are right. This is why I do not buy newspapers. If there is a story that interests me I look it up online. I stopped buying the newspaper when I noticed I only read about 4-5 pages of the whole thing, then there are all those bloody adds. They are the only reason the paper is soo big now. As for magazines, I pick my interests. I read food magazines, a food magazine is not going to give a review of the latest blockbuster, tell you how dinosaurs died, what the latest gadget on the market is and if it did, I would stop buying it. Why? because I want my magazine to spend its efforts looking after my needs (aka food interest) as apposed to trying to make more money and throw in irrelevant articles that have nothing to do with food.

    We are all not saying to stop your pretty packages, but design them a little better. If you said $3-5 per channel I would have foxtel yesterday and paying $50pm. Until then, some people are not going to buy a ridiculous package to access a couple of channels or shows. There is ZERO logic in that. You want the rest of Australia to go on Pay TV, I recommend changing your greedy tactics.

  225. Greyjoy paying the iron price
    11 Apr 14
    1:52 am

  226. ElSauno, HBO is not upset, they got paid by Foxtel, they don’t care if you pirate because, as I said, they were already paid and piraters will still buy merchandise. The only people upset are the people that are trying to create a monopoly on entertainment and people are pushing back.

  227. GoT rocks
    11 Apr 14
    3:30 am

  228. Oh dear, if the open letter is real then they really do not understand the consumer at all…

  229. The Risk you Take
    11 Apr 14
    5:54 am

  230. Its Business, and if you choose to sign an inflated contract to lock out other subscriptions, you have the risk others will then be inclined to enter in to fill the hole in demand that you are not adequately filling.

    For me thats as simple as Unblockus.com and a subscription to US based services to receive all the shows I need. Were in a global economy now, and with 100MB broad band I will go to overseas competitors if your service is lacking.

  231. Stormy Swords
    11 Apr 14
    6:30 am

  232. Just over a year ago HBO CEO Richard Plepler hinted at the evolution of HBOGo broadband distribution rather than cable TV, suggesting “an extra $10 or $15 for HBO to be packaged in with that service”. A summary from Morgan Stanley’s TMT conference last month indicates that HBO’s “math” is still a work in progress; while they’re “mindful” of the piracy problem it seems like they’re happy to stick with the traditional model until it stops working for them.

    I think Meagher is primarily echoing HBO’s views on traditional distribution partners and lucrative subscription fees, but in the least productive way possible — and it doesn’t make his propagation of the car/Ferrari analogies any less ridiculous. At least Plepler’s car analogies make sense.

    Personally, after reading Meagher’s condescending product promo masquerading as an opinion piece, I’m not interested in paying Foxtel for any service. If the content creators and risk takers are able to discuss piracy without alienating fans, why can’t he?

    How about instead of going Joffrey on potential customers, Foxtel works with HBO to deliver innovative solutions, rather than demanding premium pricing for inferior products. In 2013, HBO programming president Michael Lombardo even expressed concern about the video quality of pirated copies. Does Foxtel Play’s SD do the production values justice?

    Regardless of who distributes content and how they do it, it seems foolish to dismiss the audience that wants à la carte solutions. Responding with tripe like “We are a subscription TV service, that’s what we do.” doesn’t really give consumers confidence. While some companies have products that afford them the arrogance of ‘our way or the highway’, I don’t think middle-men generally see as much success with that approach — if they do, they’re exceptionally good at selling the snake oil. Looking at the Interweb’s response, this ‘open letter’ hasn’t convinced many. You only have to look at crowdfunding sites to see that people are more than happy to throw their money at causes they’re interested in.

    Additionally, throwing stones at Apple’s iTMS and the colloquial narrow-minded yuppies that support that model isn’t a solution for the piracy “that comes along with having a wildly successful show on a subscription network”. Of course, I could be wrong, perhaps the majority of the GoT torrenters are in fact iSheep, and your arguments and proverbial stoning are absolutely justified.

    Assuming that Meagher sees Foxtel as Lannisters and the torrenters as all the rebel houses & their bannermen, then perhaps he should familiarise himself with the foresight of GRRM’s novels. Certainly these rebel houses suffer considerable casualties, but there is a lot to be said for taking a Tyrion approach over a Tywin one.

  233. David Whittingham
    11 Apr 14
    6:41 am

  234. Well Bruce, you’ve certainly started something here. It’s good Foxtel is getting some robust feedback for once. When Foxtel has contacted me to survey my views it’s dropped me like a stone on finding out my age (68). Says a lot in my opinion. I’m a long-term subscriber but would not continue if I was the only TV viewer in the house – I agree with the sentiment expressed about high cost/crap content/inflexible packages offered by this greedy monopoly.

  235. Encyclic!
    11 Apr 14
    7:28 am

  236. Also can I say that it’s incredibly sad to see so many representatives of the entertainment industry who apparently cannot differentiate between “piracy” and “theft.

  237. Simon
    11 Apr 14
    7:42 am

  238. Comment #46

    The music industry was dragged kicking and screaming through piracy and now into legitimate streaming services, whilst many of the dinosaurs of record companies suffered and declined.

    Did we stop seeing fantastic music being made? No. The producers adapted and adjusted their approach in suit the new model.

    TV content is about to undergo this same model change. In this analogy, you as Foxtel are the record company dinosaurs. And we’ll still get great TV made.

  239. alan Koshinta
    11 Apr 14
    7:42 am

  240. i currently pay for your premium service… I even use IQ to record things…. recently I steuggle to find ANYTHING wor watching that has not been repeated ad-nauseum… and it costs me WELL over $100 a month for a pile of crap…. so I look at your alternative streaming offering…. for a similar package its STILL $89 a month.

    you are simply exploiting a market with old style protectionist business practices that charge as much as a market can bear… Well, I can’t bear it anymore when I can get all that and more for only $7.95 a month from Netflix.

    I want to do the right thing… but when your being ass raped, it’s hard to say thankyou!

    this Game of Thrones debarcle has actually made me so angry I am actively looking at cancelling my subscription and seeking any alternative… maybe even reading a book, cause the trashiest novel has to be better than the majority of your content that you overcharge for.

    give us content quickly at a reasonable price ina timeley manner that we can view when we want, as many times as we want. Just look at what iTunes did for music

  241. alan Koshinta
    11 Apr 14
    8:01 am

  242. I went through a Hungry Jacks drivethru the other day. There was a huge delay, when I asked why, the manager started complaining about “stupid customers”. In case he didnt notice, I was ALSO a customer which he just referred to as stupid. I won’t be going to that store again

    Well Mr Foxtel, I am also one of your customers and your wagging your finger one too many times is just gonna get you one less customer.

    I pay to do the right thing, and what I get is overcharged and less than flexible viewing options, with less and less value for my money… Pawn Stars… really? What about airing Haven BEFORE the entire series has concluded in the US? Have you even watched Tosh.O? If you did you wouldnt choose to fast track the bottom of the barrell while letting premium content languish.

    Good thing you have the IPL…. it is the ONLY reason we didnt cancel 2 years ago…… and your ‘opinion peice’ has me actively looking for alternative sources, so I can tell you where you can take your subscription!

  243. Charlie
    11 Apr 14
    8:07 am

  244. I wouldn’t steal a car Bruce, but I’d definitely make a copy of one (assuming the existence of magical car-copying machines, obviously).

  245. DofM
    11 Apr 14
    8:44 am

  246. Your analogy is flawed Bruce — If I steal your Ferrari I have deprived you of it and deprove you of the ability to sell it to a paying consumer.
    For your analogy to be correct, the pirates would need to steal the only digital copy available and delete it from HBO’s servers. This is depriving HBO of sales.

    As it is — 1 person is happy to pay and 1 is not — HBO will not see a loss in revenue as the first consumer has not been deprived of the fictional-ferrari.

    BTW — the more you guys try to guilt consumers into being subscribers, the more they resist your efforts and resent you for it….something to consider for when FOXtel may one day try to do the right thing and wonder why no-one is flocking to their fairer service.

    Fool me once, shame on you, fool me twice, shame on me.

  247. Ricky
    11 Apr 14
    8:58 am

  248. Will foxtel release their subscription numbers since buying the rights for GoT?
    1. The number of New subscribers
    2. The number of new subscribers who purchased the package
    3. Number or current subscribers which upgrade their package for GoT.

    Compare this to the numbers of Itunes and Google play subscriptions bought in season 3.

    This data would end the piracy argument pretty quickly and the marketing guy that chimed in would be out of a Job.

  249. Dec
    11 Apr 14
    9:10 am

  250. This piece reminds me of the West Wing episode when Josh Lyman got caught up in a heated debate on a blog.

  251. grumpyOldGuy
    11 Apr 14
    9:19 am

  252. Mr Foxtel, I have been a customer for about 14 years. In that time I have paid you a lot of money, and in return I get endless adds, lots of worthless shows, and in between a few things worth watching.
    I think the amount of money I have paid to you over the years gives me the right to decide for myself if I would like to download a show, rather than pay you more money to watch it, at a time you decide.
    If your service was a bit more user friendly, and I could decide what I paid for, and when I could watch it, I would be a bit more inclined to agree with you. But it isnt, and so I dont.
    I am a customer, and I have spoken.

  253. Jonker
    11 Apr 14
    9:28 am

  254. Everyone is better off going in with three mates and paying $25 each. One person gets it on the tv then the other three register their Ipads on Foxtel Go and everyone is happy. But you didn’t hear that from me!

  255. Kronomex
    11 Apr 14
    9:32 am

  256. I didn’t see Bruce (who seems to have stopped commenting after his #46 post) mention the “(includes $75 standard install and $75 equipment fee)”. Does that mean a Farcetel technician comes out and installs the equipment or do you pay to have it sent and THEN you set it up yourself? Somehow the latter springs to mind. What a choice of cable: Farcetel or Optus which seems mostly made up of Farcetel programming. I’m not going to pay $105.00 to watch the latest series of Game of Thrones I’m going to wait a few months then buy it on DVD for about $45.00.

  257. Foxtel_Subscriber
    11 Apr 14
    9:36 am

  258. It is simple really – you either want to see GOT4 as and when it is aired or you’re don’t. If you do there is a cost. If that cost is too much, then you’ll have to wait until the season is over. I think the people on here complaining about the cost are those that will never be convinced of the value/need of having Foxtel.

  259. Greta
    11 Apr 14
    9:42 am

  260. Your first analogy is extremely flawed. It’s actually like this:
    You want to buy and keep a Ferrari, once upon a time, there were lots of places you could do so, then Ferrari gave exclusive selling rights to a car rental company who, when you sign up, you not only have to pay more to get behind the wheel of the Ferrari, the rental company also forces you to pay for a bunch of volvos as well.
    Then, after a little while, you have to give the cars back. So, you steal the Ferrari.

  261. Greta
    11 Apr 14
    9:44 am

  262. You only have to state the proposition to realise how absurd it is.

  263. David
    11 Apr 14
    10:25 am

  264. Foxtel is the way of the past. It’s new services like NetFlix that will be the future. If Game Of Thrones was on a good service like NetFlix I wouldn’t pirate it.

    I have on many occasions wanted to buy foxtel but it is not worth the price. I would love to have the sport package on its own without having to pay for other rubbish I don’t want.

  265. Ex_Foxtel_Subscriber
    11 Apr 14
    10:36 am

  266. I dropped my subscription because i realised that Foxtel is intent on monopolizing the market in Aus and gouging Australian consumers. If they want to offer a competitive product in a free market im all for it, but they dont. Plus, they are at least indirectly responsible for all the damn region blocking that goes on for free content. Daily show says watch the extended version of this interview on the net? Not so fast if you’re in Australia you cant even though you’re paying subs to watch the show.

  267. Aussie_Austridge
    11 Apr 14
    10:39 am

  268. I can’t understand why Foxtel isn’t offering a special Game of Thrones package for the duration of the series. They did that with the London Olympics in 2014 – I had Foxtel for those two weeks then cancelled. I got what I paid for, Foxtel got their money and nobody was worse off.

  269. Hound
    11 Apr 14
    10:40 am

  270. I don’t know why people are so anti-Foxtel on this – they’ve paid a lot of money for the series and offering a no strings internet package that’s discounted for the run of the series tells me that they are listening to what people want.
    Some people just don’t see why they should pay for anything ever, but with a series as expensive as GOT (or any drama) that’s just unrealistic and unfair to the people producing it.
    I don’t have Foxtel cable, I’ve signed up to Foxtel Play which I’m watching through my TV (it’s not that hard to hook them up) and I think it’s a pretty good deal.

    And I don’t work at Foxtel.

  271. Aussie_Austridge
    11 Apr 14
    10:41 am

  272. Whoops! The London Olympics were in 2012. I’m a bit too used to writing 2014.

  273. Katie
    11 Apr 14
    10:44 am

  274. Bruce, this is the first I’ve heard about Foxtel Play service. Your television ads make it sound as if you need a full Foxtel subscription to get Foxtel Play.

  275. Saskia
    11 Apr 14
    10:52 am

  276. @Kronomex.. I don’t think you have to pay $75 standard install and $75 equipment fee. I believe it’s all online.

  277. Damian
    11 Apr 14
    11:01 am

  278. Signed up to Foxtel Play, but I expect I’l cancel within my 2 week free trial to avoid paying $35 p/m.

    Catch-up only offers Season 3 of GoT, and only episodes 1-9. The season finale (episode 10) is not available on catch-up. This is perfect example of how limited the ‘catch-up’ service is.

    Maybe you want to get into Dexter? You can watch from Season 4 episode 7, up to the last episode in Season 5. If you want to watch season 1-4 or 6,7 or 8, you’re out of luck. Pathetic right?

    The service offers no buffering, saving, scheduling, alarms, or recording functionality. If you’re internet drops out or you’re not home while the show is broadcasted, you have to wait for the show to be re-run, or if you’re lucky it will make it to the “catch up” service.

    Many people also mistakenly assume because Foxtel Play is an internet service, that it is an on-demand streaming service.

    On demand it is NOT. The “Catch Up” is the on-demand portion of Foxtel Play. Although it has a lot to watch, it generally only shows the past season of whatever is currently on air. For something like “Seinfield” that aired long ago, it only has 7 episodes available on demand, from Season 5.

    Considering that Catch Up generally only keeps the past season available, you’re really renting shows for a 1-2 year period. After that, they’re gone. Imagine paying for Google Play to listen to your favourite music, and finding after 2 years they remove songs, forcing you to then go out and individually buy them.

    Program also has limited functionality. You cannot define the audio device to use for example like you can with VLC. No caption/sub-title options and no queuing features (series marathon).

  279. Michael
    11 Apr 14
    11:02 am

  280. What an interesting stream of comments. I estimate that 99% of them take issue with Bruce and Ed’s comments (excluding Bruce and Ed of course).

    Particularly interesting is that exemplifies the way that people use media now and there is much for Foxtel to learn from this.

    Bruce put out the Foxtel line as to why people should pay what they are told to by, in this case, a monopoly. Everyone – bar one or two comments – have pointed out that this is an antiquated business model that does not suit the consumer. Consumers have, in this case, indicated that they want to pay for a legitimate version of GOT but that they do not want to be forced into the gift-with-very-expensive-purchase model.

    As they say, there are alternatives to paying Foxtel most of which are illegal and some semi-legal.

    But no-one at all has commended Foxtel on its offering. Mumbrella has many interested readers who are media savvy. They may or may not be representative of the broader community but they do know what they are talking about and mostly express it well.

    Bruce: If the Foxtel model is really to get lots of people who are not wise to how much they will have to pay, you are on a hiding to nothing. Now is the time to sit up and take notice. Everyone here has done the heavy lifting for you in advising you as to why the current offering doesn’t work. Look, learn, adapt. It may work this year but it won’t next year.

    I am no longer a Foxtel subscriber, FYI. I stopped after a burst last year where there was so little that I wanted to see and even less that I wanted to see peppered with ads. $130 a month for old shows full of advertising? While I enjoyed a few things in the course of the year (AFL without ads was good) I had to conclude that the cable model was hugely overpriced for what it is and that VOD services (or SVOD if you can get it) along with the offerings of the FTA networks provide much better value.

    A little patience may be required sometimes but that is a small price to pay for not paying a large one.

  281. Philip Bateman
    11 Apr 14
    11:06 am

  282. I asked HBO directly via Facebook;

    Does your company have a ‘donate’ link like a PayPal button or a Vimeo tip jar? I know several people interested in sending you nominal amounts of money each time they have watched your material in places such as Australia, where they have received the content directly from the internet.


    As a content creator, I do not want to see producers, writers, crew etc go unrewarded for making quality work that I watch.

    As an internet user, there is no difference between the signals of an email, this comment, a youtube video, a jpeg image or data Foxtel ‘owns’ due to my geographic location.

    I will not tolerate being likened to a thief because someones business model hasn’t caught up, but I will watch them scream and shuffle off into history whilst gladly rewarding original content producers.

    We should keep in mind when reading commentary from FoxBuster that if you “Ask a man an honest question his income depends on, expect him to lie.”

  283. alan Koshinta
    11 Apr 14
    11:12 am

  284. @ Hound – because of several reasons… first the BLOCKING off access by any other mean until after the series has aired… is simply anticompetitive, and also precludes the substantial enjoyment and participation online via discussion forums. Those are useless when you are not seeing them when they air..bor any series… again, this leads to lots of downloading for no reason other than timing and ability to discuss the show in an online community.

    Second of all, the series is available via Netflix with a full subscription at only $7.95/ month… geoblocking is the only reason you dont have access and the governments IT pricing enquiry found that to be anti-competitive and urged people to bypass blocking technologies. That means 7.95 vs a foxtel subscription IS ALSO ANTI- COMPETITIVE and outright gouging.

    3rd – offering SD only is substandard for an HD show… it is AN alternative with limitations whcih neither Foxtel or the subscriber can ignore.

    Fianlly… people take great exception at being called theives by a monopoly. I for one greatly appreciate the DVD’s that have started to say thanks, and do more to guilt me into handing over money than any threats or name calling EVER will

    I for one would be interested to hear Mr. Foxtels response to the geoblocking issues and thoe finding of the IT pricing enquiry… since he is following this thread, a non-response would be even worse than a bad one! I’m a paying subscriber… care to answer?

  285. Ex_Foxtel_Subscriber
    11 Apr 14
    11:15 am

  286. $50 per month for foxtel play minimum. Compared to a few dollars per episode when it was available on itunes. Plus content expires and devices you can play on are restricted. Note its not only Foxtel, HBO are also the problem in this particular case. But theres a wider problem with media monopolization in Australia, and Foxtel is a big part of that problem.

  287. alan Koshinta
    11 Apr 14
    11:16 am

  288. summary of IT pricing enquiry on digital priducts and content, and advice on geoblocking


  289. Sigh
    11 Apr 14
    11:28 am

  290. This is all terribly amusing, and all that, but when are we – the common peasants – going to do something practical about this situation?

    We need to send a very strong message to the only people who can actually fix this mess, and that is our elected representatives. Both Labor and the Liberal parties are committed to serving the copyright cartels instead of us – the very people they were elected to serve. Right now George Brandis is cracking along with the horrendous TPP (Google it) and are trying to enforce the outdated distribution models that Foxtel is currently leaching from ordinary Australians. I really don’t blame a US Billionaire and his mates legally trying to bled us dry – they are only doing what they are permitted to do. I blame the Libs and Labor for encouraging it. The major parties have made a conscious decision to back international cartels over their own people and that kind of treachery cannot be allowed to stand.

    Contact your local representative today. Ask why the TPP and the weird-ass copyright provisions and laws are being stacked against ordinary citizens. Ask why is it that any form of geoblocking is considered to be morally right? Ask why – if compulsory monopolies are generally believed to be socially and ethically repugnant – how is it that big supporters of the LNP can shove Foxtel down our throats as the sole distributor of shows like GoT. Educate yourself about the underlining background of this kind of deal, not just GoT and the Foxtel model, but how it came into existence in the first place. Ask yourself why News Corp was so itchy about NBN and how it fought tooth and nail to destroy the very Government who was trying to establish near universal fast speed broadband. The less broadband, the more reliance on cable TV subscriptions – pretty much trying to force us back to Foxtel’s ever loving arms.

    This outrage we are all displaying (me included) was ultimately caused by us not paying attention and by us not getting involved in the first place. Civil disobedience can only take you so far. The biggest fear that any political party has is of a politically educated electorate.

    If you want to fix this mess and send a strong message to those in power, don’t throw your vote at the very same people who are backing the international cartels instead of you, your family and friends. Lastly, stop using the value-laden terms such as “pirating”. It is the term preferred by the copyright Industry and language is important. You don’t murder people, you don’t steal everything they own and it’s unlikely that you wear an eye-patch and have a wooden leg. If you buy into their rhetoric it makes it easier for them to persuade the ignorant that the cartels are innocent parties instead of being rapacious, dangerous and anti-competitive leaches on the social politic.

    [See: http://www.wikileaksparty.org......he-tpp/%5D

  291. alan Koshinta
    11 Apr 14
    11:32 am

  292. I feel it also worth pointing out. I am ahreat believer in paying for content. I also believe Foxtels offering (bar the cost and bundles) is good. I was also genuinely excited by Foxtelplay… immediately checked it out and felt likeI was kicked in the nuts when putting the package and pricing together..

    as has been very well pointed out. we want to pay, but can no longer continue to support the business model when there are so many options

    stop filling the prisons with drug addicts… deal with the problem at the source! that means fix your business plan and then you dont need to write demeaning articles like the one above.

  293. logic101
    11 Apr 14
    11:42 am

  294. Comment #123
    You say Bruce’s analogy is incorrect .. you said ..
    “For your analogy to be correct, the pirates would need to steal the only digital copy available and delete it from HBO’s servers. This is depriving HBO of sales.”

    re-read that line & tell me how retarded you sound?

    So what you are saying is because a good or service can be easily replicated it has no value & therefore be fair game to piracy?

    Would you prefer that HBO never release GoT & that in order to view it you had to pay through the ass as distribution costs blow the price per episode out of the water & then wait until they bring the master copy to your house & then take it away with them once you have seen it? .. assuming the 3000 year wait time to see 1 episode was ok by you?

    They make copies of the original as a convenience to distribute it to as many fans as they can .. not as a free gift for your cheap ass.

    The only reason these production companies make any money is because of those people that actually pay for the goods/services. Imagine they made no money because EVERYONE pirated the episodes. After 1 episode they say fuck this .. we’re broke. We cant afford to make any more awesome episodes for you guys to enjoy. Other producers with great idea see this & go it’s not worth making cos there is no money in it.

    So enjoy your shitty free to air TV with its small budget crappy reality shows when enough people think pirating copies of awesome productions is ok ..

  295. alan Koshinta
    11 Apr 14
    11:52 am

  296. let face it.. the only reason Netflix is not here is because FOX is a major content creator and would have been told in no uncertain terms to stay away from Oz.

    why else would they have had clear plans to roll out here years ago… then SUDDENLY change their mind?!?!?

    again.. no Response Mr. Foxtel?

    by the way… I am this enraged, and have been a subscriber since the days you first started… I consume media, and would be your core customer base… If i am this unhappy…. then whats the rest of your customers thinking?

    Being in amoonnee Ponds I even considered getting a job with you… but you seem so determined to kill your business by gouging, it did not seem like a good long term strategy. Have you planned your next career move… or is it ” Murdoch Murdoch he’s my man if he hasnt got your back nobody can…. unless your name is Rebecca… right!??!

  297. Ani
    11 Apr 14
    11:54 am

  298. Every time I see a comment here along the lines of “wah stop complaining”, “It’s only $35 a month”, “cheap bitches, get a job”… Excuse you. I think you’ve entirely missed the point.

    I had Foxtel for almost fifteen years, and I was sick of paying for things I didn’t want, just to get access to a few things I DID want to watch. $35 is a pretty insignificant sum in the grand scheme of things, but what is that really paying for? Crap programming, ads, lag, poor quality… the list goes on.

    Back when I first got Foxtel, it wasn’t that big an issue. The channels on offer were fewer, which called for more of the programs I was interested in being bunched together, at a reasonable price. But then Foxtel started getting greedy. Bumping up the price, adding things I didn’t want under the guise of ‘value’…

    No. I’ve had enough. I’ll stick to trawling through TPB, and waiting for the Blu-rays to come out.

    Also, your customer service reps are amongst the rudest I’ve ever spoken to, second only to Telstra.

  299. Ex_Foxtel_Subscriber
    11 Apr 14
    12:04 pm

  300. Yes, production has value. Digital reproduction and distribution has very little or no value. That is why this is happening. People know they are being ripped off consistently by entrenched middle men enforcing a dead business model they are hanging on to through political lobbying. If the GoT producers put up a kickstarter tomorrow, theyd get more than enough money to fund production.

  301. Anonymous
    11 Apr 14
    12:21 pm

  302. So you are saying that because we don’t want to buy your extremely overpriced and undervalued service we are all criminals.

    Yet your solution is to turn to YOUR other service: which is almost equally low quality and expensive.

    It really does amaze me that people in your position are enabled to broadcast such ignorance.

    The market meets consumer demand dude, not the other way round. Economics 101

  303. tyrion lannister
    11 Apr 14
    12:22 pm

  304. So you are saying that because we don’t want to buy your extremely overpriced and undervalued service we are all criminals.

    Yet your solution is to turn to YOUR other service: which is almost equally low quality and expensive.

    It really does amaze me that people in your position are enabled to broadcast such ignorance.

    The market meets consumer demand dude, not the other way round. Economics 101

  305. Scott
    11 Apr 14
    12:55 pm

  306. I fork out $119 a month to Bigpond for my internet, as a half shareholder in Foxtel suck it up – your already getting enough out of me

  307. bucks
    11 Apr 14
    1:02 pm

  308. No matter how the majority on here try to justify it, piracy is piracy and piracy is stealing.

    Justify it however you want if it helps you sleep better at night, but it is what it is, so get off your bloody high horses.

    For the record, yep, I DO IT. But I ACKNOWLEDGE that I do, I make no excuses for it, (though I do have Foxtel subscription, I only download GoT to watch it on my iPad when travelling, but sure I download other stuff illegally, like movies)

    I welcome the criticism this comment will probably bring, because it proves my point that you lot will try and justify what you do, when realistically, there is not justification when there is a legal way of obtaining it, you just don’t agree with the method or pricing.

  309. Patrick Star
    11 Apr 14
    1:07 pm

  310. Complaining about your potential customers ignoring you is not a way to run a business in any other industry. If people are unhappy with your service you either cater to them properly and offer what they want or will accept or you ignore them and at least pretend to be professional about it. When the vast majority of the market wants product A and you demand for them to buy the A light package because that’s what they do elsewhere don’t be so surprised when they aren’t exactly thrilled with your response. This response is what happens when you have no competition for so long and suddenly people are presented with a 2nd or a 3rd choice.

  311. Andrew
    11 Apr 14
    1:12 pm

  312. Its too bad that Foxtel missed an amazing opportunity to branch out in a new marketing strategy.

    If you had only had allowed for people to view GoT, by itself instead of as a package, at a reasonable price ($1.99 per episode) you would of had the majority of those who ‘stole’ the show signed up on Foxtel Play, got there money, and a percentage of those would most probably of stayed for other services. It would also of been a bolster to your reputation as a forward-thinking and customer focused company, with lots of positive press to boot, drawing in even more subscribers.

    Instead you have the exact opposite and now have a stand-offish reputation which will alienate you from more potential customers. If things dont change, Foxtel will still be around, but not for long.

  313. Sean Meaney
    11 Apr 14
    1:23 pm

  314. Would HBO mind releasing season four of game of thrones on DVD as boxed set in Australia. I’m happy to buy it for fifty dollars a season at jb hifi but waiting ten months after its U.S. Release is pissing me off.

  315. Anonymous
    11 Apr 14
    1:58 pm

  316. GoT week-by-week is rubbish anyway. Only possible joy is to watch the episodes 3/4 at a time (or the whole season in one go).
    Makes much more sense to wait.
    Alternatively, buy the books and use your imagination and throw in the occasional bit of raw porn to fill that gap.

  317. Chris
    11 Apr 14
    2:00 pm

  318. It’s simple. Adapt, or die. Regardless of your opinions on the matter, Piracy IS a competitor, that doesn’t discriminate on price or geography, as well as always providing HD content. It can be played on all my platforms, from my TV, to my tablet, to my xbox, to my phone.

    Until that’s offered for at a reasonable cost, I’ll continue paying the Iron Price, thank you very much.

  319. Simon
    11 Apr 14
    2:23 pm

  320. Micro transactions are the way of the future.

    We have seen it in the gaming industry, in the music industry.
    It has it’s positives and negatives but has proven to be a very effective method of revenue.

    In this article http://www.telegraph.co.uk/tec.....-show.html
    We see that GoT was downloaded 1.5 million times in a 2 month period, and further in the article stating the most downloaded episode @ 5.9 million.
    We can see in this article http://www.escapistmagazine.co.....Half-A-Day stated that the average downloads per episode is 4.3million.

    If GoT was offered under the same micro transaction model, where for example 1 episode was priced @ $3.95, which many people would consider reasonable, I can confidently say that a high percentage of these downloads would have been paid for, lets assume a figure of 60% to be conservative.
    60% of 4.3million is 2.58 million x $3.95 = $10.2 million per episode over.
    At an average cost of 6 million per episode you’ve already made 40% gross profit, just by getting 60% of the illegal downloaders to go legit.
    If it were based on the nearly 14million legitimate viewers at the same rate on HBO’s own platform alone(as stated in this link – http://winteriscoming.net/2013.....n-viewers/), you’ve just raised that profit to %91.
    I’m having trouble finding a good figure for just how many people watch GoT worldwide, but you can already see that, a low priced product is going to sell a lot more than your subscription model.

  321. Liam
    11 Apr 14
    2:24 pm

  322. So I’ll be avoiding Fox and going the US route.

    Pity that.

  323. Bryan
    11 Apr 14
    2:32 pm

  324. I can tell you something.. I don´t watch TV, I´ve heard of GOT but I was never interested in that show.. until some friends of mine downloaded it, told me it was amazing.. I downloaded it.. thought it was amazing.. told friends of mine the show was amazing and they downloaded it and they loved it just as everyone I know that watch the show! Now! what you got here.. is PUBLICITY – when you put all those GOT DVDs to sell.. I and everyone I know will buy them! You can sell toys, clothes, lunchboxes, whatever!!… you just got yourselves costumers that wouldn´t ever see the show if it wasn´t for piracy! But yeah.. you could provide a better service.. people will pay for a good f*cking service, man!

  325. Cameron
    11 Apr 14
    3:02 pm

  326. Here’s the thing, Bruce Meagher. People HATE Foxtel. With a passion. And Foxtel has nothing to do with the creation of a beloved show like GoT. So people are looking for ways to get to the show they love and, if an institution they LOATHE is sitting int he way, like Foxtel, people will sidestep it. So you see, the problem here is that you work for a business that people hate, not that they don’t understand their options in viewing the show on Foxtel.

  327. MasterofCoin
    11 Apr 14
    3:10 pm

  328. @Bruce –

    Dear Bruce are you by any chance related to Jon Snow – as you both know nothing. -> sorry it was too good to pass up.

    it seems to me that you guys at foxtel need some serious social media training as you’ve clearly lost this encounter with your very smart, and opinionated audience. Be humble enough to admit that you’ve stuffed it and that you can do it better.

    To me you’re missing a huge opportunity to give people exactly what they want on those very plattforms you’re currently struggling with . Make the show available for purchase on the apps. ipad, iphone, IPTV – make it cheaper and win back some cred and good browny points from the aussie consumers.

    Make it so easy to use that setting up a torrent would seam like a massive hassle. And most importantly Do Not shy away from change. Otherwise we’ll be having a chat about ‘the good old days of pay tv’

    We all know you need to make $$ out of this – i know. but do so in the long run with heaps of people downloading the episodes. Charge different amounts eg: $3.00 per normal episode , 5.00 for a cliffhanger. Monetize content and create stuff that people would actually want to tune into – a la – Talking Dead HBO show about the talking Dead.

  329. Nim Tith
    11 Apr 14
    3:13 pm

  330. This is absolutely outrageous. Like others here I WAS HAPPILY PAYING for Game of Thrones last year through iTunes’ season pass system. This year that is no longer possible thanks to Foxtel’s deal with HBO. It is thanks to Foxtel that those poor starving artists, writers, actors and production crew (you know, the people that actually make the show, not the network that just bought the exclusive rights) will now have to wait until I am able to buy the Blurays, to get my money. Because I’ll be damned if I give you a cent for trying to force me into paying for an inferior service.

    Wake up Foxtel, all this bluster and rhetoric is a transparent effort to shore up a broken distribution model and cover up your own refusal, or inability, to embrace and fully utilise digital networks.

  331. dishWasher
    11 Apr 14
    3:18 pm

  332. 4 Easy steps

    step 1. Google PirateBay
    step 2. search Game of thrones
    step 3. download Utorrent on andriod mobile or PC/MAC
    Step 4. enjoy!

  333. qwerty
    11 Apr 14
    3:44 pm

  334. Damn you Foxtel – you’re a business, and you charge people money for a product – aaaarrrgh! How dare you!

    You should be forced to provide your service for free, and the 3000 odd people you employ should all work for free!

  335. me
    11 Apr 14
    3:47 pm

  336. @Simon, I think your model is the best mentioned so far.

    There is only one problem. It takes a ‘broadcast’ dissemination to get enough people watching this. If you tried this micro-financing model from episode one, building to critical mass would have taken much longer than it has.

    I don’t think that part of the equation is appreciated by the hordes who have commented here. Once they have discovered their new favourite TV show, they behave as if it was always going to be a success. I wonder how many here were early adopters.

    Not every beloved TV show of recent years has had a popular book series as its foundation. Breaking Bad, Mad Men, The Wire, The Sopranos, The West Wing and many others would never have gotten past episode 3 if the producers had to wait for the trickle of returns to turn into a gusher.

    I don’t think FOXTEL have helped themselves with this article. Whoever approved this external communication has seriously deluded themselves with the logic of their argument. All it has done is point Fantasy Dweebs with the monkey on their back to the various access alternatives.

  337. Alastair
    11 Apr 14
    3:58 pm

  338. It comes down to not an argument at the margins about a few dollars, but an argument of $105 for the season of Game of Thrones for those who would be signing up to Foxtel live for the sole purpose of watching GoT.
    Instead I’ll spend $12 a month for Netflix and a VPN thank you very much.

  339. bucks
    11 Apr 14
    4:00 pm

  340. @ Cameron
    At the risk of sounding like a Foxtel mouth piece, making a generalising statement like “People HATE Foxtel. With a passion.” is like saying “Everyone with the name Cameron, must hang around with other people who don’t like sport and hang out at hipster bars hating on everything”.

    Both comments are baseless. I know as many people who hate Foxtel, as I do people who have it because of the Live AFL/NRL and other sporting codes (sure maybe they also hate Foxtel, but they *have it*).

    Foxtel is more than just an expensive platform for GoT. Yep, I have it yet I still download GoT and other stuff because I’m a pirate. I pay for it because I want my Sports live and Documentary channels when I’m bored or recovering on the couch from a hangover.

    So you don’t speak for anyone but yourself there Cam. Even if you point out, “well look at the other comments”, well I’m not sure this forum is a true reflection of all of Foxtel’s potential client base.

  341. Andrew
    11 Apr 14
    4:17 pm

  342. I completely agree!

    If I can buy a Ferrari for half the price in a different country and import it for free I will do it! Hence I will *buy* the content I want from the US at a reasonable price.

  343. Sejr
    11 Apr 14
    4:28 pm

  344. Meanwhile, in Scandinavia, HBO Nordic is available, at the cost of 79 DKR (roughly 15,5 aus $). Everything is on demand, including GOT.

    Have a look here.

  345. Joffrey
    11 Apr 14
    4:33 pm

  346. This whole argument would be better if Foxtel and the like should stop trying to appeal to an ambiguous moral code through weak analogies.

    It needs to be called out for what is is.
    Foxtel is competing with a medium that allow me to watch it how I want, when I want. On my oversided TV in HD? Sure! Tablet or phone on the train? Play it! Laptop outside in a hammock with an overpriced craft beer in one hand, cigarette in the other? Living the dream! And all for the low low price of nothing.

    Would I be willing to pay for this convenience? Of course! I already do for most other electronic entertainment! Steam on my PC, XBOX 360 and PS4 have their stores, itunes and google play for the music. Comixology more of my money than I’d care to admit. Just give me a reasonable price and tell em where to send my credit card number.

    I just want to be able to watch it on my terms, because I already do. The technology is there. I checked out Foxtel Play. Its not for me. To much stuff I simply wont use, in way to restrictive a fashion, for too fleeting a time. I want to sit in my hammock when I want, and content to pick up a bluray later to show my support for the cause.

  347. simple
    11 Apr 14
    4:48 pm

  348. 1 step solution: read the books

  349. Cameron
    11 Apr 14
    5:03 pm

  350. Actually, bucks, unless you are claiming that I’m the only person in the world who loathes Foxtel, then the expression “people hate Foxtel” is absolutely true. You seem to think the term “people” means “everyone”. It doesn’t. “People” simply means more than one. This thread, and similar ones at sites like Gizmodo, prove that I’m not the only one. Cheers buddy.

  351. AryaStark
    11 Apr 14
    5:08 pm

  352. Hey Bruce, something to think about over the weekend, huh?

    As for “Unfortunately, there has also been much misinformation about how Foxtel is making Game of Thrones available to the public” – hopefully now you see the arrogance of that statement. GOT is already available to the public, via those kind people in the US who upload it for us for free. Foxtel is just one other way to view it. We don’t necessarily want to steal, so consider meeting us in the middle and not forcing us to buy a whole package of shit we’re not interested in, and you would (for a lot of people) have yourself a deal.

  353. Apoplectic
    11 Apr 14
    5:29 pm

  354. Please allow me to repair Mr Meagher’s rather unfortunate analogy. Firstly, we’re not talking about people wanting to STEAL a Ferrari, we’re talking about paying customers who bought a Ferrari at the click of a mouse (or, more likely, the touch of a fingertip) last year, and now want to do the same to BUY the newest model this year. In the functional analogy, the Ferrari factory is perfectly able to supply the model in the same way as last year, but their local dealer (Foxtel) has, instead, after much strategic deliberation, armed with infinite corporate wisdom, disabled the link for instant supply (PS, there’s no `waiting list’ in the digital Ferrari universe Dorothy, I mean Bruce). They believe it is better for Ferrari to make customers in Australia wait months for the model already available elsewhere in the world, or pay the price of three Ferraris to get it now. And Ferrari trusts these people with their intellectual property? What a ning-nong. WTF!?

  355. Joffrey
    11 Apr 14
    5:29 pm

  356. Re: simple
    “1 step solution: read the books”

    I can get the books on demand as well!

  357. @simongarlick
    11 Apr 14
    5:39 pm

  358. I will quite happily download every episode of Game of Thrones, in HD, without advertisements, since in Australia it is not illegal to do so.

    Of course since I’m not a freeloader I will purchase the entire series the moment the set is available and then the “actors, extras, writers, camera crew, make up artists, editors, special effects teams and the many others who make Game of Thrones” will receive their due.

    Everyone wins.

  359. Frank
    11 Apr 14
    6:04 pm

  360. Dear Bruce Meagher,
    Thank you for giving me yet another reason not to get foxtel.

  361. Wizard of Ounce
    11 Apr 14
    7:44 pm

  362. Having been a subscriber to ‘Pay TV’ since the earliest days of “Galaxy”, I have quite literally watched as Foxtel has expanded its content, improved its STU’s and introduced “within hours” ‘fast-tracking’. Despite having a Pay-TV monopoly, Foxtel has not sat on its hands as ‘Free TV’ has.

    In the full knowledge that I will be accused of being an apologist for Foxtel, or worse, a company drone, it is nevertheless my opinion that although Foxtel presentation is less than ideal in some areas, it is a product for which I think I am getting excellent value for money (especially in HD content) for the premium I pay.

    I will go further and express the opinion that the majority of whingeing that I have read, first in Usenet groups, then in forums such as these, across many years, suggests that Australian viewers simply don’t want to pay a fair price for Foxtel – citing, as they continually do, the prices and content available to the US and UK, who have populations in double-digit multiples of this country.

    The fact that viewers of FTA channels whinge about something that is actually ‘free’, tells me that even if Foxtel was somehow offered for free, the drop in whingeing would be precisely zero.

    If you’re not happy with Foxtel then stick with FTA. It’s a no-brainer.

  363. chris
    11 Apr 14
    11:04 pm

  364. I’m sorry but if I’m going to pay $105 for a 3 month subscription to play to then have the privilege of watching content that I won’t even get to own then I’d expect a private GOT themed cinema with lena headey giving me a foot massage while I watch it….Do you realize I can buy the blue ray boxed set of the first 3 seasons for a similar price. You don’t even offer HD

  365. Foxtail
    12 Apr 14
    2:14 am

  366. “Tell that to the cast…” Dude the HBO CEO doesn’t care if people pirate it. He literally greenlit the show and financed it. You ripping people isn’t helping either. People should be able to buy 1 ferrari not 4 ferraris at once with a bunch of shitty extra features.

  367. Ben ross
    12 Apr 14
    8:18 am

  368. Ok so a few things…
    1. HBO decided to sell GOT 4 to foxtel , for no doubt a truckload of cash, on an exclusive window for Australia , yet very little vitriol seems to be directed HBOs way
    2. Australians can be a bunch of whining self agrandising bogans who expect to get everything they want, when they want. If your child moans for an ice cream at 9am, the little turd just has to wait a while
    3. Stealing is stealing. Scum who use the excuse of ‘its not available yet’ or other bullshit excuse can fuck right off. If I went into your place of work and nicked a tele, or a plate of food, or a leather jacket, and then after a while my mates did the same, and then you lost your job, you might be a bit pissed about it.
    4. There is a service like netflix in Australia, albeit perhaps a retarded cousin, it’s called Quickflix. But no one seems to use it. If Quickflix could afford to outbid Foxtel for exclusive GOT4 rights (which is about as likely as Juliar Gillard getting her old job back) I wonder would they attract the same scorn
    5. I’m binge ing on GOT 1-3 on my Apple TV quite happily for now, and will do the same when GOT4 is available

  369. David
    12 Apr 14
    9:35 am

  370. There are some men whose only mission among others is to act as intermediaries; one crosses them like bridges and keeps going.

  371. peter
    12 Apr 14
    11:20 am

  372. Really Foxtel, you should take your headphones off and listen, the message is loud and clear!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  373. Paul
    12 Apr 14
    12:09 pm

  374. I can see the argument from both sides here, and yes I do side against Foxtel. You can’t compare digital media with tangible items like ferrari’s and loaves of bread. When you live in the digital world its easy for people to consume without paying – but most people want to do the right thing and if you’re making it easy and cost-effective to purchase, then people will purchase.

    Anyway that’s all been said and more here. What I want to take umbrage over is this quote from Bruce: “It would be a brave executive that suggested investing north of $5 million per ep on an untested fantasy in the hope that enough people would pay a few dollars per ep to view it.”

    Actually Bruce Game of Thrones was a multi-book series before it was ever put to film. These books topped bestseller lists and were making more than enough sales of each installment to warrant another. Untested? Really?

  375. Cgarlie
    12 Apr 14
    12:39 pm

  376. @Ben ross
    > “……3. Stealing is stealing. Scum who use the excuse of ‘its not available yet’ or other bullshit excuse can fuck right off. If I went into your place of work and nicked a tele, or a plate of food, or a leather jacket, and then after a while my mates did the same, and then you lost your job, you might be a bit pissed about it…….”

    If you and your mates came and COPIED the tele, COPIED a plate of food, COPIED a leather jacket because you couldn’t otherwise afford them, that would be 100% fine with me.

  377. Andy
    12 Apr 14
    1:11 pm

  378. I feel nothing for Foxtel. Arrrrr, the pirates life for me!
    Foxtel have been ripping off Aussie’s for years & I’m not
    about to start paying them for a service like theirs..

  379. Ash Parajuli
    12 Apr 14
    2:36 pm

  380. It’s not just an issue with just GoT on Foxtel. Their whole model means more people are being driven away from subscription cable/satellite TV. For example, many customers are paying for the unnecessary basic package in order to get the sports package. The executives know they would lose their profits if you could sign up to individual packages only and not have to pay for the basic $35 / month package which is unfortunately compulsory.

    That’s why On Demand subscription services will ultimately kill off Foxtel in the future. I can sign up to a season of NFL and NBA for $100 each and get unlimited access and HD streaming instead of having to pay $35 + $15 per month to just watch my sports. I don’t have enough time to watch the rest of the TV channels that Foxtel seem to offer in their basic package.

  381. Faceman
    12 Apr 14
    2:55 pm

  382. I have full Foxtel and its far more expensive than it should be but i like it so what can you do ? (love the HD-iQ)

    Only offering GoT like this is not part of the solution to Piracy, its part of the problem Causing Piracy. I dont know how any competent sales exec thought this was going to mean Foxtel subs would go through the roof. It may even end up costing as many as you gain.
    I assume you have paid a premium price for exclusive rights
    But youve shot yourselves in the foot by trying to screw fans, turned people further away from getting Foxtel and have likely increased Piracy of the Show you paid more to get.

    I dont understand Foxtel, the competition is rapidly increasing for you and yet you are pricing your product outside what the market will bare.

  383. admin@internets
    12 Apr 14
    3:13 pm

  384. ok – so you have your fancy Foxtel product for sale – and some of you think that service is wonderful. But – just as any other television show, or exclusive – the show will be watched with friends, and bah, since VHS, taped, and shared to friends.
    If these companies think every person who wants to watch the latest episode of their drawn out series is going to PAY, they’re fooling themselves. Even if piracy was impossible (lol..), we could still TIVO or even bloody drag out the VHS and make copies for friends who don’t want to give Ruport Murdoch or his company another cent.
    In reality, even before the net, most shows were watched by at least perhaps an average of 2-3 friends or associates of the television set holder. They’re living in la-la-land. They should be happy that the word of mouth about the show has gone so far.

    They cannot stop people pirating. IF it was possible to copy and send in under half an hour your friends a clone of your Ferrari – we’d all be driving free Ferraris, and it would be good.

  385. WIlling_to_pay
    12 Apr 14
    3:14 pm

  386. Trouble is, Foxtel, you have nothing to do with the creation of Game of Thrones. Your only claim to demand money is the false idea of a geolocation block – you ‘got in first’ with distribution rights and so believe you deserve to be paid $105 for the three months GoT will air. I disagree strongly with your ideas, but unfortunately HBO doesn’t want my money http://thepiratebay.se/search/.....ones/0/7/0

  387. ZB
    12 Apr 14
    9:50 pm

  388. Could Foxtel please tell me the profit they make on one view of GOT?

    That way I can Paypal you your profit, and consider myself morally free to acquire it in the definition I want, on the device I want, by whatever means. You don’t lose anything, so it’s not dishonest.

    But lacking such info, I’ll wait till it’s ethically available elsewhere, and if Foxtel doesn’t make a cent on it, that’s not my concern. Your choice to market any way you want – but I don’t have to buy what you’re selling.

    Rather than use the Ferrari analogy… let’s try olives. I’d like to buy raw,, green olives. But the local pizza shop has paid through the nose for a monopoly on the sale of them. And they only offer black olives, cooked, as part of a $20 pizza.

    So I ask how much profit they make – what proportion of the profit per pizza are the olives. Say 5%. So I pay $1, 5% of the cost of a pizza, then another dollar for reasonable overhead, then go get the olives I want – green, raw – elsewhere, secure in the knowledge that I’m not morally in the wrong. Or do without.

    The Pizza shop makes even more profit on their purchased monopoly than they would by selling pizza, I, the customer, get what I want. Or do without, and the Pizza shop takes a bath on its investment. Their choice.

  389. Mark
    13 Apr 14
    9:08 am

  390. One of the most enjoyable things in my day (I don’t have a life, obviously) is to go onto the Foxtel Facebook page and read the copious volumes of complaints the company receives day in, day out.

    Having been with Foxtel (Austar, Galaxy) since 1997, I can safely say this: if it wasn’t for Sports, I would have given the service the flick many, many years ago.

    To have premium dramas like NCIS, Hawaii Five 0, CSI et al in SD only on the FIRST entertainment channel on the satellite by number (101) is a disgrace. ALL entertainment channels should be in HD, right now.

    And that’s just for starters. I would be writing a thesis if I was going to explain all that is wrong currently with Foxtel.

  391. bucks
    13 Apr 14
    10:46 am

  392. @ Cameron
    Actually Cam, we both know what your *implied* meaning was and that was that ‘everybody’ (even majority) hates Foxtel, because otherwise your statement of ‘people’ could mean ‘just you’ (assuming you are a person), and lets face it, that’s not what you meant.

    You got corrected, deal with it and move on, no big deal.

    And yeah a lot of people don’t like Foxtel. A lot do. A lot of people don’t like the Libs, a Lot don’t like the Greens, a lot don’t like the Labor/Union party, a lot don’t like Coca-Cola, but what’s your point?

    You steal content (like I do) because you do, don’t justify it by saying it’s because “People” (your original implied term or your quick back pedaled version, both relevant) hate Foxtel.

    All the best friend!

  393. Richard
    13 Apr 14
    2:26 pm

  394. I used to be a Foxtel subscriber, but really, you lost me when you turned off BBC HD. I’m not interested in watching most American shows, I want more British content, but I’m not prepared to pay for it if its old. I want fresh UK content. I want it fresh off the presses.
    I don’t want to pay for endless Christmas reruns of The Brady Bunch. I’m sick of old repeats of The Simpsons. I want shows like Don’t Get Done, Get Dom, Fifteen to One, Gogglebox, Have I Got News For You and Mock the Week.

    I can never understand why it is, that Foxtel can’t come to an agreement with the BBC to deliver its channels direct to the Australian consumer (maybe time shifted to our time zone first). In the old days, Foxtel would always use the excuse of limited bandwidth on the satellites. Frankly though, if I can stream BBC from iPlayer, using a proxy, with no issue at all, while Foxtel wastes bandwidth on such tripe as FashionTV and the endless parade of home shopping networks, you guys have no excuse.

    You’re just an old media model and you’ll eventually shrivel up and die. I’d happily give the BBC the yearly licensing fee they charge the british to access their content, if I could. I’d even be willing to give it to Foxtel to provide me with all that juicy content (with a little bit of a markup). But at the end of the day, it’s your call. Continue on the same path you are going on, and you’re company will eventually die off. Change to what the consumer wants and thrive.

    Your move Foxtel.

  395. qwerty
    14 Apr 14
    2:07 pm

  396. Sheesh, Aussies love to whinge don’t they?!

  397. Cameron
    14 Apr 14
    2:26 pm

  398. Not half as much as Poms but, sure, put a comments section infront of them, and away they go.

  399. alan Koshinta
    14 Apr 14
    3:07 pm

  400. “qwerty: Sheesh, Aussies love to whinge don’t they?!”

    paid for comment? seems like some pretty well resoned arguments above.
    It’s not whinging when we (or I) am paying… a monopoly who is gouging us.

    do you really think Netflix stayed away for any reason other than the FOX association… one of the largest content creators has a fair bit of leverage to tell them to keep away from our market. I see no other justification for their sudden change quite a gew years ago!

  401. David
    14 Apr 14
    3:14 pm

  402. Hi all, made a little site in response to all this sort of thing as an experiment.


    Aussies can pledge how much they would be prepared to pay for their Thrones fix and maybe HBO might start thinking about alternative distribution methods where they dont have to go through the Foxtel middleman.

  403. Mark Vogels
    14 Apr 14
    3:44 pm

  404. I resent Murdoch intefering in my country’s politics. I resent the scuttling of the NBN. I resent a near-total monopoly in my country’s printed press. I resent Foxtel choking the supply of TV shows & then charging exorbitant rates, filling them with funeral insurance ads & bundling them with endless episodes of The Love Boat.

    I will never pay for Foxtel because I’m not putting one more dollar in Murdoch’s pocket. If I have to torrent from a site run by the devil himself in order to bypass Murdoch, I’ll do it and sleep very well at night, thank you very much.

  405. Me
    14 Apr 14
    4:27 pm

  406. You wouldn’t download a Ferrari

  407. willy loman
    14 Apr 14
    4:37 pm

  408. Instead of watching TV I play board games with my mum.

  409. Jonesy
    14 Apr 14
    4:43 pm

  410. Pay the iron price and be a man> gold price and be shamed
    Long live the Iron Islands

  411. AndrewL
    14 Apr 14
    5:01 pm

  412. this comment thread is one of the most acerbic threads in a while on mumbrella, while a large % of Aussies are pirating a whole heap of them aren’t.
    Foxtel have a business model to protect, you can choose to use it or not, if not suck it up, pirate if you wish but don’t act like a martyr.

    for the record I own full HD package and claim it on tax (perks of being in media) and I’ve never watched an episode of GoT but the value I get comes in the form of HD sport I can’t access otherwise EPL, WSBK & MotoGP all ad free during play

  413. offalspokesperson
    14 Apr 14
    5:19 pm

  414. Fvck you Foxtel!

    1) Pay TV…. and still adverts
    2) extortionate monthly charges
    3) Repeat
    4) repeat
    5) Repeat…etc
    6) low quality
    7) restricted choice, forced packages.
    8) Murdoch

    I could continue.. but like foxtel its just boring, repetitive and forcing stuff on people that they dont want..

  415. Mark
    14 Apr 14
    8:57 pm

  416. Foxtels’ parent company has been flooding Australia with North Korea-style propaganda for years. When they apologise for stealing elections and democracy I’ll apologise for “stealing” downloadable content.

  417. Bob
    14 Apr 14
    10:34 pm

  418. I couldn’t make it past “that’s like justifying stealing a Ferrari on the basis that the waiting list is too long or the price is too high” without needing to reply. I hope the writer reads these:
    Your Ferrari metaphor doesn’t work well. In this scenario, you’re the only one selling cars in this example. The cars you sell can also become boats, and brew coffee. I don’t need to boat anywhere, nor do I drink coffee. I would like a cheaper car that just gets me to the supermarket. You don’t offer that. Hence, I “stole” your car. You might as well be saying “let them fly to the US and watch it in their other home there”.

  419. Adam
    15 Apr 14
    6:45 am

  420. You do realize the actual correct analogy here is a person wanting to buy a car stereo being forced to purchase an entire Ferrari? According to your justification, because that means manufacturers of car seat covers have better job security.

    If it makes TV more conservative, so be it. Why should I subsidize terrible shows that nobody watches to keep bad writers and producers employed? I wish I had the power to force people to buy my crappy product even though nobody wants it.

  421. Paschal
    15 Apr 14
    7:53 am

  422. Bruce – it’s really simple:

    1. Companies need to change their business models to suite consumers, not the other way around. An article rife with logical fallacies such as is will never change that.

    2. I really doubt that any of the actors, cast or crew are still waiting for their pay check. A better example would be investors (not such a good example for pulling on the heart strings, though)

    3. And also, “margins of a few dollars”?.. with comments like that, its lucky you’re in corporate affairs and not accounting of finance.

  423. Bec
    15 Apr 14
    9:44 am

  424. Foxtel has a monopoly and News Corp perverts the democratic system in Australia.

    There’s no capitalism in the Australian pay-TV market, it’s just a form of corporate fascism.

    Morally, the people paying Foxtel (News) to continue on its insidious path are the ones in the wrong. Pirate it, don’t watch it, whatever, just don’t fund these a-holes.

  425. Me
    15 Apr 14
    9:57 am

  426. Hey @me, I’m me. Well at at least I thought I was. But the Internet makes it all about me so I’ll have to put up with other mes. 3D printing means that someday you will be able to download a Ferrari. Time to change my name.

  427. Kelly
    16 Apr 14
    12:22 am

  428. I’d love to pay for Game of Thrones. I’d use Foxtel Play if I had a phone line for an internet connection.

    But Telstra have a monopoly on the phone lines, there is apparently not enough cable, or it’s too old, in our area for them to give us a phone line, we have to wait for them to upgrade the whole area. We’ve been waiting about 9 months so far, no progress. We can’t pay for that to be done ourselves because legally nobody other than Telstra can touch the cable, we’ve tried contacting other contractors to do it for us but they can’t. So we’re stuck using wireless internet until they fix it.

    I worked out the cost of using normal Foxtel, for the 2 shows that I’d like to watch, it was something like $900-$1000 for 1 season of True Blood and one of season of Game of Thrones. $500 a season, for something I buy on DVD as soon as it’s released anyway, is simply too expensive. Even if I didn’t buy it on DVD, it’s just not a reasonable cost. In Australia we really get screwed over on prices.

    If Foxtel Play allowed you to download episodes, even for a limited time period (like renting movies on iTunes) rather than streaming only I’d use it.

    And for everyone saying that if we want the show we should get Foxtel, this was not a Foxtel exclusive previously, you’re talking to people who for the last few seasons have legally purchased the show, and suddenly we can’t anymore. It’s not as though this has always been a Foxtel exclusive that was never available through an alternative supplier.

    I’m quite aware that my personal problems are not Foxtel’s responsibility, but since that letter was written to everyone who pirated Game of Thrones, myself included, so I hope Foxtel are looking at the feedback provided and considering ways to improve their service so that more people make use of it.

  429. InsertNameHere
    16 Apr 14
    5:55 am

  430. https://mises.org/daily/6530/Intellectual-Property-is-Not-True-Property

    Intellectual property is counterproductive to societies progression as a whole. The market exists to seek the most productive and efficient distribution of scarce resources. In our modern age, scarcity does not actually exist for anything that can be digitized. IP laws exist as a method of monopoly to large content “owners”.

  431. Caroline
    16 Apr 14
    11:51 am

  432. Wake up – Netflix nor Hulu are coming here because Murdoch would rather tear his skin off himself than let that happen, hence why the NBN was stopped. You give citizens a faster way of streaming and downloading oh no! that means they will access his shows in other ways and at faster speeds than through his outdated 80s model. We will have none of that thanks!

  433. Dane
    16 Apr 14
    12:39 pm

  434. “Clearly the success of the Netflix model, releasing the entire season of House of Cards at once, proved one thing: The audience wants the control. They want the freedom. If they want to binge as they’ve been doing on House of Cards and lots of other shows, we should let them binge. I can’t tell you how many people have stopped me on the street and said, ‘Thank you, you sucked three days out of my life.’

    “And through this new form of distribution, we have demonstrated that we have learned the lesson that the music industry didn’t learn: Give people what they want, when they want it, in the form they want it in, at a reasonable price, and they’ll more likely pay for it rather than steal it. Well, some will still steal it, but I think we can take a bite out of piracy.–Kevin Spacey–At the Guardian Edinburgh International Television Festival–https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P0ukYf_xvgc

  435. Jonez
    16 Apr 14
    10:54 pm

  436. Looky Looky. This is why they’re bitching:

    Once again, the small size of the audience who watches GoT on the pay channel Showcase is a mystery. Supposedly 4 million Australians have access to Showcase, but here are the Pay TV ratings for Monday: 1 Live NRL Storm v Dragons (FoxSports1) 350,000; 2 Monday Night with Matty Johns (FoxSports1) 228,000; 3 Game of Thrones 7.30 pm (Showcase) 149,000; 4 Live AFL 360 (Fox Footy) 116,000; 5 Game of Thrones 3.30pm (Showcase) 88,000. We know that an additional 16,000 people record GoT and watch within a week. So where are the 3.6 million who pay for Showcase but don’t use it?

    Once again, the numbers prove that the overwhelming majority of people who buy fox are willing to do so only because of the sports.

    from http://www.theage.com.au/enter.....ainamplify

  437. dartigen
    17 Apr 14
    12:29 pm

  438. $100 can buy me, right now, all three seasons of Game of Thrones on DVD, with change. The DVDs at JB HiFi are $33-ish now (they were more expensive when I bought mine but I’m not that fussed about it) – at 10 episodes per season, that’s $3.30 per episode.

    Until Foxtel can come close to or beat that, I’m not interested.

    Foxtel Play? Ahaha. Hahahaha. I can’t stream anything on my connection even when I want to. Streaming services aren’t worth it for the 95% of people who don’t live in the CBD or the handful of areas with good cable or fiber services.

    Until the NBN is revived, Foxtel Play will not take off. And even if it is revived, Foxtel Play still won’t take off because Netflix is $10/mo, Hulu+ is $10/mo, and there’s dozens of other cheap or free on-demand streaming services with far more content. (And more diverse content too.)

    Consumers have a right to choose where, when, from whom and on what terms we get our products – one provider is not choice. And if you were losing customers to iTunes, maybe you should try sweetening your deals or lowering your prices.

    If you can’t give the consumers what they want, we’ll find someone who can.

    (And FYI – the actors, producers, and suchlike are already paid ahead of time. HBO then recoups that money from the ‘sale’ of the show itself. And HBO easily breaks even and then some just on US revenue. Australia and Europe just provide the bonus money.)

  439. Dave
    17 Apr 14
    2:27 pm

  440. Dartigan – what a ridiculous argument.

    Australia just provides bonus money so we should just get our content for free? Just because HBO is already breaking even on its US sales doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t pay a price for it here.

    And asked that a PayTV service bring its prices down to a DVD is like asking a 5 star restaurant to match the prices of McDonalds.

    The whole reason you get PayTV is because you don’t want to wait for DVD to catch shows, so why would the price be the same???

  441. Brent
    17 Apr 14
    10:31 pm

  442. 1. HBO does quite well out of GoT in the US.
    2. Foxtel is facing the barrel of a gun here – people are starting to wake up and realise they aren’t essential – the digital age has upset the middleman most of all.
    3. It’s STILL theft.
    4. The most effective measure of deterring digital theft is by offering a service that is 10x better to use. 2x – 3x etc isn’t enough. It needs to be sufficiently better to combat how easy it is to download.

  443. Brent
    17 Apr 14
    10:32 pm

  444. Also, it should be said that the Foxtel soldiers in this thread are heroes. It takes balls to come into a firing squad owned with a moral right that no one gives a shit about.

  445. JG
    19 Apr 14
    11:19 pm

  446. Bruce I have an idea.

    Create a new GOT channel. Just all series of GOT back to back and new eps synched with the US.

    Let’s say $10 a month. Then let’s see how many of these tight-arsed pirating fuckers who say they are happy to pay JUST for GOT actually do. Bugger all I suspect.

  447. Max
    22 Apr 14
    3:37 pm

  448. Artificial scarcity won’t work.

    And downloading isn’t free – we pay for all the infrastructure to make digital copying possible (equipment, lines, wireless etc).

    Change the business model and stop attempting to enforce last-century practice on 21st century capabilities.

  449. Mad at Max
    22 Apr 14
    4:05 pm

  450. Max, were you serious with the comment that downloading isn’t free as you pay for the infrastructure?

    You DO realise that not ONE CENT of those funds go to the person who CREATES the content don’t you.

    What a weird self-centred disconnected view of how the world works under the banner of “21st century capabilities”. You think that it is fine for the creator and all those people who worked on pirated content to be unpaid because you paid you ISP bill.

  451. Shazza
    23 Apr 14
    12:56 pm

  452. I’m happy to pay HBO – for the product and creation – NOT Foxtel for price gouging on distribution. So I’ll pirate and send a cheque to HBO for what I’d be paying in the US. This colonial model and passing any money on to Rupert Bloody Murdoch are the pits – and where the real robbery is taking place..and is so 19th century. I was happy enough to pay the iTunes thing last year. Dividing the world into little baronecies where the overlord steals from the underlings …over it.

  453. Torrentz
    23 Apr 14
    1:51 pm

  454. these industries are just butt-hurt they’re becoming irrelevant.

    there used be a job collecting poop in many places that didn’t have sewerage. same thing.

    once HBO works out they don’t need any middlemen (HBO Nordic), they’ll start flogging it directly and creator and consumer can enjoy life minus all the grubs who try to take a cut of something they never helped create.


  455. offalspokesperson
    23 Apr 14
    4:39 pm

  456. Nearly 10 years on and nothing has changed.. except maybe the speed i can get it at :)


    It’s 2006, the consumer’s still pissed
    Won’t take it anymore so I’m writing a list
    Don’t try to resist this paradigm shift
    The music revolution cannot be dismissed
    $18.98 Iggy Pop CD?
    What if I can get it from my sister for free?
    It’s all about marketing Clive Davis, see?
    If fans buy the shirt then they get the mp3
    Music was a product now it is a service
    Major record labels why are you trying to hurt us?
    Epic’s up in my face like, “Don’t steal our songs Lars,”
    While Sony sells the burners that are burning CD-R’s
    So Warner, EMI, hear me clearly
    Universal Music, update your circuitry
    They sue little kids downloading hit songs
    They think that makes sense
    When they know that it’s wrong

    Hey Mr. Record Man
    The joke’s on you
    Running your label
    Like it was 1992
    Hey Mr. Record Man,
    Your system can’t compete
    It’s the New Artist Model
    File transfer complete
    Download this song!
    Download this song!
    Download this song!

    I know I’m rhyming fast, but the message is clear
    You don’t need a million dollars to launch a career
    If your style is unique and you practice what you preach
    Minor Threat and Jello both have things to teach!
    I’ve got G5 production, concept videos
    Touring with a laptop, rocking packed shows
    The old-school major deal? It makes no sense
    Indentured servitude, the costs are too immense!
    Their finger’s in the dam but the crack keeps on growing
    Can’t sell bottled water when it’s freely flowing
    Record sales slipping, down 8 percent
    Increased download sales, you can’t prevent
    Satellite radio and video games
    Changed the terrain, it will never be same
    Did you know in ten years labels won’t exist?
    Goodbye DVD’s, and compact disks!

    Hey Mr. Record Man,
    What’s wrong with you
    Still living off your catalogue
    From 1982
    Hey Mr. Record Man,
    Your system can’t compete
    It’s the new artist model
    File transfer complete
    Download this song!
    Download this song!
    Download this song!

    You know, we just wanted a level playing field.
    You’ve overcharged us for music for years, and now we’re
    Just trying to find a fair balance. I hate to say it, but:
    Welcome to the future.

    Download this song!
    Download this song!
    Download this song!

    Hey Mr. Record Man
    The joke’s on you
    Running your label
    Like it was 1992
    Hey Mr. Record Man,
    Your system can’t compete
    It’s the New Artist Model
    File transfer complete

  457. Mike
    24 Apr 14
    2:50 am

  458. I think it’s hilarious that media moguls like Mr. Meager (and recently the U.S. Supreme Court) say “You have more than one option, you can buy it from me this way, or you buy it from me this way” with a straight face.

    I am happy to buy series from HBO. I bought Boardwalk Empire via iTunes, I bought the first three seasons of GoT from iTunes, hell, I paid 7.10 USD per episode to buy the DVD box set of Rome series 1. (And then did it again for season 2).

    Hell, I would be happy to subscribe to HBO so I could use HBO Go just so I could watch this ONE series, if it was offered in my geographic area. But it’s not. And you tell me that there are plenty of options to watch it legally? When? Next year, right before season 5 comes out and I’m a year behind the Facebook/Watercooler discussion?

    Thanks, Mr. Meager, Thanks HBO. I hope I can avoid any and all mention of what’s going to happen this season for the next year… What’s that? What happened to Geoffrey? !@#@$!%%!#$@#%$&^#$%#@$#@

  459. Jonez
    27 Apr 14
    1:39 pm

  460. Wow. Just wow.

    My comment, despite being far more moderate than many of the comments posted here, which included no swearing or finger pointing… was chopped in half by the censors.

    Is this website really so precious that calling Bruce & Ed’s public behaviour “embarrassing” necessitates censorship? That, coupled with a five day ‘awaiting moderation’ period before what remained was posted leads me to believe there’s an agenda at play.


  461. Mike
    27 Apr 14
    7:29 pm

  462. So there are a lot more comments than I originally saw, including one by Bruce himself(?) likening his product to another dying medium: print. Something to the effect of having to pay for the whole magazine to get a single article.

    I might refer Mr. Meager to several of the surviving print magazines and newspapers who also operate online, who limit online access to their material to something like teb free articles a month, but DO in fact allow you to purchase a single article online after that. Not surprisingly, they are among the survivors as print media outlets close left and right.

  463. Frustrated Commuter
    29 Apr 14
    8:49 am

  464. FC – Can I get a ticket to the CBD please?

    (If Foxtel sold bus tickets) – Sure, here is our ‘access a plethora of other destinations too’ ticket.

    FC – But I just want a single ticket to the CBD?

    (If Foxtel sold bus tickets) – Well you need to take out a subscription to our ‘access a plethora of other destinations too’ ticket.

    = A very Frustrated Commuter

    Foxtel is greedy(.) Businesses need to cater to the people. Unlike public transport, we can choose how we view media and if there is no reasonable option legally, then we will download / get the content from another outlet.

    Foxtel: Wake up! Smell the roses! It is 2014! We will pay a reasonable price and remember that we want a reasonable way of accessing the content (we hate having to subscribe.)

    Plus quite a few of us do not want a relationship with Rupert Murdoch, (that phone hacking cannot be brushed under the carpet guys.)

    Foxtel: Stop being unreasonable, which is what you are being (surprise surprise…). An extremely unreasonable and ancient way of offering a tv series in 2014. GET WITH THE TIMES FOXTEL!

  465. Frustrated Commuter #2
    29 Apr 14
    9:51 am

  466. FC2 – Can I please catch the bus to the next corner? How much will that cost?
    Bus Driver – Sure, you will have to buy a 1-2 Section ticket and that is $2.30.
    FC2 – But I only want to go to the next corner! I don’t want to pay for 3km of bus travel when the corner is only 100 metres away!
    BD – Sorry but that is the fastest and most efficient way to run public transport.
    FC2 (Grumbling) – OK – but I’m not happy Jan.
    BD (Resumes journey with very frustrated passengers at lost travel time).
    FC2 (Presses button for next stop)
    FC2 (yelling) – You IDIOT bus driver! I only wanted to go to the next corner! You’ve gone way past it. What sort of pathetic rip-off bus service are you running?
    BD (patiently) – Buses stop at bus stops. It’s that fastest and most efficient way to run public transport.

  467. Michael
    29 Apr 14
    10:17 am

  468. It would be nice to have a response to Bruce following this vocal response to his proposition.

  469. Frustrated Commuter
    29 Apr 14
    1:10 pm

  470. @Frustrated Commuter #2

    “Unlike public transport, we can choose how we view media”

  471. Frustrated Commuter #2
    29 Apr 14
    1:22 pm

  472. Not sure where you live, but I can choose private vehicle, buses, trains, light rail, walking, cycling.

    Pretty piss poor comeback.

  473. AdGrunt
    29 Apr 14
    1:32 pm

  474. Frustrated customer #2 should look to buy an Opal card which only charges for distance used.

    Or walk the 100m you lazy sod.

  475. Frustrated Commuter
    29 Apr 14
    5:04 pm

  476. @ Frustrated Commuter #2

    Frustrating isn’t it!

  477. AdGrunt
    29 Apr 14
    5:20 pm

  478. FC #2 digs a deeper hole…

    Yes. Choice of access is a wonderful thing isn’t it. Shame FOXTEL are stifling that in the media and entertainment area.

  479. Frustrated Commuter #2
    29 Apr 14
    6:09 pm

  480. AdGrunt, I don’t want to pay all that money for an Opal Card. I just want to pay for a single ride to the next (metaphorical) corner. Why should transport be stifled and I be forced into buying that dumb card. It should only cost me a few cents or be free.

  481. AdGrunt
    29 Apr 14
    10:25 pm

  482. @FC2 What money? Opal is pay-per-use.

    You know, like everyone in this thread that thinks FOXTEL is fucked, is suggesting.

    If you go 100m on PT, you pay for 100m.

    Or get a taxi.

    Or cycle.

    Or walk.

    Or drive a car.

    Is choice really that hard to comprehend?

    Now explain why the FUCKTEL model is so effing perfect.

  483. Mistress of Moots
    30 Apr 14
    10:15 pm

  484. Good debate, thanks Foxtel.

    I think your PR team will be pleased that you did such a great job reaching out directly to your potential customers. I’d say you definitely swung commenter #16 over to your side of the argument. You may have a little more work to do on the remaing 240 people, but hey…good start!

  485. offalspokesperson
    1 May 14
    2:07 pm

  486. So, It appears from the transport/foxtel debate. i can either…

    Catch a bus with restricted travel = Foxtel
    Hitchike = Torrent
    Get a taxi = DVD
    Ride a bike = ?
    Drive my own car = ?
    Walk = ?