Foxtel’s biggest day of subscribers as pay TV operator launches Olympic drive

Three Drunk Monkeys’ offbeat EOFYS ad has helped drive Foxtel to its best ever day of subscribers.

The End of Financial Year Sale promotion – featuring familes celebrating the offer as if it was Christmas Day – saw the pay operator sign up 2000 new subscribers on Monday, with all of them also taking the IQ digital video recorder too, Foxtel boss Kim Williams revealed.

Speaking at the launch of the subscription TV company’s Winter Olympics package, Williams said: “It was our biggest subscription day ever. We had just under 2000 new subscriptions yesterday and each and every one of them had an IQ. Some of them had two, and some of them had three.”

By contrast, it was revealed last week that the Seven Network will miss its target of selling 40,000 TiVo recorders across the whole first year of the product.

Foxtekl plans to aggresively push subscriptions to its Vancouver Winter Olympics package. Viewers will be asked to pay $50 to access four high definition and four standard definition channels covering the action from next February’s four venues. Foxtel has also signed a deal for the offer to be available to regional Australia’s Austar viewers too.

Although he did not refer to it directly, Williams contrasted its coverage with Seven’s much-criticised coverage of the last Olympics which saw viewers unsure what was live and what was pre-recorded. He said: “We will be honest with our customers.”

The time zone for the Canadian competition will allow the games to be shown live from 5am-6pm AEST.

The company’s sales house MCN  is aiming for four major sponsors for the event, which Nine also has rights to. Under Olympic rules, the Olympics’ sponsors get first right of refusal.

However, Williams said: “We will never break in on any competition for advertising – only when there are natural breaks.”

He pledged that every gold medal event would be shown live and every competition involving an Aussie would be shown live. Despite much of the games involving few Australian medal hopes, there will be 340 hours of live broadcasting and 1600 hours of coverage. He said: “This will be the biggest HD broadcast ever undertaken in Australia.”

The exercise -which many commentators believe will have limited interest to Austalian audiences because of the country’s likely low medal tally – is seen as a practice run by Foxtel for the 2012 London Olympics, which it has joint rights with Nine for.


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