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Telstra’s T-Box adds Foxtel

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Telstra will start carrying Foxtel channels on its rival IPTV T-Box service from next week.

In the first phase of a content alliance with Foxtel, Telstra T-Box customers will have access to up to 30 Foxtel channels plus a selection of Catch Up TV channels including FOX8, Discovery and Movie One.

The service is initially available to customers connected to BigPond via cable broadband, but in coming months the service will be extended to BigPond ADSL customers on an unmetered basis.

The T-Box service also offers a key differentiator to Foxtel, with no long term commitments required to access the selected Foxtel content packages. Telstra already offers 2000+ films for download via BigPond Movies. The service is price competitively against Foxtel and IPTV provider Fetch TV with a basic starter service, with 11 channels, priced at $19.50 per month.

The uneasy relationship between Foxtel and its 50% owner Telstra should get even more interesting in the next few months as Foxtel’s acquisition of Austar is bedded down. The positioning of both, and their tussle over whether there will be a parting of ways, will be heavily influenced by how each company decides to deal with the impending National Broadband Network (NBN).

But for now, Telstra and the Foxtel/Austar camp will be fighting for IPTV eyeballs, where one player already has a link to most customers in the country and the other has taken 10 years to get a 30% market share of pay TV viewers.

In line with the new content mix, Telstra has also revamped its bundled pricing structure this month with a new suite of ‘Complete Home Bundles’ which feature twice the broadband data allowances than previously allocated. Customers can also add Foxtel on T-Box to their package with some packages offering a discount of $10 per month. Foxtel on T-Box is only available to Australian metro residential users with the Northern Territory or Tasmania exempt from coverage. ®

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