Foxtel will begin its Play IPTV service tomorrow, offering a cable- and contract-free subscription to the majority of its live, catch-up and on-demand television channels for a competitive price.
In an email to existing customers of its Foxtel on Xbox and Foxtel on Internet TV customers this morning, the company said the Play service will begin operating tomorrow, on July 30. Those customers were offered a 30-day free trial of the service.
Foxtel Play will be available independently of a traditional cable-based Foxtel subscription, and will be accessible through a PC or Mac Web browser, as well as Microsoft’s Xbox 360 console and all 2012 and 2013 Samsung Smart TVs.
The service will be available from $25 per month for a basic package, with customers able to choose from Entertainment, Drama, Documentaries and Kids genres and add Sport and Movies options for an additional monthly fee. Any subscription has access to Sky News, Fox Sports News, [V] and [V] Hits included free of charge.
The minimum monthly price is close to half the cost of a traditional Foxtel cable TV subscription, and Play is not tied to a physical location, making it more appealing to younger and more mobile customers. There is no obligation to maintain an ongoing subscription, with Play accounts operating on a monthly basis with no early termination or activation fees.
Up to two accounts will be able to access the Foxtel Play service simultaneously, with three devices able to be registered at any one time.
Foxtel’s complementary mobile service, Foxtel Go, is already available as a PC or Mac application, as well as on Apple tablets and smartphones and select Samsung Android devices, and all Foxtel Play customers will be able to access the Go app at no extra cost. The channels available through Go will mirror the subscription that customers maintain on their Play accounts.
Foxtel’s existing Xbox and Internet TV subscriptions will continue for any customer that does not switch to Foxtel Go, although the MTV Classic and MTV Hits channels will no longer be available. An additional nine channels are available through Foxtel Play versus the existing services.
Foxtel Play will be strong competition for other IPTV and video-on-demand services, like Quickflix, which charges a $15 monthly fee for unlimited streaming of its archive of TV shows and movies, with a complimentary monthly rental of physical DVD and Blu-ray titles. Both services have pay-per-view access to new release movies.
IPTV rival Fetch TV, which requires a subscription to a partnered Internet Service Provider, starts at $10 per month, with an additional Leading Subscription TV service available for an extra $10 per month that largely mirrors Foxtel Play’s channel package.