Last week I was talking about what’s on TV. I covered the terrestrial (or free) channels and mentioned that if you wanted to watch Premier League Football you would have to dig into your pockets.
Foxtel is an Australian digital TV company which is a joint venture between Telstra, (the national telephone company owned by the Australian government until it was privatised in 2006) News Corporation, founded by Rupert Murdoch and Consolidated Media Holdings, one of Australia’s largest media companies.
Put more simply, it’s just the same as Sky TV. Except, if you want to watch the English Premier League or EPL as it’s called here, you can watch pretty much any game.
Here’s how it works. At some point very late on a Saturday evening, you will have a choice of watching the featured 3 o’clock kick-off “live”, or choosing one of the four other games on the “red active” button, the “viewers choice” games. These games will come on at 11pm, midnight, or 1 am, depending on winter/summer time and where you live in Australia.
I am a Tottenham fan and since living here I have seen almost every single game live. There are only two instances in which the Tottenham game was not one of the four choice games. Coincidentally, (I think) they were both against Sunderland. You are only unable to see your team live if they are not one of those five games. That only happens if there are more than five games with a three o’clock Saturday kick-off, which doesn’t often happen these days as you know. So if there are six games, Foxtel will not show one of them. It will drop what it thinks is the least interesting game. They obviously do not like Tottenham versus Sunderland encounters.
Then there are all of the one o’clock kick-offs and the 5.30 kick-offs and the Sunday kick-offs, all are shown live as featured games. Then there are regular repeats of all of those featured games (not the viewers choice games) throughout the following days.
Then on Monday evening, and repeated throughout the week, you can watch the one hour long English Premier League Highlights Show. This show is just like Match of the Day except it doesn’t have Gary Lineker, Alan Hansen or Mark Lawrenson. In fact it has no talking apart from match commentaries. It just shows football. Very refreshing.
Right now, the EPL is reaching its climax. As I write this there are two games left of the season and everything is just about still up for grabs. If you are a West Bromwich Albion fan, or a Middlesbrough, Hull, Newcastle, or possibly even a Sunderland fan, you might like to know Foxtel also cover the Coca-Cola Championship.
So there is really no shortage of football. The downside is that the Foxtel service does not cover the FA Cup or many of England’s international football matches. That, as things stand at the moment, is on Setanta Sports. You’ll need to pay an extra $12.95 a month for that.
Oh yes, the money. I expect you want to know what this is going to cost. Just like Sky TV in the UK, Foxtel sells packages. At the time of writing, the basic package was $40 a month. Then you will need to add the sports pack which will cost you $16 a month. So there you go, $56 a month and you’re laughing!
Except, just like in the UK, you won’t be. Your children will want the children’s channels. Your wife will want the movies. Grandad (you’re bringing Grandad?) will want the documentaries. Next thing you know, you’ve bought the lot. Kerching! $106 a month.
So, again, just like Sky TV. Expensive. But worth it.
Next week, how to justify the costs to your wife.
For my 2015/16 season update on this, please visit…