English Football on Australian Television

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.

NOT the English Premier League

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…

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{ 10 comments… add one }
  • BobinOz September 17, 2012, 3:16 pm | Link

    Mark, and Barry who commented a little earlier on.

    I have removed the links you posted about your service which you say works really well for you both here in Australia. Funny that, because you both live in the UK and both posted comments from exactly the same location in Leeds.

    Nice try!

  • mark mathers September 17, 2012, 12:15 am | Link

    I tried the link removed above, MOTD is on the BBC programmes you can watch anytime, good enough for me!
    I just need to find a cable long enough to get my lappy working through the big telly for it now!

  • Paul August 14, 2012, 1:04 am | Link

    Hello Bob, do they ever show any archive matches of English football in Oz. Thinking 60’s, 70’s and 80’s for nostalgic reasons. Paul

    • BobinOz August 14, 2012, 2:44 pm | Link

      Paul, yes, on Foxtel (paid digital) they have loads of old classic English football matches. They slot them in all over the place, it’s a half-hour programme showing old football.

      These games go way back, some are as old as when Liverpool were good 🙂

  • BobinOz November 9, 2009, 11:18 am | Link

    Hi Steve

    Thanks for swinging by. I really appreciate it!

    I’ve been racking my brains all weekend trying to remember who Stoke played two weeks ago but my mind is a total blank. Sorry, I just can’t help you.

    I’m surprised you forgot though, Stoke don’t win that many do they?

  • Steve Povey November 7, 2009, 10:47 am | Link

    Hi Bob, had to find this old post! I was across in Queensland for a weeks’ holiday 2 weeks ago and got to experience the ‘red button’ for the first time, great to see my team Stoke City on the TV, even greater we got a win! Only thing is Bob, i forgot who it was we beat? Can you help out Bob? 😉

  • BobinOz September 19, 2009, 10:31 pm | Link

    Hey John, that’s a good site for footy nuts, like me. Even I didn’t know there was so much on. And that’s just the live and re-aired games.

    There’s also Prem League highlights on Fox on Monday nights and the excellent Champions League Hour with Les Murray every Thursday and who knows what else!

    Football heaven.

    Thanks for that John and for anyone who doesn’t know which site he means, click on John’s name above.

  • John September 19, 2009, 5:40 pm | Link

    This site lists all the fixtures for football on Australian TV. It seems to have all the main channels and makes it easier to find out what football is on TV in Australia.

    • barry miller July 31, 2012, 1:32 am | Link

      Satelite TV coverage in Australia is pretty good for FA Premiership, allthough of course you do need to be fully registered as a perminent resident at an address to have it installed. Ive been connecting the laptop to the TV and using a VPN service, link removed works ok for BBC, ITV sport or if you have Sky Player details setup from the UK.

      • BobinOz July 31, 2012, 2:35 pm | Link

        Interesting service, probably borderline whether it’s legal or not. Do they do a time delay or anything? Otherwise you’d need to live in UK time zone time here in Australia to get the full benefit, wouldn’t you?

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