Movie Networks are no more…

By David Knox on January 2, 2013 / Filed Under Pay TV 43

2013-01-01_1835As of yesterday Movie Networks were no longer available on Foxtel.

Movie One, Movie Two, FMC (Family Movie Channel), Movie Extra, Movie Greats and StarPics 1 & 2 folded on December 31st after Time Warner, Disney, MGM & Village Roadshow ended their joint venture of 12 years.

Foxtel has now realigned its Movie Channels, although in some locations on its own website it erroneously indicates these still comprise part of its Movies packages.

The new channels come as part of the Platinum packs, starting at $122 per month, however you can still build your own as separate add-ons.

Movie Basic Showcase: $16
Premiere (+2), Showcase (+2), Action / Adventure, Comedy, Drama / Romance, World Movies.

Movie Basic Family: $16
Premiere (+2), Family,  Thriller / Crime, Masterpiece, World Movies.

If you have any feedback on the new structure or new programming, let’s hear it please…

43 Comments »

  1. Llyn January 9, 2013 at 2:46 pm -

    @Jakerz, I still have OptusTV (since the nineties) and it looks like they are back in business, see link…
    optus.com.au/shop/broadband/digitaltv

    I had a chap come to my door last Friday saying he was from Foxtel and telling me Optus were going to stop supplying and wanting me to change over to Foxtel. Pretty sure Optus wouldn’t be offering packages on their site if they were going out of the business of PayTV.

  2. jwmcd January 8, 2013 at 1:26 am -

    So the movie channel numbers go from 16 to 12 and I’m suppose to say “Thank you Mr Foxtel Man”..fat chance of that…

  3. bagbuffy January 7, 2013 at 1:09 am -

    Typical Foxtel, they destroyed C7 Sport, so they could shut ot any competition to their Fox Sports Channels. Years down the track now it’s movies. Destroy any or all competition. And take full control. I love my pay tv, but $130 per month, for HD channels and really compare to the rest of the world, hardly any channel for my hard earned $$$.

  4. Jakerz January 5, 2013 at 12:12 pm -

    Pay television in Australia is outrageous. How could the ACCC simply let this slide? Foxtel have simply bought out one of two major movie providers and forced the other into closure. Just as both networks were starting to up their home grown content. The media industry in Australia is a joke, and continues to dwindle while foreign content is growing.

    Take Canada for example, there were fears that the booming US media industry would render Canadian content obsolete, so the government spent billions on funding local media sources like Corus, GlobeMedia and Astral. All of this appears to have paid off, the ABC imports a significant amount of content from each of these companies.

    Not to mention all of Canada’s major telecommunications companies offer their own cable/satellite television services. And because the telecommunication companies buy channels from these media companies, content is usually universal and not constricted by network ownership.

    We could learn a thing or two from Canada, they seem to have the right idea. Their content is not only affordable, but it doesn’t look cheap (remember the branding for W and 111hits? It looked like something done on paint). We need stronger brand identity Down Under, and it shouldn’t all be labelled under Foxtel either!

    What happened to Optus tv? At least if they hadn’t died out, there may still be someone keeping Foxtel in line…

  5. MHA January 5, 2013 at 9:28 am -

    Am sure the movie studio suppliers have long lasting memories and will tell Foxtel to go away when the NBN gets deep penetration when supply contracts come up for renewal. To go from 2 premiere movie channels down to 1 is not in the best interests of the paying customers, especially if the pricing stays the same. There will be few, if any independent content suppliers to the ACCC sanctioned Foxtel monopoly at this rate. Go and profit in the short term Foxtel, as your long term outlook is very grim indeed!

  6. mellie0105 January 5, 2013 at 12:36 am -

    I just cut off movies, there is no 2 tiers on their website, but without the other studios movies, I can’t see the value either way, especially with the movie library online and of course ‘other means.’

  7. loppy January 4, 2013 at 3:35 pm -

    I was checking this out. rogers.com/web/Rogers.portal?_nfpb=true&_pageLabel=PTV_PROG_LANDING Will foxtel ever offfer things like this (a la carte, especially with the nbn. I don’t subsribe to the movie channels by if I could choose the movie channels, would be great. Time to move to Canada.

  8. Pertinax January 4, 2013 at 10:31 am -

    What they mean is that Foxtel is the only STV game in town. So the studios will have to do a deal with Foxtel if they want to get money for their movies from STV. So all the movies will end up on Foxtel, the same as they already do.

    If you want to flick around there will be a couple of less options to choose from. But if you use on demand or an IQ to watch what you want, when you want, then it won’t make any difference.

    But this has nothing to do with what consumers want. And there won’t and discount, not in the long term (even if they throw a few dollars away placating this controversy in the short term).

    Foxtel has failed to get its penetration past 25%. Less customers are taking expensive premium packages, they will loose their data business with the NBN and face competition. To make money they will have to focus on being a premium service for the rich.

  9. Phil January 4, 2013 at 9:33 am -

    This is the disaster that was always going to happen if Foxtel were systematically allowed to dismantle the independent channel providers in Showtime and Movie Network. Why anyone thought it would be good to ‘trust’ Foxtel to act in subscribers best interests to better their movie service I don’t know. They’ve shown now what I suspected then, that this is all about a better return to Foxtel financially. Does anyone think they’re paying the studios the same $$ for their titles now they’ve got them singularly and direct? No way. It was reported they were given them all a 40% haircut. So where is the savings for the subscriber? Supposed new pricing in the New Year?

  10. anette January 4, 2013 at 8:58 am -

    Foxtel has really done it this time . The new movie line up is a rip off . Charging us more for less. Now we have nine movie channels before we had 15. Now at any one time we have less movies to choose from as we only have nine movie channels and two repat channels. The movie network was a far superior movie package as opposed to showtime . Now we have no new movies . Premiere shows movies that are over two years old . This is crap we are being charged the same and getting less. All foxtel can say is but you can get a q box and buy movies on demand movies these all cost more .so we will end up having to pay more for movies on demand and for their PVR box . Such a con such a scam.. I will be removing my movie package . I only watch english premier league and movies on foxtel. The rest of the channels are unwatchable . Too many adds more adds than free to air tv and too many repeats of repeats. Basically all rubbish channels.if it wasnt for the english premier leauge i wouldnt even have foxtel.

  11. Darwinite January 4, 2013 at 8:18 am -

    A a person who has Austar for over 13 years I have seen the evolution of the channels over the years. Back when I first had it, they had a lot more shows with personality like Tim from the Doug Anthony All Stars used to host things on the Comedy Channel and remember Tabitha on Arena who used to host old horror movies. I miss the old cable days.

    Now all there is, is reality shows and for the movie channels there has never been a real choice. Now that Foxtel have made this move with the movie channels, it seems less choice than ever.

    I normally only put the movie channels on around this time of year due to there being nothing on. I normally turn them of in Feb. But now that if I decide to reinstate it will cost $32.00 a month, I very much doubt I will be putting the movie channels on again.

  12. Craig January 3, 2013 at 10:09 pm -

    “He said once Foxtel had finalised movie deals with Disney and MGM, subscribers would be the winners.”

    Can it be implied that the “missing” channels will be purely the above studios plus timeshifts? iirc Sky has/had an MGM HD channel at some point (albeit I’m led to believe not an A1 product) and with Disney a big player now, Foxtel need to save face here. Disposable income isn’t as easy these days to justify if value is missing. I’m prepared to take them on face value, but as a Premium subscriber, I also expect deals in the coming weeks to be inked or a credit on my account.

  13. Ronnie January 3, 2013 at 5:14 pm -

    Thanks for heads up. Will check them out.

  14. David Knox January 3, 2013 at 3:41 pm -

    Darren Cartwright has a story in several News Ltd. papers.

  15. Ronnie January 3, 2013 at 3:41 pm -

    News Corp/Murdoch press not in the habit of being honest about Foxtel or Ten for that matter.

  16. cnrmlj January 3, 2013 at 2:58 pm -

    I haven’t seen anything about this on the Australian, news.com.au or the telecrap.

    smh.com.au have a story though.

  17. David Knox January 2, 2013 at 10:40 pm -

    Since publishing this story, News Ltd has now given the issue of unhappy subscribers some coverage.

  18. Ronnie January 2, 2013 at 8:53 pm -

    It’s also exposing the deep problems inside Foxtel – they don’t understand their customers or the content they are supposed to be aggregating. Maybe that’s the real reason why STV penetration in Australia has stagnated at 25%. After absorbing Austar, Showtime and MNC who/what can they blame? Anti-siphoning of course! Wonder what happens if subscription levels actually fall?

  19. johnjet January 2, 2013 at 8:27 pm -

    From the FoxtelMovies Website – “that’s why we have given the service a spring clean so that there are less made-for-TV, direct-to-video titles and less repeats”.

    Usually some of those made-for-TV or direct-to-video titles are better than the big blockbuster titles.

  20. Pertinax January 2, 2013 at 6:04 pm -

    The idea that Showtime and Movie Networks just gave up their contracts is also just spin.

    Foxtel made Showtime and Movie Networks positions financially untenable so they could take over their content.

  21. Pertinax January 2, 2013 at 6:00 pm -

    I like the people who think that value is simply more channels, even when many of them are just two hour delayed repeats.

    Foxtel has a monopoly on STV movies, so they will get their pick of them all and it won’t make any difference.

    The real problem for Foxtel is it will prompt people to look at their bills and they will realise how much they are paying.

  22. Rutzie January 2, 2013 at 5:20 pm -

    Just two days in and already the same movies are airing on different channels. Gulliver’s Travels is airing on Family today and Comedy tomorrow. That’s value for money.

  23. Ronnie January 2, 2013 at 4:48 pm -

    Wow this is an Epic Fail. Only goes to show how switched on the team at MNC were and how far below acceptable the Foxtel-managed alternative is so far. It’s an amorphous mess of fused spaghetti – where is the branding when Brand is everything? My little boy is bemused – where is FMC? Themed by genre may not be the best way to go, but who has that expertise inside Foxtel? Surely someone? Targeting demos seems to work for FTA. LOL.

  24. joshyboy January 2, 2013 at 4:37 pm -

    As someone I spoke to, who works for them told me. They’re not selling the package as better value, they’re selling the package as being less repetitive.

  25. TBone23 January 2, 2013 at 3:46 pm -

    Thanks for that Ashton.
    It’s funny when this first broke i knew it would suck so it’s not a shock for me

  26. jonasboi January 2, 2013 at 3:34 pm -

    tv1 111hits 13thstreet universal classics etc need an overhaul and more structure

  27. tvjunkie01 January 2, 2013 at 3:16 pm -

    @Ashton January 2, 2013 at 2:17 pm -
    @TBone23 – Not sure about the first two but the Foxtel site says they have reached a deal with Village Roadshow

    Also made an agreement with Warner Brothers, MGM(bond films, rocky etc) Disney(Touchstone Pictures etc) and some smaller indi companies, still to come to arrangement with.

  28. Josh777 January 2, 2013 at 2:43 pm -

    I just had a look at the Foxtel Facebook page and they have a riot on their hands. I think Foxtel need to issue a price reduction in the coming days otherwise they are going to see not only a dramatic decrease in Movie package subscribers, but subscribers in general as there are mass posts about cancelling contracts. Not only that, but people have put complaints into the Department of Fair Trading, who won’t take any action unless a large number of complaints are filled, but if they do they have grounds to press charges against Foxtel as they reduced the amount of channels without reducing the cost. Although I am glad to see Austar gone, at least John Porter publicly announced the need for less packages that cost less (similar to the U.S. where it is just 4-5 tiers that increase in the amount of channels in various genres, and doesn’t exceed $100 including a HD STB; a price that would not make Foxtel a lot of profit given the vast difference in population but would definitely increase Foxtel’s penetration which has actually gone backwards)

  29. Ashton January 2, 2013 at 2:17 pm -

    @TBone23 – Not sure about the first two but the Foxtel site says they have reached a deal with Village Roadshow

  30. Phoenix January 2, 2013 at 1:52 pm -

    As I suspected back when this was first announced, Foxtel is not giving us “new and improved” movie channels after all. I’m very disappointed in the repackaging, feel that I’m being over-charged, and am thoroughly cheesed off.

    Foxtel is trying to convince us that we’re better off with less movie channels, yet with no reduction in our subscription rate. They must think we’re stupid. I think they’re unscrupulous.

  31. TBone23 January 2, 2013 at 12:41 pm -

    David whats the update with Foxtel working out a deal with Disney, MGM & Village Roadshow.

  32. Josh777 January 2, 2013 at 10:59 am -

    It’s a good idea by Foxtel to cut out the overlapping channels (e.g. Movie Extra and Showtime Action) to offer more variety, and having all channels in HD is brilliant. It’s a shame that Foxtel didn’t reduce the price as they suggested they would, and that there is now such a huge gap in EPG numbers from Masterpiece to TCM (they could have moved TCM down to say 415 and World Movies to 417 which still gives Foxtel room to add 4 more channels of their own and other branded channels after World Movies) which really highlights that even though we now have more variety there is less channels. Hopefully Foxtel can now focus their efforts on launched more HD feeds for entertainment channels (e.g. TV1, Arena, Bio, 13th Street, LifeStyle Food, LifeStyle YOU, & SF – these have the highest OzTAM audience shares out of all entertainment channels).

  33. adelaide_john January 2, 2013 at 10:43 am -

    in essence we are 2 movie channels (excluding +2 channels) down, but no decrease in price…not happy Jan !

  34. Ashton January 2, 2013 at 10:34 am -

    I was really looking forward to a better structured movie service however it now seems I cannot find any movies I want to watch on any of the movie channels.

  35. Qubec January 2, 2013 at 9:53 am -

    Already not liking the change over! Even with platinum, you can really see that you are getting less channels and less variety. The lack of Warner/Roadshow and Disney is also glaring. Themed channels are a nice idea in theory, and all they needed was a couple more channels, like SciFi or Fantasy or Horror, something to pad it out and feel like you’re not losing channels.
    Had this launch been properly organized (because the whole thing reeks of rashness) where they would have had time to properly develop the channels, their brand identities and had content from Warner and co, this could have been great. As of now, I feel like I’m getting less channels, less content and feeling very jibbed. 

  36. jonasboi January 2, 2013 at 9:44 am -

    there new channels are a joke.
    4 movie channels plus world for $16 a month? the other package has 5.

    thats a total of 10 movie channels for $32.00

    the reason for the 2 old movie packages was the studios owned each one in joint ventures.

    Now foxtel is offering half as many movie channels for the same price.

    they should just bundle them all together for $20.00 a month. with on demand library, you can rent any movie you want any time.

    foxtel really need to think about there channels and bring them into line with there American counterpart.

    with Fox8, Soho and FX all airing first run drama. it would be really good to know which shows are airing where and when. often the channels only advertise there own programs. so unless you go threw the on screen tv guide, there is a chance you will have no idea when something is on.

    Bring back isuggest. at least with that you could see what was coming soon.

    or change the channels and relaunch each channel with its American network name.
    the CW, HBO, etc.

  37. tvjunkie01 January 2, 2013 at 9:36 am -

    Foxtel facebook and twitter accounts, lots of angry customers angered by the less channels, and the missing studios(the ones that were with Movie Network). Yes, Roadshow and Warner Have signed on with Foxtel, but are not on from start up(01/01).’
    Also, foxtel have a webpage for the new film channels,

    foxtelmovies.com.au/

  38. Bob80 January 2, 2013 at 9:02 am -

    Who will broadcast Tropfest now David? Their naming rights appear to have been dropped from the Tropfest web-site, however Movie Extra is still all over their terms and conditions.

  39. Pete January 2, 2013 at 8:26 am -

    Does it mean that the movie studios that ended their joint venture do not have their movies available on Foxtel anymore? If so, this is a major loss of movie titles to the consumer.

  40. AndrewG January 2, 2013 at 8:25 am -

    From my previous comment

    We pay the same price and get less channels. Also I noticed that most of the movies on movie one are not played on premiere. Such as 21 jump street, the hangover 2 etc. Less movies and less channels = same price. I wonder what the ACCC has to say

  41. AndrewG January 2, 2013 at 8:21 am -

    Action/Adventure is also apart of the family package.

    I checked yesterday as we have basic family and for me to add 3 extra channels would cost me an extra $16 to get the showcase package. This is the biggest rip-off. We pay the same price

  42. Craig January 2, 2013 at 8:14 am -

    We should get a subscription cut!

  43. daran January 2, 2013 at 6:51 am -

    David I was told by foxtel that if I wanted movies again I would have to pay $32 for the lot and that there were no split tiers anymore.

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