Subscription television in Australia
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Subscription television in Australia consists of a dominant cable and satellite television provider Foxtel and its regional subsidiary Austar, with several smaller cable and satellite service providers operating in limited geographic areas. Other providers of Internet television in Australia offer free content or pay-per-view, but don't offer a subscription service.
In 2012, only about 28% of Australian homes had a pay TV subscription, which is one of the lowest subscriber rates in the developed world. However, this rate is expected to rise from new delivery methods IPTV and streaming television services, including Apple TV, Netflix, Presto, Stan and Quickflix.
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Galaxy was the first provider of subscription television in Australia, launching a MMDS service on 26 January 1995. Originally Premier Sports Network was the only local channel to be fully operational, with Showtime and Encore launching in March. They were later joined in April by TV1, Arena, Max, Red and Quest. A satellite service was launched later in the year.
Galaxy was closed on 20 May 1998. Two weeks later Foxtel significantly boosted its customer base by acquiring Galaxy subscribers from the liquidator of Australis Media and immediately commenced supplying programming to Galaxy's subscribers on an interim basis. In February 1999 Foxtel began offering its own satellite service to new customers.
Following the collapse, ECTV quickly signed a deal with Optus Vision. Less than two months later, it was acquired by Austar, along with its stake in XYZ. Austar replaced the ECTV packages with their own in September.
UBI World TV launched in 2004. Also in 2004, Foxtel and Austar both launched their digital offerings, with a total of 130 channels. The following year, Foxtel introduces their Foxtel iQ personal video recorder.
Neighbourhood Cable with its hybrid fibre coaxial (HFC) cable networks in three Victorian regional cities of Mildura, Ballarat and Geelong was acquired by TransACT at the end of 2007. In November 2011, TransACT was acquired by iiNet Limited, which in 2015 itself became a subsidiary of TPG.
Foxtel commenced their HD service in February 2009.
Almost all channels which currently or previously operated in Australia were available through Foxtel and Austar, being the dominant player in the market. However, some smaller competitors offer a subset of channels which are exclusive or unavailable on Foxtel services.
The majority of channels not available through Foxtel are non-English language channels. UBI World TV offers a number of ethnic satellite TV and Radio channels nationwide, and other companies offer some channels via satellite, and some channels are available over the internet.
- Foxtel and Austar both use the Optus C1 and Optus D3 satellites.
- UBI World TV uses Optus D2 and Intelsat 8.
- The various Globecast platform services use PAS 8.
- MySAT uses PAS 8.
- Jadeworld uses PAS 8.
- The various PanGlobal TV platform services use PAS 8.
- TFCDirect! uses PAS 8.
- LBF uses Intelsat 701.
- Pacific Media uses AsiaSat 4.
- Foxtel use Telstra's cable in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Adelaide and Perth.
- Optus use their own cable network in Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane.
- Austar provide a cable service, again via HFC to Darwin through a cable system partly owned by Austar and the Darwin City Council.
- Neighbourhood Cable (merged with TransACT) provides a TV service over their own cable to Geelong, Ballarat and Mildura.
IPTV / Internet Television
- FetchTV provides IPTV through the Optus, dodo, iiNet and Internode Internet networks, or any other internet provider when their set top box is purchased from one of their retail partners.
- TransACT's TransTV service (merged with Neighbourhood Cable) uses VDSL over a fibre-to-the-kerb network in some suburbs of the A.C.T.
- Foxtel uses the Internet to provide some extra content to its IQ2 platform. It also offers Foxtel on Xbox, a subset of Foxtel channels via any internet provider
- Several more companies offer Internet television in Australia with Pay-Per-View offerings or free streaming channels
- Austar previously delivered an analogue MMDS service into selected regional areas, however the system was dumped in the late 1990s/early 2000s. Austar also briefly tested a digital MMDS service on the Gold Coast.
- TARBS leased some of Austar's metropolitan licenses for their service.
- ECTV and Galaxy also used MMDS.
- SelecTV used Intelsat 8 until administrators shut the service down in January 2011.
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In addition to its sports network, already operating, Galaxy trebled the choice on Friday when Showtime, a premium movie channel, and Encore, a movie favourites channel, got under way.
- Wilmoth, Peter (15 April 1997). "Do we really need pay-TV". The Sunday Age. p. 5. Retrieved 27 December 2009.
TV1 channel, the service's fourth channel of the eight planned, which was launched on 2 April
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XYZ Entertainment is launching the other four Galaxy channels today. They are a documentary channel Quest, children's and cult TV channel Max, general entertainment channel Arena and music channel Red.
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- Hopewell, Luke (August 2015). "ACCC Gives TPG The A-OK To Buy iiNet". Gizmodo. Retrieved 20 August 2015.
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- http://www.cnet.com.au/foxtel-on-xbox-360-channels-pricing-announced-339306661.htm Foxtel on Xbox 360 Pricing Announced
- "Time called on WIN's pay TV company". The Spy Report (Media Spy). Retrieved 2 March 2011.