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Foxtel Set To Launch New Channels As Subs Grow Due To T-Box

By David Richards | Friday | 14/02/2014

As tipped by SmartHouse Foxtel has said that they are close to launching new channels on the pay-TV platform, the confirmation comes as the Company reports 5.2% subscriber growth for the six months to December due primarily to an increased take-up of subscription packages via the Telstra's T-Box.

There was no mention of how many subscribers the Company has attracted via their application on Samsung Smart TV's.

Foxtel who now has 2.55 million subscribers reported earnings before taxes, depreciation and amortisation of $468 million in the six months to December 31, driven by higher take-up of subscription packages on Telstra's T-Box.

Subscribers dropping the service fell by 1.8 per cent on the previous corresponding period. Earnings before interest and taxes surged 23.5 per cent to $273m.

Foxtel chief executive Richard Freudenstein told the Australian newspaper which is owned by News Corporation Telstra's 50% partner in Foxtel that revenue was affected by a big investment in new programming deals, including premium drama channel SoHo and US imports such as HBO's Game of Thrones and new content from the BBC.

"We made a conscious decision on our broadcast platform last year to restructure the pricing to add more value at each price point," Mr Freudenstein said. 

"I'm still very optimistic that broadcast growth will absolutely continue as it takes a while for those deals to come to fruition and kick in," Mr Freudenstein said.

 "At the moment we're not seeing cannibalisation from broadcast to IPTV. I think we can grow both businesses" he added.

"The mix has changed with increased T-Box and internet subscribers, but revenue is still growing and subscribers are growing very strongly and the bottom line growing very well. I think we're opening up new audiences with lower cost products."

Mr Freudenstein revealed plans to add more channels to Foxtel's line-up, but details remain under wraps. A video-on-demand service called Presto offering movies will also debut this year.

"The result shows how our strategy is taking effect," Mr Freudenstein said. "Growing subscribers at different ARPU (average revenue per unit) levels on different platforms is working. The ARPU has come down across the board a little, but as the synergies come out from the Austar merger they are starting to be fully baked in so you're not going to see those enormous increases in EBITDA."

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