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Foxtel ups the ante in digital TV battle

The Age

Wednesday September 30, 2009


FOXTEL has responded to intensified competition in the digital television market from free-to-air networks by unveiling a number of new products, including a a downloading platform.The service, Foxtel Download, will be available free to pay-TV subscribers from November 15 and will hold up to 400 hours of content from 38 channels, which will be expanded to 600 hours within a month.A new sports channel, ESPN360, has begun live streaming. Other developments, including Foxtel's multi-channel coverage of the Vancouver Winter Olympics, will launch in 2010.Declaring the changes "the most significant milestone in Foxtel's history" since the launch of digital in 2004, chief executive Kim Williams also announced 12 new channels.Among them are Lifestyle You, featuring MasterChef's Sarah Wilson, racing identity Kate Waterhouse and TV presenter Antonia Kidman; murder mystery channel 13th Street; an ad-free children's channel, Kids Co; The Style Network; and sports channel Eurosport.Mr Williams said Foxtel would also expand its high-definition service to 15 channels.New movie channels will include Showtime Drama, Showtime Comedy, Showtime Action, Family Movie Channel, and Starpics, which will show blocks of movies featuring a particular actor.There will also be eight new time-shift channels, allowing viewers to watch the same shows a couple of hours later.As part of the changes, the cost of subscription packages will increase by "a few dollars a month", Foxtel said.

© 2009 The Age

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