Foxtel movie madness
Fewer channels to choose from ... Foxtel Photo: Greg McKenzie
Reducing the number of movie channels but not the subscription fee has been a horror for customers and a drama for Foxtel.
From January 1, subscription TV giant Foxtel moved to just one movie package of 11 channels (movies/drama), which includes two channels repeating the same programs two hours later.
The new package also splits movie content into genres.
Previously there were two packages and a total of 15 channels, with four channels repeating content two hours after it was initially screened.
The reduction in the number of packages and channels, but not the subscription per month for those who were previously paying for both packages, has caused a major backlash.
Subscribers have vented their anger on Foxtel's Facebook page with more than 600 posts criticising the change.
"If the range of new movies doesn't increase and the cost doesn't stay the same then it'll back to DVD's and downloads.... even back to cinemas....," wrote Dennis Radisich.
Bruce Foster wrote: "Expect my call tomorrow Foxtel, I'm cancelling my Movies subscription! Refuse to pay for the reduced channels for the same price! Oh and if you send me a price increase in the next month or so expect me to cancel the lot!!"
Foxtel's director of corporate affairs Bruce Meagher said the call centre had received more telephone calls than usual about the new movie channel package.
However, he said most subscribers who called were satisfied with the changes once they were told they would not be worse off.
He said once Foxtel had finalised movie deals with Disney and MGM, subscribers would be the winners.
"We are significantly increasing our on demand library so that will also increase the number of movies available," Mr Meagher told AAP.
"We would say they are no worse off and over time they will be far better off.
"The experience we are getting in the call centre, because they are getting calls as well, once that is explained to people they are quite OK about it.
"What we have to do on Facebook is go back and start directly addressing it which is what we are working today."
Meagher said having two less time shifted channels was not really an issue, because a lot of subscribers used an IQ box to record movies.
He said customers who were only subscribing to one of the two previous movie packages were being catered for.
Streamlining the movie channels would mean less "straight to DVD" content being aired and there would also be an increase in the number of movies available on-demand.
"We are significantly increasing our on-demand library so that will also increase the number of movies available even though they are not on a channel," he said.
"For those who only took one of the movie packages before, there are grandfathering arrangements so they will get the same number of channels as they had before."
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- I don't get Foxtel
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