“We were cancelling because we were using another sports streaming service [Kayo] for 25 bucks and that’s why they offered it for nothing,” she said. “They were very easy to offer that as a solution to stick around with them.”
Foxtel’s regular pricing starts at $69 a month, with the full package costing $139 with a minimum lock-in contact of 12 months.
The pay TV giant has been scrambling to hang on to subscribers in the wake of the Game of Thrones finale, and amid fierce competition from streaming services including Netflix and Stan (which is owned by Nine, the parent company of this newspaper).
Foxtel launched a streaming service of its own last year, KayoSports, which provides access to the best sport available on the platform for as little as $25 a month. Analysts fear the service could cannibalise the traditional, more expensive Foxtel offering.
70-year-old Pyrmont local Geoff Munns said it took just five minutes after threatening to quit for Foxtel to change his basics, sports and movies package from $58 a month to $29.
“Telcos are often open to this kind of stuff,” he said. “There were a few advantages to staying with Fox, the recording is good for sport played overnight or when you’re out for dinner and want to watch when you get home.”
Foxtel said the recent deals for “long-standing subscribers” part of a plan to maximise “the value of their service”.
“So naturally, when we have new promotions or special offers for new customers, we make sure that we provide those same special offers for our existing customers who call up to enquire about them and who are willing to sign up to a new contract with us,” a spokesman sis.
While some have reportedly had to battle it out for the discount, 52-year-old Stuart Austin from Manly has always had a similar experience and says every time he and his wife attempt to quit the service they are “put through” to two or three operators who continue to give them deals to stay.
“We were ready to actually leave Foxtel, and they kept on putting us through to the next level up to cancel, but the next person kept on offering us more,” he said. “Now we get entertainment, entertainment plus, movies, and docos for $35 per month. We used to get it for $27 per month.”
The iconic pay TV company has been facing a tough operating environment in recent moths. News Corp’s most recent quarterly results revealed Foxtel lost about 100,000 subscribers from its traditional pay TV product in the first three months of the year. And News Corp had to lend its subsidiary $300 million to cover debts maturing in April.
Chief executive Patrick Delany is expected to address rumours of a potential collaboration between Foxtel and Netflix at an event in Sydney on Wednesday, which is expected to give some insight into the future of the company.
Sarah is a journalist for The Sydney Morning Herald.