Foxtel vs Binge: What does the new streaming service mean for the pay TV giant?

Binge is here, joining a stacked streaming market. But will Foxtel just cannibalise itself?

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Binge vs Foxtel

Foxtel was once the envy of every Australian household, where you could watch live sport, the newest shows and the latest movies. Then along came Internet TV which gave us Netflix, Prime Video, Stan and others, which stole Foxtel's spotlight. The once sole pay TV provider responded to this trend in 2013 releasing its first streaming service with Foxtel Play, which then became Foxtel Now in 2017.

While Foxtel Now has done a serviceable job thus far, the release of sister product Kayo Sports in 2018 began to raise eyebrows about its future. Now in 2020 with the launch of Binge, which carries almost all of Foxtel's existing entertainment and movies packages, it seems the writing could be on the wall.

Price: Foxtel vs Binge vs Foxtel Now

With three different price tiers, Binge is already quite competitive with the rest of the streaming market. It has a virtually identical pricing structure to Stan at $10–$18/month. When you put it head to head with its sister products, it blows them out of the water.

The current base pack cost is $49/month for Foxtel or $25/month for Foxtel Now. You then still need to throw on the movie packs on top for an equal offering. This blows your monthly bill for the iQ set-up to $69/month. To match the Binge content on Foxtel Now, you'd need to add additional channel packages, with both the Movies and Drama packs dragging the cost up to $55/month. We haven't even yet mentioned Binge's slightly longer free trial.

Components Foxtel Foxtel Now Binge Basic Binge Standard Binge Premium
Install $100 $0 $0 $0 $0
Set-top box $125 $99 (optional) $0 $0 $0
Base monthly feee (entertainment and movies) $69 $55 $10 $14 $18
Contract Yes No No No No
Free trial No 10-day free trial 14-days 14-days 14-days
Minimum cost after 12 months $1,053 $660 $120 $168 $216

Features: Foxtel vs Binge vs Foxtel Now

To start with, Binge will mirror Foxtel in terms of devices. While it will initially be available on Android TVs, people with video game consoles and other smart TV brands will have to wait, but Binge has said those devices are on the horizon. These days almost everything is available in 4K, but so far Foxtel has left both Binge and Kayo in the wilderness as solely HD or SD. Here's the full list of features:

Feature Foxtel Foxtel Now Binge Basic Binge Standard Binge Premium
HD Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
4K Yes No No No No
Pause/rewind Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Recording Yes No No No No
On demand Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Concurrent streams 2 (via Foxtel GO) 2 1 2 4
Offline viewing No No No No No
Closed captions Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Devices iOS, Android (Foxtel GO), iQ PC, Mac, iOS, Android, Chromecast, Foxtel Now box, Xbox One, Xbox 360, PS3, PS4 and Samsung, LG and Sony Android TVs PC, Mac, iOS, Android , Chromecast, Telstra TV, Apple TV, Android TV, AirPlay PC, Mac, iOS, Android , Chromecast, Telstra TV, Apple TV, Android TV, AirPlay PC, Mac, iOS, Android , Chromecast, Telstra TV, Apple TV, Android TV, AirPlay

Content: Foxtel vs Binge

As mentioned earlier, Foxtel use to be the home of sport and it largely still is, though it did disperse this with Kayo Sports and Foxtel Now. Binge has zero sports content. Otherwise Binge has select content from every other existing Foxtel package, including live channels. Though it's worth noting it won't have any of the music or news channels.

Both will have all of the HBO heavyweights like Game of Thrones, Westworld, Watchmen and Curb Your Enthusiasm. They'll also both be airing content from NBC Universal (The Office), ViacomCBS, Warner Bros. (Doom Patrol), BBC, FX (Mrs America), A + E Networks (The Walking Dead) and more.

At this stage Binge won't have any exclusive content, which makes sense given that Foxtel wants the iQ box to be its most premium offering.

Binge and Foxtel shared TV channels

  • Arena
  • A&E
  • BBC First
  • BBC UK TV
  • Crime + Investigation
  • Discovery Channel
  • Fox Sleuth
  • History Channel
  • Lifestyle
  • Lifestyle Food
  • Lifestyle Home
  • Universal TV
    • E!
    • Fox Crime
    • Fox One
    • Fox Sci-Fi
    • Fox Showcase

Verdict

Given the distinct price difference between the three products, Binge seems like a no-brainer. It is a minimum of a whopping $37/month cheaper, especially important given the current economic climate. With that much of a difference in price you could still tack on Kayo Sports' base pack at $25/month and you'd almost completely replicate the full Foxtel experience minus 4K.

That would even still leave some wiggle room in the budget to throw in another streaming service on top. Or you can just work your way through multiple free trials. While Foxtel is adamant that Foxtel Now remains part of its premium service offering, it's hard to think how Binge and Kayo won't make it obsolete in the near future.

It doesn't make sense for a company to continue to compete with itself forever. If consumers take to Binge, it'll be hard to imagine Foxtel Now not suffering the same fate as Presto.

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One Response

  1. Default Gravatar
    BigwoodrzMay 23, 2020

    How do I cancel Foxtel Now through Telstra.?
    Can I do it online?

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