PAY TV

A guide to your Pay TV options in Australia.

Subscription based Pay TV gives Australian households access to premium channels and unique programming choices.

The launch of Galaxy in 1995 was the first pay TV available in Australia. As of 2012, there were only 28% of Australian households subscribed to a pay TV services, with Foxtel dominating the majority of the market. That 28% is one of the lowest for pay TV in the developed world.

Galaxy was terminated in 1998, and Foxtel acquired most of their customer subscriptions. Today, the two leading pay-TV providers in Australia are Foxtel and Fetch. However, as of 2015 a few streaming services, like Netflix and Stan, have emerged, offering a new way to digest your favourite entertainment.


What is Pay TV?

Pay TV is a generic term that refers to subscription television services that are provided using analog, digital cable and satellite. In Australia, analog television has been eliminated since 2012, narrowing the choices in how your Pay TV service is brought into your home. Pay TV should not be confused with Pay-per-View, which is a service that allows you to buy one program or movie at a time. Although the terms premium channels or premium television are sometimes used when describing pay TV.

Since pay TV is a subscription-based service, the companies that provide it offer channels and programming that are unique in order to entice new customers to buy their service. Specialised channels are created to appeal to different groups of people. Since advertising on most of these channels is not the main source of revenue, increasing subscriptions with content and channels is the focus rather than who is watching and when.

Pay TV providers have also gained popularity by producing series shows, like the wildly popular Sex and the City or the more recent Game of Thrones. Since the program is exclusive to the cable network providing it, viewers must become subscribers in order to watch.

How does digital TV work?

Before digital television, Pay TV was obtained using an analog technology. This worked by using a continuously variable signal. Digital broadcasting will convert the content into a stream of binary on/off bits in sequences of 0’s and 1’s. Each bit is storing a small part of the picture, which reassembles when it reaches your television set.

The benefit of digital is that the bits recombine, creating an exact copy of what was broadcast at the source. They do not weaken over distance the way that analog signals did. This results in pictures that are always clear and free of ghosting. Plus, since it requires less bandwidth, cable TV providers are able to broadcast a larger variety of channels.

How to get Pay TV in Australia

Subscribing to pay TV in Australia will typically involve signing a contract with one of the providers, paying for a set-top box to carry the service, and the installation of the wiring and box. Some now offer advanced features, like internet TV options, that will require an internet connection to access. The following is a list of the Pay TV providers in Australia along with their base price:

Foxtel

Foxtel's basic Entertainment channel package costs $29 a month. Additional packages, like movies, sport and drama, cost between $10 and $29 extra per month.

Foxtel's traditional paid services also come with a set-top box. The iQ3 and iQ4 act as a hub for all your viewing, recording and pay-per-view needs. The table below highlights the features of each Foxtel iQ box.

Updated October 18th, 2019
Name Product Max. Video Resolution Compatible services RRP Details
Foxtel iQ4
Foxtel iQ4
4K/UHD
Foxtel
Foxtel 4K
$125

Foxtel iQ4

  • Max. video resolution

    4K/UHD
  • Compatible services

    Foxtel
    Foxtel 4K
  • RRP

    $125
View details
Only available on the Platinum HD plan.
Foxtel iQ2
Foxtel iQ2
HD 1080i
Foxtel
$75

Foxtel iQ2

  • Max. video resolution

    HD 1080i
  • Compatible services

    Foxtel
  • RRP

    $75
View details
Foxtel iQ3
Foxtel iQ3
HD 1080p
Foxtel
$125

Foxtel iQ3

  • Max. video resolution

    HD 1080p
  • Compatible services

    Foxtel
  • RRP

    $125
View details

Compare up to 4 providers

Foxtel can also be bundled with Telstra broadband plans or Foxtel's own broadband plans, which you can compare in the table below.
Updated October 18th, 2019
Name Product Details Service type 4K/UHD? Simultaneous streams Free trial? Price What's next?
Foxtel Telstra Entertainment Pack
Foxtel Telstra Entertainment Pack

Foxtel Telstra Entertainment Pack

  • Service type

    Pay TV
  • Free trial?

    No
  • Price

    From $29 per month
Go to site View details
Pay TV
No
2
No
From $29 per month
Go to site View details
Foxtel from Telstra Entertainment + Sport
Foxtel from Telstra Entertainment + Sport

Foxtel from Telstra Entertainment + Sport

  • Service type

    On-demand streaming
    Pay TV
  • Free trial?

    No
  • Price

    From $58
Go to site View details
On-demand streaming
Pay TV
No
2
No
From $58
Go to site View details
Foxtel Now - All Packs
Foxtel Now - All Packs

Foxtel Now - All Packs

  • Service type

    On-demand streaming
  • Free trial?

    10 days
  • Price

    $104 p/month
View details
On-demand streaming
No
2
10 days
$104 p/month
View details
Foxtel from Telstra Platinum HD
Foxtel from Telstra Platinum HD

Foxtel from Telstra Platinum HD

  • Service type

    On-demand streaming
    Pay TV
  • Free trial?

    No
  • Price

    From $139 per month
Go to site View details
On-demand streaming
Pay TV
No
2
No
From $139 per month
Go to site View details
Foxtel Sport + Drama + Entertainment + HD
Foxtel Sport + Drama + Entertainment + HD

Foxtel Sport + Drama + Entertainment + HD

  • Service type

    On-demand streaming
    Pay TV
    Sports
  • Free trial?

    No
  • Price

    From $58 p/month
View details
On-demand streaming
Pay TV
Sports
No
2
No
From $58 p/month
View details
With no iQ4 set-up costs plus get 2 store movies within 12 months. Save $598.90* with tech install. *Min. cost $696.03 on direct debit. Offer ends 30.04.2019.

Compare up to 4 providers

For more information on subscription packages and services, head over to our complete guide to Foxtel.

Fetch with iiNet

iiNet bundles the Fetch pay TV service for free with select plans, while others let you add it to your service for $5 extra per month. A Fetch subscription gets you a Fetch Mini set-top box, access to catch-up TV apps (9Now, SBS On Demand and more) and 30 movies a month.

If you're looking for the premium channels exclusive to pay TV services, you can purchase Fetch channel packs for $6 each or grab the comprehensive ultimate bundle for $20 per month.

Check our guide for more information on iiNet's bundle plans


Optus TV by Fetch

Optus TV by Fetch is more or less the same as Fetch with iiNet, but you get the added bonus of a free Optus Sport subscription bundled in. Optus Sport is the go-to channel for all things EPL (English Premier League) and International matches.

Optus' Fetch bundles come with a Fetch Mighty set-top box, one premium channel pack and an Optus Sport subscription.

Read more about Optus' Fetch bundles


Telstra TV

Telstra TV is Telstra's venture into streaming hardware. The latest model is a 4K-compatible set-top box that lets you watch content from streaming services like Netflix and Stan (provided you have an existing subscription) as well as catch-up TV services like 9Now and 7Plus.

You don't get any premium channels with Telstra TV, but you can purchase new-release TV shows and movies from Telstra TV Box Office on a pay-as-you-go basis.

Learn more about what Telstra TV has to offer


Streaming

While they don't traditionally fall under the "pay TV" umbrella, streaming video-on-demand services like Netflix, Stan and Foxtel Now have taken Australia by storm with flexibility and exclusive original content.

Find out everything you need to know about Australia's various streaming services


Frequently asked questions

The following addresses any questions about pay TV services provided in Australia:

Latest streaming headlines

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2 Responses

  1. Default Gravatar
    OlwynSeptember 15, 2017

    How do I Chang my credit card details for billing ?

    • Default Gravatar
      GruSeptember 16, 2017

      Hello olwyn.mckee,

      You would have to get in touch with your Pay TV provider to change your credit details for billing.

      Cheers,
      Gru

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