Aussie pay-TV provider Foxtel is on the offensive today in an effort to keep subscribers. A huge issue for Foxtel is that the entire service is propped up by sports. COVID-19 quarantine measures hav pretty much ended sports.
From today, customers will receive access to all of the general entertainment content regardless of what plans they’re on. This includes drama, entertainment, lifestyle, documentary, reality and kids channels, and digital packages. Those who pay for Internet through the company will receive unlimited data.
It is a challenging time for the company. From my own perspective, there are two core pillars to Foxtel that I don’t think are replicated anywhere near as well by competing general entertainment providers: lifestyle and movies. Both libraries of content are incredibly strong and can’t be replicated elsewhere under current market conditions.
The company was already down subscribers in the last report - the bleed during this current quarter with no sports now or on the horizon will be significant.
Foxtel's broadcast and commercial subscriber base sat at 2.268 million as of December 31, down from 2.326 million in the September quarter. Foxtel Now – a streaming version of Foxtel's traditional broadcast business – had 334,000 paying subscribers as of December 31, down from 375,000 in the previous quarter. Foxtel Now was expected to come under pressure following the end of Game of Thrones in the middle of the year.
Last Week Tonight is set to return with John Oliver hosting from home. He’s back March 29. And then there’s Real Time with Bill Maher which also returns from his home on April 3.
There’s no reason why these shows need to, production-wise, look and sound worse than amateur YouTube videos (as was the case with some of the other late night chat hosts last week). With HBO money, I’m hoping they’ll put a bit of production value into this.
I’ve fallen behind with Star Trek: Picard in a big way, so I haven’t read what looks like it might be a pretty interesting interview with showrunner Michael Chabon. It’s a show I’m trying to avoid spoilers from.
Why did Steve Carell leave The Office? Apparently he was actually content with signing a new contract and sticking around. According to Andy Greene’s new oral history of the show The Office: The Untold Story of the Greatest Sitcom of the 2000s, Carell left because NBC just assumed he wanted to and didn’t make any effort to keep him on the show.
Just think… we could have been spared the Andy Bernard era of the show…
Former star of The OfficeEd Helms (he played Andy Bernard) stars in a new Netflix buddy comedy as a cop teamed up with a kid. No, it’s not a Cop and a Half remake (sadly), it’s Coffee & Kareem. It debuts April 3.
April 24 is when Defending Jacob, a new Apple TV+ show with a super uninspiring name launches. It stars Chris Evans, JK Simmons, Michelle Dockery, and Jaeden Martell.
Solar Opposites is the new animated series from Rick & Morty’s Justin Roiland and Mike McMahn. It debuts on Hulu on May 8.
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