Subscription television in Australia

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Subscription television in Australia consists of a dominant cable and satellite television provider Foxtel, with several smaller cable and satellite service providers operating in limited geographic areas. Other providers of Internet television in Australia offer free content or pay-per-view, but do not offer a subscription service.


In 2012, only about 28% of Australian homes had a pay TV subscription, which is one of the lowest subscriber rates in the developed world. [1] However, this rate is expected to rise from new delivery methods IPTV and streaming television services. [2]


Galaxy was the first provider of subscription television in Australia, launching a MMDS service on 26 January 1995. [3] Originally Premier Sports Network was the only local channel to be fully operational, with Showtime and Encore launching in March. [4] They were later joined in April by TV1, Arena, Max, Red and Quest. [5] [6] A satellite service was launched later in the year.

Optus Vision and Austar launched their cable services on 19 September followed by Foxtel on 22 October. [7] [8]

Northgate Communications launched their service on 13 March 1997. [9] It was later acquired by Neighbourhood Cable. [10]

Galaxy was closed on 20 May 1998. [11] Two weeks later Foxtel significantly boosted its customer base by acquiring Galaxy subscribers from the liquidator of Australis Media and immediately commenced supplying programming to Galaxy's subscribers on an interim basis. [12] In February 1999 Foxtel began offering its own satellite service to new customers. [13]

Following the collapse, ECTV quickly signed a deal with Optus Vision. [14] Less than two months later, it was acquired by Austar, along with its stake in XYZ. [15] Austar replaced the ECTV packages with their own in September. [16]

TransTV launched in 2001, beginning with VoD followed later by linear channels. [17] [18]

UBI World TV launched in 2004. Also in 2004, TV PLUS launched its Ethnic platforms catering for Balkans, Russians and other Eastern European communities. Foxtel and Austar both launched their digital offerings in 2004, with a total of 130 channels. The following year, Foxtel introduces their Foxtel iQ personal video recorder. [19]

SelecTV launched on 12 April 2006. [20] It ceased its English programming in late 2010. [21]

Neighbourhood Cable with its hybrid fibre coaxial (HFC) cable networks in three Victorian regional cities of Mildura, Ballarat and Geelong was acquired by TransACT at the end of 2007. [22] In November 2011, TransACT was acquired by iiNet Limited, which in 2015 itself became a subsidiary of TPG. [23]

Foxtel commenced their HD service in February 2009.

Fetch TV entered the market in 2010 with a subscription service over a few ADSL2+ networks.

Channels available

Almost all channels which currently or previously operated in Australia were available through Foxtel and Austar, being the dominant player in the market. However, some smaller competitors offer a subset of channels which are exclusive or unavailable on Foxtel services.

The majority of channels not available through Foxtel are non-English language channels. UBI World TV offers a number of ethnic satellite TV and radio channels nationwide, and other companies offer some channels via satellite, and some channels are available over the internet.



HFC Cable

IPTV / Internet Television

Defunct Services

See also

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