Pay TV History

Currently staying at a holiday park in Ballina and the cabin has an old school Austar Flinders box (which I haven’t seen anywhere in years).
With this relentless torrential rain since I arrived yesterday I’ve seen my fair share of E52 rain fade errors…

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Here’s a video titled the Austar Hype Reel:

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Ah so Austar was the regional pay-tv, while Foxtel was for ‘the city’?

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yes it was, but Gold Coast, parts of the Southern Highlands of NSW, Geelong, Surf Coast and Otways were Foxtel territory given close proximity to metropolitan areas. Also all of Western Australia was covered by Foxtel.

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Pretty well, with some exceptions - when Foxtel started, it was only available via the Telstra cable network (which was cap cities and oddly the Gold Coast), then when Galaxy collapsed Fox bought their customer base in 1998, then launched their satellite service in 1999

Galaxy was able to pick and choose what areas they were interested in serving, and had exclusively franchised its operation for regional areas to two companies - CETV (which became Austar) and ECTV (which had Coastal NSW and Tasmania) which were able to continue to operate after Galaxy collapsed. ECTV ended up signing a deal with Optus Vision for content but Austar ended up buying ECTV a few months later and the deal was reasonably short-lived.

Turned out that when Foxtel did a deal to share content with Galaxy, they’d signed overlapping deals that meant that in some markets there wasn’t exclusivity (like the Gold Coast)

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Newcastle I’m pretty sure had both Foxtel and Austar just like the Gold Coast did

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That’d probably explain why some of the original Austar boxes (as one set of grandparents in inland NSW had it) still had Galaxy branding internally, at least when you looked at the internal TV guide.

Gold Coast was a double oddity as Austar chose to serve it with MMDS “wireless cable” rather than satellite initially. Similar with Darwin and them building an actual HFC network there, although without the overlap of the Gold Coast.

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Still a few of those old MMDS dishes on some houses on the GC.

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The decision to go Cable at Darwin was climate driven - the receiving satellite dish size was significantly larger than 65cm which was a risk during cyclone season (and if I recall, couldn’t be installed without planning permission)

(I believe it was a similar issue that drove regional WA being late to get Foxtel satellite too, my other mate @WAtvVideos will be able to confirm though)

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Apparently Gold Coast was Austar’s biggest client base which lead them to operate the company’s call centre there.

Eventually Foxtel used the Robina centre for their “regional” clients and Mooney Ponds used for “metro city” residents but it all comes out of Mooney Ponds currently.

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Im not sure about that. It looks like Foxtel have departed Moonee Ponds and the building is undergoing refit for a new tenant.

Ah right. Website says Dean Street, Moonee Ponds. Perhaps they’ve even outsourced it these days.

The former Robina building is now full of unrelated tenants.

No room at the Foxtel Television Centre in Macquarie Park in Sydney for a call centre. Several channels like Fox Sports and Fox Sports News have had to scatter in other suburbs.

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Quite a few still kicking about in Tassie too, both Hobart and Launceston were covered by MMDS.

Think a few were reused by clever lads and lasses to do point to point internet stuff…

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I’m really not sure about that one. Galaxy->Foxtel is a bit before my time

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Last time I was up the way, to me, some of them are still there but either barely on an antenna pole, or just cut cables with rust.

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Here’s a video for the launch of Foxtel’s Next Generation in 2009 which features former Foxtel presenter (now Channel Seven presenter) Matt Shrivington: Foxtel expands pay TV services in Australia - YouTube
Oh, and i must remind you that Foxtel’s Next Generation included new channels, new HD simulcasts, and internet-downloadable content.

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credit watvpresentation

The 2006 Foxtel Digital ident featured on The Weekly tonight

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Some old idents and promos

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Man, that late-90s and early-00s FOXTEL was great.

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