Foxtel Now, previously known as ‘Foxtel Play’, is an online streaming video on-demand service that allows you to easily watch your favourite Foxtel shows with no contract, from $10 a month. Find out if Foxtel Now is worth the money and how it stacks up to Netflix, Stan and Fetch.
What is Foxtel Now?
Foxtel Now is the latest in a line of streaming services to try to tackle the Netflix juggernaut. It joins the likes of Stan and Fetch to make a ‘gang of four’ main streaming services in Australia. Traditional Foxtel requires installation of an iQ4 box and is like traditional TV. Traditional Foxtel also incurs set-up fees, and usually comes on a contract. Foxtel Now does away with wires, and you can stream it just like you would Netflix. There are no contracts, no set-up fees and no hardware installations. Think of it as Foxtel for the 21st century.
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Shows on Foxtel Now
You can watch all of your favourite programs found on regular Foxtel, including:
- Game of Thrones
- The Walking Dead
- Big Little Lies
- The Daily Show with Trevor Noah
- Mr. Robot
- True Detective
- Curb Your Enthusiasm
Countless other shows are also available, and beyond that, Foxtel Now also excels in sports broadcast, including:
- NBA, NFL, MLB on ESPN
- NRL and AFL
While Netflix and Stan may get older seasons of TV shows, to keep up with the latest seasons you’ll likely have to buy a Foxtel Now subscription.
Foxtel Now Packages & Prices
After a 10-day free trial, Foxtel Now packs start from $10-$29 a month. When you sign up, you will need to start on the Essentials pack, which includes the ‘Pop’ and ‘Lifestyle’ packs by default. The Foxtel now prices and packs are:
- Essentials – $25: Pop & Lifestyle packs included, watch channels including Fox Showcase, Fox8, Comedy Channel, MTV, 111 Funny, Arena, Lifestyle, Lifestyle Home, Lifestyle Food, E!, TLC
- Drama – $10: BBC UKTV, TV Hits, BBC First, Universal TV
- Movies – $20: Premiere, Disney, Masterpiece, Action, Romance, Thriller, Family, Comedy, More, Greats
- Sports – $29: Fox Sports 501, 503, 505, 506, 507, Fox League, Fox Footy Plan, Bein Sports 1, 2, 3, ESPN 1 & 2, Eurosport
- All Packs – $104: Includes the Docos & Kids packs, watch channels including Discovery, Nat Geo, Discovery Turbo, Crime Investigation, A&E, BBC Knowledge, History Channel, Nat Geo Wild, Disney, Disney Junior, Nickelodeon, Nick JR, Cartoon Network, Boomerang, CBeebies, Discovery Kids
It’s worth noting that the Docos and Kids packs are only available with the Essentials and all premium packs added on, meaning you’ll be on an All Pack plan.
As the names suggest, these packs feature channels around a general interest group, with home renovation shows and the like on Lifestyle, cartoons on Kids, compelling TV series on Drama, and so on. You will need to add the Essentials (Pop and Lifestyle included) pack as your base at $25 a month. From there, you could add on the Drama, Movies and or Sports packs for the additional costs. It’s worth noting that if you want the Docos or Kids packs, you’ll only be able to add these if you have all other packs added on, essentially signing you up for all packs on offer.
- If you want to watch sport, the minimum cost would be $54 a month
- If you were after movies, your minimum cost would be $45 a month
- If you wanted Drama, your minimum cost would be $35 a month
The Movies pack includes all the big films that have just left cinemas, while the Sports pack is one of the few ways to watch regular-season NRL and AFL games live. Beyond that, the Sports pack also includes the Australian Supercars Championship, Super Rugby and Formula One.
How can I watch Foxtel Now?
Foxtel Now is a streaming service. As such, you probably require a speedy internet plan to handle the rigours of streaming. Beyond that there are several devices with which you watch Foxtel Now:
- Smartphone, tablet or PC/Mac
- Google Chromecast
- Telstra TV
- Sony PlayStation 4
Some older devices, which refer to Foxtel Now by the older name of Foxtel Play, might still have access. These include:
- PlayStation 3
- Xbox One
- Smart TVs, including:
The biggest convenience with Foxtel Now is the sheer amount of devices you can stream it on. All you pretty much need is an internet connection and you’re good to go.
Foxtel or Foxtel Now?
Foxtel Now uses the internet to stream to your device. If your internet isn’t up to scratch or you don’t feel comfortable streaming all the time, traditional Foxtel could still be an option. If you feel your current internet plan isn’t quite up to scratch or you’re coming to the end of your contract and looking for something different, it may be time to consider a new provider… maybe with Foxtel bundled in? Two providers offer broadband and Foxtel – Telstra and Foxtel itself.
Above all, if you’re going to be doing a lot of streaming, an unlimited data plan may be the best option for peace of mind. However, your usage may vary and in all likelihood you could find a cheaper plan with a data cap.
Foxtel Broadband Plans
Why not go straight to the source? Foxtel offers NBN plans and all come with unlimited data. It also offers various Broadband + Entertainment packages starting at a hint over $100 a month. While this isn’t Foxtel Now, it is traditional Foxtel. By bundling you get installation, the iQ4 box and more.
|Brand||Features||Max Data**/billing period||Advertised Cost^^/billing period|
Unlimited Broadband + Entertainment
min. cost $1712 over 12 month plan period
Unlimited Broadband + Drama
min. cost $1952 over 12 month plan period
Unlimited Broadband + Sport
min. cost $2180.03 over 12 month plan period
Unlimited Broadband + Platinum HD
min. cost $2912.03 over 12 month plan period
|View all NBN plans listed on Canstar Blue||**^^View important information|
How does Foxtel Now compare to Netflix and Stan?
Foxtel Now differs between these two streaming giants for one big major reason – you can stream live TV. Netflix and Stan don’t allow you to do this.
- Base price for Netflix starts at $9.99, in which you get one stream, up to $18 a month for four streams
- Stan is a flat-fee of $10 a month, in which you get three streams
- Foxtel Now starts at $25 a month for the two base packs
Netflix and Stan streak ahead in terms of convenience and cost. Once you pay your fee, all content is available; with Foxtel Now you need to buy packs. However, the question remains – even if you get access to all that content with Netflix and Stan, do you actually want to watch that content? Many users may complain that even with their huge libraries, they can’t find anything good to watch. This is because of licensing fees and TV rights.
Foxtel is still king for premium content here, and gets first-run access to shows like Game of Thrones, and other HBO shows. Where it also streaks ahead is with live TV. Netflix and Stan don’t have live TV, and don’t have rights to NRL or AFL games, or any sports at all. However, the cost to get this premium content is much higher than the base $10 price. For live sports, you’ll need to pay a minimum $54 a month, which is prohibitive for a lot of people.
- For cheap entertainment, choose Netflix and/or Stan
- For premium content, choose Foxtel Now
- For live shows, NRL and AFL, choose Foxtel now
Choosing between the three is a matter of what content you want to watch, what you’re willing to pay, and whether you’ll get benefit out of live TV and sport.
How does Foxtel Now compare to Fetch?
Speaking of live TV, Foxtel Now’s main competitor in this regard is Fetch. See below for a quick rundown of what each service’s strengths and weaknesses are.
|Base Cost||$25 a month for one pack, no set-up or player fees||$169 for Mini Player, $1 activation fee|
|Pack Costs||$10-$29 a month||$6 for one, or $20 for all four per month|
|Pause and Rewind?||Pause up to 30 minutes, no rewind||Yes/Up to 15 minutes on Mini Player, with rewind up to pause time|
|Record?||No||Only on Mighty Player (RRP $399)|
|TV Guide?||Yes, same as Foxtel’s||Yes|
|Movies on Demand?||Yes||Yes|
|Ways to Watch||Over 10 ways to watch||Fetch media player or mobile app only|
|Streaming on the Go?||Yes||Yes|
|Catch Up TV?||No||Yes|
|NRL and AFL?||Yes, through Sports pack||No|
|Stan and Netflix integration?||No||Yes|
|Max Initial Cost||$104 a month (all of the packs combined)||$420 (Mighty Player, Activation and all channel packs)|
Source: Respective service websites
As it stands, Fetch has the more prohibitive set-up costs, as Foxtel Now is an internet application and all controls are through there, while you’ll need to buy the hardware to access Fetch. Ongoing costs tend to be lower with Fetch, however, as packs start at just $6 a month. For example, you can watch NBA, NFL, MLB and Major League Soccer on ESPN for just $6 a month.
Unless you have a burning desire to watch Game of Thrones, NRL or AFL, Fetch’s entertainment packs are stronger and cheaper here. The cost to watch live sport also starts at $39 a month for Foxtel Now, whereas you can watch ESPN-covered games for just $6 a month with Fetch. Unfortunately, due to broadcasting rights, if you want all AFL or NRL games live then you pretty much have no choice but to go with Foxtel Now, unless you’re a Telstra customer.
This $25 minimum cost can be prohibitive. It is, however, a fair bit cheaper than the traditional Foxtel service.
Alternatively, if the player costs for Fetch are a bit prohibitive upfront, several ISPs offer Fetch bundles from about $10 extra per month on top of your plan. Optus, iiNet and Dodo all offer this. Optus’ plans start at $90 a month, while almost any plans with Dodo and iiNet are compatible, and Fetch is able to be bundled for about $10 extra.
Is Foxtel Now worth the money?
Foxtel Now is a more convenient – and slightly cheaper – option compared to regular old Foxtel, but be aware the competition it’s up against may offer cheaper deals. Fetch is a close match, but you have to pay for a media player upfront. If you’re after entertainment, Netflix and Stan are cheaper options but lack live TV, sports and premium content such as HBO.
However, keep in mind that even with Foxtel Now you will have to be willing to cough up extra for said premium content. If you want Game of Thrones, packs start at $25. If you want live sport, be prepared to pay up to $54 per month.
Except for AFL, NRL and Game of Thrones, you could get most of what Foxtel Now has to offer with a Netflix or Stan subscription, and a Fetch pack, in total costing about $16 a month… or around $30 for all of Fetch’s packs plus a Stan subscription.
Fetch hardware costs from $100-$400, which is prohibitive but in the long run it could be worth it, and your provider may offer to bundle it in with your plan for a nominal fee.
In any case, Foxtel Now represents a convenient way to get Foxtel without any hardware, unless you choose to buy a Foxtel Now Box. All you need is a solid internet connection and a capable device, such as a computer. However, for premium content, be prepared to pay a premium price.