Australia’s Foxtel Rejigs Packages And Pricing
Responding to subscriber complaints that it had reduced its movie channels on January 1 without reducing fees, News Corp.-controlled Foxtel has unveiled new packaging and pricing. More than 1,000 viewers complained on the paybox’s Facebook page after it axed seven channels owned by Warner Bros., Disney, Village Roadshow and MGM. Those channels and the Showtime channels which Foxtel acquired from Sony, NBCUniversal, Fox, Paramount and Liberty Media last October were replaced by six thematic channels and Foxtel Movies Premiere, resulting in four fewer channels. From March 1, the monthly price for the movies and premium drama package and World Movies drops from $A32 ($33.60) to $25, but the basic tier, renamed Essentials, goes up from $45 to $47. Last week Foxtel added two repeat movie channels and for the first time it’s making three recent movies per week available to movie subscribers on its on demand service at no cost. It said that around 25% of subscribers will save money, 25% will pay the same and its total recurring monthly revenues from subs will not increase. The firm aims to boost subs, which edged up by 1.3% to 1.68M in the year to June 30 2012. – Don Groves
Flat 3-Year Outlook For Australia’s Traditional Media
The overall media market in Australia slipped by 0.5% to $A12.8 billion ($US13.4 billion) in 2012 and the outlook for the next three years is only fractionally brighter for free-to-air TV broadcasters, radio, newspapers and magazines, according to media analysis firm Fusion Strategy. “Things just won’t get any better and most likely not for a long time,” said founder Steve Allen, citing global pressures on the Australian economy. He calculates newspaper revenues fell by 14% last year, free TV dropped by 3% and magazines by 15%. The online sector surged by 20%, cinema revenues jumped by 27% and pay TV by 11%. “We do not think market conditions will markedly change for the next 2-3 years, thus it will be pretty flat in the media markets,” he said. Allen forecasts 3.3% growth for the media market in 2013, almost all from online, 3.6% in 2014 and 3.4% in 2015. – Don Groves
CJ Entertainment America Announces February US Release For ‘The Berlin File’
The RYOO Seung-wan-directed spy thriller will hit American theaters for a limited run, currently scheduled to begin February 15. Ha Jung-woo, Jeon Ji-hyun, Han Suk-kyu and Ryu Seung-beom star in a story written by Ryu, with English Language portions of the script courtesy of American screenwriter Ted Geoghegan. Directly comparing the espionage heyday of Berlin during the Cold War to the current situation in the Korean Peninsula, the film follows a burned North Korean spy (Ha) desperately trying to escape from the German capital after a botched arms deal. With his diplomatic translator wife (Jeon) in tow, he evades agents from both Koreas (Han Suk-kyu and Ryu Seung-beom) while trying to figure out precisely what went down. Produced by Kang Hye-jeong, it will be distributed in the US by CJ Entertainment America. A full list of American cities and theaters will be announced in advance of the film’s January 31 Korean premier.