Foxtel is launching the country’s first 4K live channel and introducing set-top boxes for the new format in a bid to boost falling revenues.
Starting in October, Foxtel in 4K will offer a mix of live sports, documentaries, movies, concerts and other content.
The initial line-up will include the BBC documentaries Planet Earth II, Shark, Wild Japan and Spy in the Wild, and the movie Paddington 2.
The first major sports event will be the Australia v South Africa cricket one-day international on November 4.
The new channel will be included in the Platinum HD and Foxtel Sports packages for subscribers who switch to the new iQ4 box, which will cost $125. Netflix and Stan already offer some content in 4K.
Foxtel will raise prices for two packages from October 1. The entertainment package will go from $26 per month to $29 and Platinum HD from $137 to $139. The Sports HD pack costs $65 a month.
Now owned 65 per cent by News Corp and 35 per cent by Telstra, Foxtel experienced a 5 per cent decline in revenues of US$33 million in the quarter to June 30 due to falling subscriber and advertising income.
Foxtel had 2.8 million subs, which was slightly up on the previous year due to an increase in customers for its low-cost streaming service Foxtel Now.
But broadcast average revenue per subscriber fell by 3 per cent in the quarter, reflecting the take-up of Foxtel Now.
The iQ4 combines satellite delivery, 4K programming via the 4K channel, a host of other linear channels and a vast library of TV and movies to stream on-demand via the internet.
Patrick Delany, Foxtel’s CEO, said yesterday: “Today’s news is just the first step into a 4K future. This incredible experience will continue to expand as we bring even more sport and entertainment programming to life in guaranteed 4K, making the most of today’s ultra-modern 4K TVs.”