Foxtel's $15 million digital marketing push is under a cloud, with the pay
TV provider now in the process of reviewing its blanket advertising campaign
after a week marred by industrial action.
Foxtel is advertising its $600million, 130-channel digital TV offering,
launched with great fanfare last Sunday, across all media. But it has been
forced to consider scaling back its marketing to better manage customer
"We're reviewing our marketing in light of the installation issues," a
Foxtel spokesman said on Friday.
"We're looking at the demand levels and have to strike a balance. Clearly we
don't want frustration over installation time frames."
The decision of Foxtel's subcontractors, the people who install digital TV
in homes around Australia, to last Monday begin a strike over low pay rates
is also putting increased pressure on Foxtel's cost base. It is understood
the loss-making group has had to almost double the rates it originally
offered the subcontractors.
Communications Electrical and Plumbing Union officials on Friday were locked
in meetings to determine whether their members would accept Foxtel's latest
offer, which was put to them on Thursday night.
Although Foxtel does not directly employ any of the subcontractors, it has a
relationship with the contracting companies which do. Those digital TV
contractors include ABB, Siemens Theiss Communications, BSA, and Areva T&D
CEPU members last week rejected an earlier offer by Foxtel and opted to
continue their strike indefinitely. Subcontractors on Thursday picketed
Foxtel's Sydney offices and on Friday demonstrated outside the pay TV
provider's Melbourne offices before taking their protest to Victoria's
Parliament House. "The subcontractors are determined to end the
slave-labour rates and conditions they have experienced over the last few
years," CEPU Victorian branch secretary Len Cooper said.
It is understood subcontractors are being paid $53.25 to migrate a Foxtel
customer from analogue to digital and install a telephone socket, and $30.90
to simply migrate a customer to the digital service. From that amount, they
must pay for taxes, parts, equipment, petrol, and other running costs....
Seeing a murder on television can help work off one's antagonisms. And if
you haven't any antagonisms, the commercials will give you some.
-- Alfred Hitchcock