Channel Ten Australia has finally signed a deal to allow digital broadcast to Foxtel’s cable and satellite subscribers. Until now channels Ten and Seven has only been available on Foxtel cable as an analogue retransmission. This meant that Foxtel’s digital Electronic Program Guide did not list Ten’s or Seven’s schedule.
In the new media world not being in an EPG make you invisible. It doesn’t matter that I can scan while channel surfing, I rely on the description that pops up on screen or on the EPG. Until last year I would go online and look it up, but I finally got tired of that. So as a result my family watch precisely one (1) hour of channel Ten per week. We watch less channel 7.
What amazes me is that the management of these businesses obviously thought cutting a deal to be on Foxtel’s digital would not impact their ratings. Instead it allow the other Foxtel digital channels to capture eyeballs and forget about their programming. So the only way I discover their programming is to see their expensive advertising in other media.
My informal pub chat poll shows my household is not unusual. Foxtel subscribers love their remotes, their electronic program guides and their planners.Â Media analysts counter that very few Australians watch Foxtel’s channels other than sport or movies. It doesn’t matter, enough of us have stopped watching Seven and Ten because it is not accessible.
Lesson: Do not get between your product and your customer.
Thankfully Ten is has now joined the party. Now seven needs to get over their C7 digital hissy fit and make their schedule available.