Optus is reported to be reconsidering its digital television strategy following the success of Foxtel in Australia.
A year after a content sharing agreement was approved between the two Australian pay television groups, under which Foxtel assumed the debts of the other operator, the apparent success of Foxtel is apparently prompting Optus to reconsider its digital strategy.
Optus had decided to focus on internet broadband and mobile telephony and only provide a standard pay television service in its bundled offer.
Since its launch in March 2004, Foxtel Digital has attracted around half a million customers. Meanwhile, Optus subscribers receiving channels such as Sky News are unable to take advantage of heavily promoted interactive services.
The Optus network is fully digital, but to upgrade the pay television component it must swap out an estimated 200,000 set-top boxes at considerable cost, which could be even higher if Optus decides to follow Foxtel and introduce more expensive personal video recorders.