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Premium drama channel Showcase out of Pay TV Top 10 – but new HBO deal puts Foxtel on the Iron Throne

Source: Roy Morgan Single Source, Oct 2012 – Sep 2013.
Base: Australians 14+ with Pay TV subscription, n = 5453
Next year, a subscription to Foxtel’s premium ‘Showcase’ channel will be the only (legal) way Australians can watch upcoming seasons of Game of Thrones, True Blood, Boardwalk Empire and the highly anticipated new drama True Detectives.  

In the year to September 2013, just 15% of current Pay TV subscribers cited Showcase as a channel they ‘especially choose to watch’—well behind top pick Discovery Channel, Fox Sports 1 and 2, and the History and Lifestyle Channels, and just one spot above the Fox Footy channel dedicated solely to AFL matches and discussion.

Pay TV Subscribers’ top five channels ‘especially choose to watch’

Source: Roy Morgan Single Source, Oct 2012 – Sep 2013. Base: Australians 14+ with Pay TV subscription, n = 5453

Research from Roy Morgan, revealed in the latest State of the Nation Report – Spotlight on Media Futures, indicates that Sport, Documentaries, Lifestyle and Movies remain Foxtel’s biggest drawcards.

But Foxtel is tapping into the growing appetite for prestige drama. A deal reached earlier this year with US cable giant HBO means only the only place Australians can watch the latest the goings-on in Westeros, Bon Temps and Atlantic City will be on Foxtel.

Australians could previously choose instead to download episodes on iTunes a day or two after first airing on Pay TV.

George Pesutto, Industry Director – Media, Roy Morgan Research, says:

“Foxtel will be counting on increased subscription to Showcase by fans of HBO shows and high quality programming. Their task is to sell the value of an all-inclusive premium drama ‘package’ to people who are perhaps more accustomed to simply paying a small amount per episode—or even just getting it illegally, for free.

“Our research into the channels and genres that subscribers especially choose to watch suggests that prestige drama is not yet as common a compelling reason to have Pay TV as sport, docos, and new release movies.

“With high-quality television drama arguably the defining trend in entertainment of the last 15 years, Foxtel is clearly hoping Australian aficionados will get on board with its premium subscription model.”

Click to learn more about our State of the Nation Report 17 with a Spotlight on Media Futures.

For comments or more information please contact:

George Pesutto, Industry Director — Media
Office:   +61 (3) 9224 5206
Mobile: +61 414 686 987

Image source: HBO

About Roy Morgan Research

Roy Morgan Research is the largest independent Australian research company, with offices in each state of Australia, as well as in New Zealand, the United States and the United Kingdom. A full service research organisation specialising in omnibus and syndicated data, Roy Morgan Research has over 70 years’ experience in collecting objective, independent information on consumers.

In Australia, Roy Morgan Research is considered to be the authoritative source of information on financial behaviour, readership, voting intentions and consumer confidence. Roy Morgan Research is a specialist in recontact customised surveys which provide invaluable and effective qualitative and quantitative information regarding customers and target markets.

About Roy Morgan’s State of the Nation Reports 

Roy Morgan’s State of the Nation Reports provide a long-term perspective on Australian society. Released quarterly, the Reports measure a broad range of issues affecting the nation, plot them over time, and explore in more detail the impacts on Society, Technology, Economy, Politics and the Environment.

Click to view previous Roy Morgan State of the Nation Reports.

Margin of Error

The margin of error to be allowed for in any estimate depends mainly on the number of interviews on which it is based. Margin of error gives indications of the likely range within which estimates would be 95% likely to fall, expressed as the number of percentage points above or below the actual estimate. Allowance for design effects (such as stratification and weighting) should be made as appropriate.

Sample Size

Percentage Estimate


25% or 75%

10% or 90%

5% or 95%