The Best TV and Internet Bundles in Australia
What you need to know
Let’s take a look at the history of pay TV and internet bundles in Australia before jumping into the best deals available in Australia.
Starting in 1995, News Corp and Telstra’s hulking media giant Foxtel ruled the Australian media landscape with an iron fist. For a good 15 years, those who opposed its rule, such as Galaxy, Austar and Optus Vision, were turned to dust. Anything worth watching from the U.S. was delivered via Foxtel’s set-top box. Cartoon Network, Comedy Central, the latest movie releases and notable sporting events were all locked behind a Foxtel subscription. In 2010, iiNet and Astro All Asia introduced an unlikely David to challenge Foxtel’s Goliath with Fetch TV.
To this day, Fetch TV has held its ground with a more modest selection of channels (and price tag), full PVR features and a wide range of ISP partnerships.
In May 2015, a new challenger launched a surprise invasion on Aussie living rooms, the beloved U.S. streaming platform Netflix. Ever since Netflix arrived, Foxtel and Fetch have fought to remain relevant by holding on to their broadband bundle deals for dear life. Something that the growing list of streaming services hasn’t managed to lock down with the exception of a short-lived tryst between Vodafone and Netflix.
These days, both set-top box providers have shifted to more all-inclusive hardware ecosystems that are compatible with services like Netflix, Stan and hayu. If you can’t beat them, join them.
If you’re looking for a more long-term deal and you’re not interested in forking out for Foxtel, Telstra also offers a quality bundle deal for NBN and Telstra TV. For $99 per month, the Telstra TV + Internet TV deals gives you the Telstra TV device (valued at $216), NBN Standard Plus speeds (nbn50), unlimited data, unlimited standard local/national calls, $125 credit for Telstra Box Office and three months access to Garage Entertainment, hayu, AnimeLab and DocPlay (combined value of $56.79).
Not including the cost of Telstra TV (which is covered in the plans monthly cost), that’s just over $200 value. Telstra TV supports 4K/UHD streaming and is compatible with Netflix, Stan, Foxtel Now, Stan, Prime Video, Kayo Sports, YouTube, Plex, free-to-air catch-up and more. It’s the slimmer, cheaper, more versatile alternative to Foxtel’s iQ box. It might not offer PVR features for recording and rewinding Live TV but that’s less of an issue when everything is on-demand.
The best Foxtel and Internet Bundle
Foxtel Broadband’s Unlimited NBN Broadband + Platinum HD Bundle will set you back $174 per month on a 12-month contract. The Platinum HD pack’s usual going price is $139 per month and Foxtel usually charges $75 for its bundled unlimited NBN Standard Plus plan (reduced to $65 per month in the Platinum HD bundle). Over 12 months, that will save you $480 over 12 months, not including the discounted 4K iQ4 box that’s included.
The Platinum HD pack is an all-inclusive channel bundle that gives you access to everything Foxtel offers, including 4K/UHD content.
It’s important to note that the discounted bundle is only good for 12 months. After that, the price will revert to normal but you will have the freedom to choose to cancel your plan or continue at the adjusted price.
Otherwise, if you’re new to Foxtel and don’t need everything included, Telstra offers two cheaper Foxtel bundles with the essentials and one premium channel pack of your choice (Sports or Drama) at $90 per month.
Fetch is more widely available than Foxtel. iiNet, iPrimus, Aussie Broadband and Optus all offer some variation of a Fetch TV bundle and most are priced similarly. Basically, you can bundle the Fetch Mini or Fetch Mighty with various NBN plans and, depending on the provider, pay for the box outright, on your first bill or pay it off over 12 or 24 months. Premium Fetch channel packs can be added to your monthly bill at $6 per pack or $20 for all four premium packs. The value proposition is more or less the same across the board, with the exception of the Optus 99 Bundle Plan.
The Optus 99 Bundle Plan gives you Optus NBN Standard Plus (nbn50), an Optus Sport subscription (priced at $14.99 per month), the 4K Fetch Mighty box ($449 outright) and one premium Fetch channel pack ($6 per month). Not including the Optus Sport subscription (which is included on every Optus NBN plan), that’s $593 of added value over 24 months. Overall, the Optus 99 Plan is $336 more than the non-Fetch 85 plan but that’s still a saving of $257 over 25 months.
Plus, if you’re into your Premier League or UEFA Champions League, Optus Sport is your only option for streaming in Australia.
What’s the best bundle for sports fans?
The Optus Fetch bundle above is a sweet deal for football fans but there’s not much on offer for NRL, AFL, NFL or NBA fans. For a wider world of sport, your options are primarily Foxtel and Kayo.
We’ve discussed Foxtel at length but Kayo is an interesting newcomer to the streaming scene. The self-described “Netflix of Sports” is an SVOD service for Aussie sports nuts. It has a huge list of over 50 popular sports from homegrown AFL, NRL and Cricket to international crowd-pleasers like NBA and NHL.
There aren’t any Kayo Sports bundles to speak of, but Telstra offers an Internet + Sport Broadband bundle and 2 months of Kayo’s Basic plan for $5 (usually $25 per month for).
The Internet + Sport bundle includes unlimited downloads on Telstra’s Standard Plus speed (nbn50), 45 channels with Foxtel’s entertainment pack and additional 12 sports channels as part of the package.
All accounted for, Telstra’s Internet + Sport pack will cost you $129 per month over 12 months (plus whatever subscription fees incurred if you decide to stick with Kayo).
What’s the best bundle for movie fans?
There’s no single broadband bundle that sticks out for its selection of movies; most streaming services and pay TV options offer a variety of movies in some capacity. With that said, Fetch TV’s base plan comes with Movie Box, 30 pre-selected rental movies per month.
The quality varies dramatically month to month but you don’t pay anything extra for the privilege. There’s a lot of trash but also a few gems every month. This month, you’ll see top-rated flicks like The Lobster and Hellboy alongside guilty pleasures like Transporter 3 and arguably the two worst Rocky movies, Rocky IV and Rocky V.
If you’ve settled on one of the Foxtel bundles mentioned earlier, you can always add the Movies Pack for $20 per month. That’ll score you 10 themed movie channels and a selection of over 1,000 on-demand movies via FoxFlicks.