Binge, Kayo boost Foxtel subscriptions but revenue still down

Mariam Cheik-Hussein
By Mariam Cheik-Hussein | 6 November 2020

News Corp’s subscription video services, largely Foxtel, continues to be impacted by the coronavirus pandemic despite increases in subscriptions for its streaming platforms Kayo and Binge.

The company reported a revenue decrease of US$18 million, or 4%, for the 2021 first quarter compared to the year prior.

News Corp says this fall in revenue is driven largely by a fall in residential broadcast subscribers and a US$14 million, or 3%, negative impact from lower commercial subscription revenues as a result of the continuing restrictions on pubs, clubs and other commercial venues due to the pandemic.

Foxtel’s total paid subscribers was 3.287 million as of September 30. This is a 7% increase compared to the year prior. This growth is primarily driven by growth in subscribers for its sports streaming app Kayo and its newly-launched entertainment app Binge, partially offset by lower residential and commercial broadcast subscribers.

Of these subscribers, 2.055 million were residential and commercial broadcast subscribers. The remaining 1.232 million consisted of Kayo, Foxtel Now and Binge subscribers.

As of September 30, there were 681,000 Kayo subscribers, 644,000 paying, compared to 430,000 subscribers, 364,000 paying, the prior year.

As of September 30, there were 310,000 Foxtel Now subscribers, 298,000 paying, compared to 385,000 subscribers, 375,000 paying, the prior year.

Binge, which launched in May, had 321,000, 290,000 paying, subscribers as of September 30.

Broadcast subscriber churn in the quarter increased slightly to 14.6% from 14.4% in the prior year.

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