Paying high fees for a subscription to Foxtel is taking a toll on clubs and pubs.
Recently, Mittagong RSL gave up its commercial subscription to the service after a price hike of more than 76 per cent to $95,000 per year became unaffordable.
Price increases have also hit the Bega Valley. General manager for Club Bega Dave Mitchell said in 2014 the club was charged about $16,000 each year, which has now doubled to over $32,000.
He said about four years ago there was an increase of around 60 per cent for their subscription, which resulted in the club cancelling the pay TV service for 12 months.
The club asked its members if they wanted it to be cancelled and 80 per cent agreed the price increase was “ridiculous”, Mr Mitchell said. But since then club has created a sports room and signed up again.
“It’s similar having a TAB; most clubs generally lose money on their TAB, but we consider it a service so we just grin and bear it,” Mr Mitchell said.
Owner of the Grand Hotel in Bega Peter Turner also said he was “paying a large amount” for his business’s subscription to Foxtel, but said it had not increased much for him over recent years. He said the reason his hotel was still signed up was because it was “expected to have it”, so there were no plans to unsubscribe.
“You’ve got to have it because nearly everyone has it, but you don’t do well off it. We don’t get our money back on it, put it that way. I just don’t go on a holiday once a year; we have Foxtel instead,” Mr Turner said.
Bermagui Country Club’s general manager Robert Beuzeville said his club paid “a reasonable fee” for Foxtel, but last March the payments had increased $18 per week.
He said as free-to-air TV channels were airing an increasing amount of sport there could come a time when the pay TV service was unnecessary.
“In the not too distant future Foxtel could be a thing of the past for clubs like us,” he said.
Tathra Beach Country Club’s assistant general manager Garry Newton said the club had made inquiries into getting the service 12 months ago, but said it was “out of our price range”.