Mittagong RSL has relinquished its commercial Foxtel subscription after a major price hike proved unafforable for the club.
General manager Craig Madsen said the club was first notified of the price hike in August 2018 and decided to switch off the pay TV service after several months consideration.
Foxtel undertook a reassessment for how it bills venues, taking into consideration variables such as venue capacity and the number of poker machines.
Mr Madsen said the club had been facing rising operating costs and couldn’t justify the more than 76 per cent price increase from $54,000 to $95,000 a year.
“It would mean cutting into our sponsorships and club grants and that’s not something we were willing to do,” he said.
“I think Foxtel were hoping that it was so entrenched in our business that we would keep going with it, but the fact of the matter is we just can’t afford to have it.”
Mr Madsen said he was aware that other clubs were facing similar price increases, but was unaware of what action would be taken by them.
“I know that there are clubs down in Goulburn who have had their prices rise and another one in Dapto. It may be that we’re the tip of the iceberg,” he said.
Moss Vale Hotel licensee Tom Porter said he had not received notification of a price increase as yet, but was anticipating one to arrive in the near future.
I think Foxtel just don’t understand what’s happening in regional areas...it’s extortion,Tom Porter, Moss Vale Hotel licensee
"I’ve had no notification yet that the price will be increased. I think Foxtel just don’t understand what’s happening in regional areas. It’s extortion and it’s a tough decision to make," he said.
It is understood that Foxtel is facing mounting pressure to improve its bottom line as it faces tough competition from streaming services like Netflix and Stan and increasing programming costs.
Last year, Foxtel paid Cricket Australia $105 million per season for broadcasting rights and a steep increase for contracts with the AFL and NRL.
Mittagong RSL finished broadcasting Foxtel on January 2 and the company is yet to pick up its equipment.
“I thinki they’re hoping we might change our mind. We're not going to relent but I’m happy to have a chat about a relaistic price,” Mr Madsen said.