What is Foxtel Play?

Foxtel Play is a subscription video on demand service provider that allows consumers to watch video entertainment online. Key information about this provider includes:

  • The service is operated by Foxtel, Australia’s largest pay television provider

  • The content is largely a selection of videos aired on Foxtel’s pay television service.

How can I join and play videos using Foxtel Play?

To join Foxtel Play, you will need a credit or debit card.

  1. Go to the Foxtel Play website

  2. Select the ‘Get your 2 week free trial now’ button

  3. Follow the on-screen prompts

Note: If you do not want to be charged for using the Foxtel service, you will need to cancel before the end of your 2-week free trial.

To watch Foxtel Play, you will need a device that is:

  • Connected to the internet

  • Capable of running a web browser or a Foxtel Play app

Devices can include:

  • Smart TV

  • Game console

  • Smartphone or tablet

  • Desktop or laptop computer

Specific information can be found on the Foxtel Play home page.

What accessibility features are common to playing videos online?

There are two main features that support the playback of online videos in an accessible way:

  • Captions: this is the text version of speech and other sound that can be provided on videos. Captions can be either open (which means the captions are always on) or closed (which allows the consumer to turn the captions on or off).

  • Audio description: this is when spoken narration is used to describe visual content. Narration is usually included between bits of dialogue and can be used to describe visual elements such as scenes, settings, actions and costumes.

In addition, the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) has produced the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.0 to make sure that creators of web and app content can include accessibility features such as captions, audio description and an accessible interface for assistive technology users. A simplified version of this standard is also available.

How accessible is Foxtel Play?

According to research conducted by Curtin University, Perth:

  • Closed captions are currently not available on this Foxtel service.

  • Audio described content is currently not available on this Foxtel service.

  • The website and apps on devices such as tablets are not entirely WCAG 2.0 compliant, meaning that some users are likely to experience difficulties in finding and playing video content with their assistive technologies.

What tips and tricks can I use to overcome the accessibility barriers on Foxtel Play?

Here are some tips and tricks provided by consumers that have used Foxtel Play to maximise your accessibility:

  • Try a different device: consumers have indicated that some platforms may be easier to use with assistive technologies than others. For example, if you are having difficulty with the website, the app on an Android-based tablet or an iOS device such as an iPad may work better with the device’s built-in accessibility features

  • Watch Foxtel pay television instead: the broadcast channels of Foxtel provide closed caption content, and as such this may be a better alternative than the streaming service if there are specific shows you enjoy that are only available on Foxtel.

Are there more accessible video on demand services available?

There are a number of different subscription video on demand services available to consumers, and these services offer different accessible content. With most services offering some form of free trial, it may be worth testing a service to determine which one works best for you. In addition to this tip sheet, Curtin University has also created tip sheets for Stan, Presto, Quickflix and Netflix Australia.

The video I want to play is not accessible. What can I do?

If you are unable to find or play a video due to accessibility issues, there are a number of steps you can take to voice your concerns. Please refer to the Video on Demand Subscription Services: Accessibility and Your Consumer Rights tip sheet created by Curtin University as part of this series or follow the links in the help section below.

Where can I get additional help and information?

For additional help regarding Foxtel Play, you can go to Foxtel Play Support. There are also opportunities for consumers to discuss service issues.

The operation of the Australian Communications Consumer Action Network is made possible by funding provided by the Commonwealth of Australia under section 593 of the Telecommunications Act 1997. This funding is recovered from charges on telecommunications carriers.