Group's recent growth due to rise in digital subs

Paybox platform Foxtel posted its first full-year profit since pay TV started in Oz in 1995 thanks to strong subscriptions and a lift in revenues.

Group saw an operating profit of A$169 million ($130 million) in 2005/06 against a loss $6.9 million the previous year; net profit was $3 million.

The group’s positive result is based on a recent growth in digital subscribers with 1.13 million subs as of June 30, a rise of 10% over the previous year.

The platform has had a big year. Foxtel joined with Network Ten to ink an output deal with 20th Century Fox Television Distribution, the first joint feevee/free-to-air programming agreement.

Group also has output deals with Buena Vista Television, CBS Paramount, NBC Universal, Warner Bros. and Mark Burnett Prods.

Foxtel has also had local drama success with skein “Love My Way,” which has won kudos and auds for feevee. Third season of “Love My Way” will bow later this year and Foxtel recently announced a new crime drama “Dangerous.”

Foxtel is a joint venture that is 50% owned by telco Telstra; Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp. and Publishing and Broadcasting Ltd. each own 25%.

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