Foxtel Boss confident progress is being made against Internet Pirates

Bruce Meagher, Marta Dusseldorp, Peter Tonagh and Mitch Fifield
Image source - Mediaweek

Foxtel’s CEO, Peter Tonagh has declared his company is making significant progress in its ongoing battle against internet piracy.

Speaking last week at a Parliament House reception in Canberra, Tonagh thanked politicians for their support in passing legislation against Piracy.

Foxtel has already had success in blocking popular torrenting services The Pirate Bay, Torrentz, TorrentHound and IsoHunt.

The NewsCorp/Telstra owned company last week made an application to the Federal Court seeking a further 128 domains be blocked by Australian Internet Service Providers.

As part of the speech, Tonagh made a point to avoid discussion about Women’s Sport coverage and a controversial 30 Million government grant Fox Sports will receive for accepting new restrictions on Gambling Advertising.

Excerpt from the speech by Foxtel CEO, Peter Tonagh

"Make no bones about it; Piracy is a real threat to our industry.
An industry that provides employment for more than 8,000 Australians and that invests $900 million in Australian content every year.
Tonight, I am not here to whinge about piracy; but rather, to celebrate our wins and to thank you for your support.
Last year, Australia was the number one country in the world for illegal piracy of the fabulous Game of Thrones. Number one! Not per capita but in the absolute number of illegal streams or downloads.
This year, Game of Thrones continues to be as popular as ever. Our audiences have grown by 16% cementing it as the biggest show in Subscription Television history.
But the good news is that Australia has been dethroned. We are no longer the number one country for piracy. In fact, we are not even in the top ten.
That hasn't happened by chance. We have long argued that we need three pillars to fight piracy
First, make the content accessible to Australians.
This year Game of Thrones was available on our Foxtel Now service for just $15/month.
It was available at the exact time that it went to air in the US and has been available, on demand, along with every episode of every other season, since its premiere screening on July 17.
That's why we added more subscribers in the two weeks leading up to Game of Thrones than our growth in the whole year prior.
Second, we need to educate Australians on piracy. We have been softly doing that and will ramp up with a strong on air campaign very shortly.
Third, and most importantly, we need the ability to take action.
Since site blocking legislation was passed in 2015 - thank you very much - we have shut down over 130 illegal domains. A decision is pending in the studios second application and we were back in court yesterday with the next lot.
And site blocking does work. Traffic to sites in the UK decreased 90% following site blocking orders and we are seeing similar significant decreases locally.
In addition, last Friday the NSW District court handed down an 18 month suspended sentence to a Foxtel pirate
A pirate that was operating an illegal network that provided free Foxtel access to more than 8000 consumers.
This conviction sends a strong signal to the community that piracy will not be tolerated. We are grateful to the Australian Federal Police for their assistance and encourage the government to commit resources to further supporting their efforts.
The next wave of piracy is via Live streaming on social media, in particular Facebook and Google. We are working closely with all social media platforms and we are making some progress.
But we must continue to be able to put pressure on these platforms to invest in stopping piracy. That's why you cannot and should not provide them with safe harbour protections."

- Peter Tonagh, Foxtel CEO