Foxtel has used a media event in Sydney tonight to announce a significant overhaul of its entertainment TV channel line-up.
The shake-up will see the launch of four new FOX-branded entertainment channels, plus a refresh of the Lifestyle franchise which will see a long awaited return of The Real Housewives of Melbourne.
The four new channels will use the easy to understand titles; FOX ONE, FOX FUNNY, FOX HITS and FOX CRIME. The new channels will launch on November 7 and join existing FOX-branded entertainment channels FOX SHOWCASE, FOX8 and FOX CLASSICS.
Content on the new channels includes:
FOX ONE will be a new flagship channel along-side FOX SHOWCASE and FOX8 and will be home to the latest premium US network and cable series and contemporary hits including Ballers, Chicago Fire and Mayans M.C. and new season premieres including Prodigal Son, legal drama All Rise and the explosive War of the Worlds.
FOX FUNNY will showcase the latest contemporary comedy including The Big Bang Theory, Modern Family, The Office, 30 Rock and How I Met Your Mother.
FOX HITS is a new comedy channel that will deliver classic comedy favourites from the 80s and 90s such as Friends, Will and Grace, Frasier and Malcolm in the Middle.
FOX CRIME is a new channel featuring the best crime series on television including NCIS, Criminal Minds, CSI and Bones.
The launch of four new channels will coincide with the removal of three existing services. FOX FUNNY and FOX HITS will take the place of 111 FUNNY, while FOX CRIME will replace TVH!TS. The current Binge channel will also be removed.
Explaining the repositioning, Foxtel CEO Patrick Delany said:
“The channels are unapologetically and unmistakably Foxtel. They are exclusive to us and make it even easier for our customers to access our huge range of television, from the latest international and local drama series to the most popular crime and comedies.
“They add to our existing flagship FOX-branded channels and will be home to thousands of hours of the best live and on-demand TV. There is no other collection of channel brands like it on Australian television or streaming platforms.”
From 25 September, Foxtel’s Lifestyle channels will see a ‘brand revision and revitalisation’ to align with the ‘lives and aspirations’ of contemporary Australian women.
Lifestyle recently came under the control of Wendy Moore who joined Foxtel this year from Pacific Magazines. As part of the changes, the Arena channel will now become part of the Lifestyle group.
The refresh will be accompanied by the arrival of the new Foxtel Original series, Find Me a Beach House and the return of Lifestyle favourites, Love It or List It Australia and The Great Australian Bake Off.
Plus, 2020 will see the return on reality favourite, The Real Housewives of Melbourne.
Announcing the return of RHOM, Mr Delany said:
“We know that seeing your own lives and dreams beam directly to your home is a powerful motivator. Our Lifestyle channels have built a strong emotional connection with women by inspiring them with what’s on-trend and what’s possible.
“We know however that life is about the perfect mixture of sugar and spice. Part of viewer enjoyment and well-being involves indulging their guilty pleasures.
“This is where the repositioning and refresh of the Arena channel fits in as the home of risqué reality, glamour and salacious gossip and drama. This will see the channel air a fresh, new series of Australia’s Real Housewives of Melbourne in 2020.”
Content on the refreshed Lifestyle line-up will include:
Lifestyle bringing local and international experts into Australian homes including Selling Houses Australia, Grand Designs Australia, Love It or List It Australia and new series Find Me a Beach House starring Deborah Hutton.
Lifestyle Food celebrating the variety and cultural beauty of food including The Great Australian Bake Off, Masterchef UK and Hell’s Kitchen.
Lifestyle Home, the ultimate destination for 24/7 home and property entertainment including Love It or List It, A Place in The Sun and Coast v Country.
Arena, the home of guilty pleasures, glamour and fame featuring The Real Housewives franchise, Project Runway and Vanderpump Rules.
The channel changes follow yesterday’s announcement that the BBC’s new premium factual channel BBC Earth will launch on Foxtel on 10 October, bringing viewers incredible stories about the world around us including four of Sir David Attenborough’s biggest titles – Blue Planet II, Planet Earth II, Frozen Planet and The Hunt. BBC Earth will replace the existing channel BBC Knowledge and will include a significant increase in on-demand programming.