EXCLUSIVE | FOXTEL prepared for life without DISNEY Channels

As the streaming war intensifies, and more services confirm plans to launch within Australia. Foxtel has now confirmed details of a full channel refresh.

As previously revealed by this website, November 7 will see the removal of the Disney Movie channel. The move will mean the loss of content from studios including Disney Animation, Pixar, and Marvel.

UPDATE: A previous version of this article indicated two more channels, Disney and Disney Jnr would be removed from the Foxtel platform by the end of Summer in 2020.

Foxtel now advises that while contracts for these two channels are set to expire early next year, negotiations are continuing with Disney to keep kids programming on the platform.

The departure of Disney content from Foxtel comes as the US entertainment giant prepares to launch its own dedicated streaming service Disney+ in Australia on November 19.

Foxtel will not be the only business affected by the launch of Disney+. Locally owned streaming service STAN will also soon no longer have access to the Disney library, which includes titles from Marvel, Pixar and Star Wars. 

The removal of Disney programming will no doubt be a blow for Foxtel customers. A spokesperson for the business indicated plans were in place to add additional services, adding that Foxtel remained;

"very conscious of delivering a great kids experience".

Foxtel will remain the home of Nickelodeon, Cartoon Network and BBC kids programming. The integration of ABC iview streaming into the IQ interface will also provide Foxtel customers easy access to a considerable library of kids titles, including the incredibly popular Australian series Bluey.

Disney will continue to provide Foxtel with a range of new and library titles from the 20th Century Fox catalogue. This will include animation favourites such as The Simpsons, Family Guy, American Dad, and Bob's Burgers, and sitcoms like Modern Family and Fresh Off The Boat. 

Additionally, Foxtel will remain the exclusive home in Australia of Disney's newly acquired FX studio, which this year, has produced series including the Emmy-Award winning Fosse/Verdon, and Ryan Murphy's Pose and American Crime Story.

In 2020, FX will deliver Cate Blanchett's new drama series, Mrs America and the highly anticipated event series, Shogun, based on the critically acclaimed novel by James Clavell.

November 7 will see a refresh of the Foxtel Movies service. The ten dedicated linear movies channels will include a new family channel Foxtel Movies Kids, plus a new dedicated Movies Ultra HD 4K channel for iQ4 customers and over 1000 movies will continue to be available to stream On Demand. 

Movies Kids will replace Disney Movies. Key content at launch will include kids' favourites Shaun the Sheep, Storks, Wallace & Gromit: Curse of the Were Rabbit, Adventures of Elmo in Grouch Land, and Early Man.

More titles will be added weekly once the channel launches on November 7. The new Movies Kids channel will complement the Foxtel Movies Family channel where animations continue including Shrek, How To Train Your Dragon, Megamind, Shark Tale, Monsters Vs Aliens and family favourite franchises such as Harry Potter and Fantastic Beasts, Home Alone, as well as the latest new family films like The Kid Who Would be King A Dog's Way Home and coming in December, The Lego Movie 2 and Wonder.

Foxtel Movies Ultra HD (replacing the Rugby World Cup 4K channel) will include this year's hits such as Aquaman, Bumblebee and titles including MI: Ghost Protocol, Saving Private Ryan, and movies from the wizarding world with all eight Harry Potter movies as well as Fantastic Beasts & Where to Find Them, and Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindlewald.

Other changes in the refreshed Foxtel Movie line-up include: 

  • Masterpiece Movies refreshed as Movies Drama.

  • More Movies refreshed as Movies Hits.

  • Movie Greats refreshed as Movies Masterpiece.

First release and classic Disney movies will continue to be available for pay-per-view in Foxtel Store including the Box Office hit of the year The Lion King, Aladdin, Toy Story 4, much-loved Finding Nemo and Frozen, as well as classics Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty, Beauty & the Beast, and many more.

As previously announced, on November 7 Foxtel will launch four new and exclusive FOX-branded Entertainment channels - FOX ONE, FOX FUNNY, FOX HITS and FOX CRIME in addition to existing FOX-branded entertainment channels FOX SHOWCASE, FOX8 and FOX CLASSICS. These channels will launch with new shows War of the Worlds, Prodigal Son, and the breakout hit of the new US season, All Rise, as well as returning favourites Outlander, SWAT,  the all new Magnum P.I and Chicago Fire.

November 7 will also see the launch of FOX Sports Ultra HD. The channel will become the dedicated home of Foxtel's 4K Sports content, the new service will replace the existing 4K channel.

Foxtel CEO Patrick Delany welcomed the refreshed channel line-up,

"We have a huge summer coming up and this just the start of the exciting announcements we have in stall including an amazing summer of cricket.

The new channels across movies and entertainment add to our existing flagship 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 those Foxtel offers on Australian television or streaming platforms."