Foxtel has confirmed plans to outsource all of its music programming under a new partnership with CBS Viacom.
The new arrangement will see the closure of three internally produced Foxtel channels [V], Max and CMC, to be replaced by a new line-up of MTV branded content.
From July 1 the music channel collection will be spearheaded by MTV HITS, together with MTV Classic, Club MTV, CMT (Country Music Television) and the brand-new Nick Music, a kid-safe and family-friendly music video channel for 4-15 year olds featuring chart-topping hits by the world’s most popular artists.
The expanded portfolio will be owned and operated by VCNI with the MTV and CMT-branded channels all programmed in Australia for Australian audiences.
The new agreement with VCNI also includes renewal of existing popular channels Nickelodeon, Nick Jr. and MTV on the Foxtel platform. At this stage, it remains unclear how many jobs will be lost at Foxtel due to the outsourcing arrangement.
The music channel [V] (originally called Red) has been part of the Australian pay-tv industry since the beginning in 1995. At its peak it was producing hundreds of hours of LIVE television per year and provided a launchpad for many of today’s popular presenters including James Mathieson, Jane Gazzo, Yumi Stynes, Jabba and Osher Gunsberg (Andrew G). Since 2016 the channel has operated without presenters.
Its also not know what the future is for Smooth branded music content on Foxtel with a spokesperson indicating an announcement will be made soon. Smooth music content on Foxtel is produced by the Nova Entertainment group.
Foxtel Chief Commercial Officer, Amanda Laing, said:
“We are delighted to forge this new partnership with ViacomCBS which reaffirms Foxtel’s commitment to music television designed for Australian audiences.
“The agreement continues the refresh of Foxtel’s channel line-up and provides our customers with an even greater choice of music genres. ViacomCBS are global leaders in music television with a long-standing commitment to Australian music and we are pleased to continue building on our relationship with them with this historic new arrangement.”
ViacomCBS Executive Vice President, Music & Talent Programming / Events, Bruce Gillmer said:
“Expanding ViacomCBS Networks International’s portfolio of music channels allows us to build even deeper relationships with Australian music fans, artists and labels. These branded channels resonate with music fans all over the world and launching in Australia gives us even more opportunity to bring audiences great music across genres.”
“We’ve showcased incredible Australian artists from Gang of Youths to The Veronicas internationally. Launching these new music brands on Foxtel gives more Australian artists the opportunity to connect with fans locally and, potentially, around the world.”
Foxtel Executive Director of Television, Brian Walsh, added:
“Music remains as a strategically important part of the Foxtel content story and emphasises the depth and richness of our programming. These new channels will all be programmed by Australians, for Australians continuing our passion for local music curation.”
“We are proud of the heritage of our owned and operated music channels and the success they have enjoyed entertaining Foxtel customers for the past 25 years. I want to acknowledge the management and music teams, past and present, who created Channel V, Max and CMC.
“Creating a great entertainment experience for our subscribers means constant renewal in every aspect of our business and our partnership with Viacom provides a fresh, new direction for music on Foxtel.”
Foxtel also provides its customers with an extensive range of commercial-free audio music channels, comprising over 20 different streams of non-stop, uninterrupted music to complement the Viacom CBS broadcast channels.