Foxtel launching own Foxtel Arts HD channel
Foxtel is launching its own Foxtel Arts HD channel in March, replacing its partnership with the SBS operated arts and entertainment channel Studio.
Foxtel and SBS struck the deal in 2010 when Foxtel dropped its Ovation channel. SBS used the opportunity to widen its arts viewing demographic from the primarily over-55s. The two channels invested $2 million in creating local productions and covering major festivals as well as events like the Helpmann Awards and Archie Roach, Shane Howard and Neil Murray at WOMADelaide.
Foxtel said the Foxtel Arts, which it will own and operate, will showcase all artistic forms including “the world’s finest opera and ballet productions, theatre, dance, cabaret, classical and contemporary performance as well as informative documentary specials and series from the diverse world of cinema, literature, music, visual art, artists and the history of ideas and techniques from which art is created.”
It added, the new channel will extend its “commitment to fostering and supporting Australia’s creative industries and arts organisations. As a vital part of Australia’s cultural life the channel will feature locally produced magazine shows and specials, festival news and information, in depth interviews and review.
“It will participate in and support the broad spectrum of arts communities working in Australia today and invite Foxtel subscribers to enjoy an ongoing awareness of Australia’s rich creativity and the inspiring people behind its dynamic artistic expression.”
SBS will continue to air its Studio content on SBS ONE and the SBS On Demand catch-up service. Its General Manager of Subscription TV Chris Keely said it would “cement SBS’s commitment to the arts by providing Studio to all Australians.” It will strike more partnerships with the arts sector.
SBS’ effectiveness in breaking acts was proven when, in partnership with Universal Music Australia, it began to screen Dutch violinist Andre Rieu’s European shows. Rieu became a phenomenon in Australia as a result, selling $50 million in albums and DVDs by 2010 and notching up 134 Platinum certifications. He became the biggest selling music artist in this country, and his tours outsold those by most major rock names.