SBS will launch a new Arts & Entertainment channel on Foxtel and Austar in the first half of 2010.
The announcement follows news that the Ovation Channel will no longer be carried.
With both locally produced and acquired content, the new channel will showcase Australian and international arts, culture and entertainment including performing arts, cinema, books, opera and ballet, music, Indigenous art and art and design.
SBS says programming will include “exclusive broadcasts of selected major Australian arts and entertainment events; the best international arts content across a range of genres and forms; showcases of major arts events from Australia and around the world; original commissioned programming to engage audiences with the contemporary arts and entertainment scene; and information and reviews about performances and events throughout Australia.”
SBS Managing Director Shaun Brown said, “SBS will utilise its expertise in collating the best local and international content to deliver a channel that will be the premier on-air destination for arts and entertainment programming, news, events and debate.”
“SBS will work closely with Foxtel and Austar to use and deepen the rich relationships all three organisations have with Australia’s arts sector. The channel will become an integral part of the arts scene in this country. We will build partnerships with arts organisations and companies to celebrate and showcase the very best of Australian creative culture as well as sourcing the best arts content from markets across the globe.”
But Ovation managing director Gerry Travers told The Australian, “Foxtel has chosen to appoint a multi-channel, taxpayer-funded organisation and leverage taxpayer money for commercial purposes,” Mr Travers said. “We are disappointed.”
But SBS head of strategy and communications Bruce Meagher said no taxpayer funds were being spent on the new channel.
Aiming to attract younger and more male viewers, the channel will keep the same channel number and will remain in the same subscription package as Ovation.
A name and brand are yet to be finalised before an anticipated launch in April 2010.
It will be the second channel SBS manages on the subscription TV platforms, with World Movies already run under its PAN TV operations.
Source: The Australian
Photo: stock image.