New SBS Arts channel to replace Ovation

Comedy_tragedySBS 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.

22 Comments:

  1. The new Arts and Entertainment channel replacing Ovation can always go on channel 135 instead of Ovation’s old spot of channel 125.

    I reckon the added bonus of the new Arts and Entertainment channel will be, how it aims to attract younger and more male viewers, I also reckon the channel should get a new channel number but remain in the same subscription package as Ovation. I definitely like the idea of the younger and more male viewers as the new channel’s viewer demographic.. Below is how the channels on Foxtel should be from January 1st 2010.

    Tv1 – Ch101, Uktv – Ch103, Arena – Ch105, Lifestyle – Ch106, Fox8 – Ch108, 111 Hits – Ch111, Comedy Channel – Ch112, 13th Street – Ch113, Fox Classics – Ch114, W – 115, Hallmark – Ch116, Bio – Ch117, Lifestyle Food – Ch118, How To – Ch119, Lifestyle You – Ch120, E! – Ch121, Style Network – Ch122, Fashion Tv – Ch123, Mtv – Ch124, Bravo – Ch125, Sci Fi – Ch132, Animax – Ch133, New Arts Channel – Ch135, Box Office Preview – Ch138, Nitv – Ch180, Aurora – Ch183

  2. The new Arts and Entertainment channel replacing Ovation can always go on channel 135 instead of Ovation’s old spot of channel 125.

    I reckon the added bonus of the new Arts and Entertainment channel will be, how it aims to attract younger and more male viewers, I also reckon the channel should get a new channel number but remain in the same subscription package as Ovation. I definitely like the idea of the younger and more male viewers as the new channel’s viewer demographic..

  3. I am constantly amazed at the nasty comments about Andre Rieu, as if viewers are forced to watch?? There are just as many repeats of every other programme that has been shown on Ovation (and every other channel does likewise). There is plenty of variety on offer to please all tastes. Thank you to SBS for picking up the performing arts for those of us who appreciate it. I may reconsider retaining my subscription to pay TV.

  4. I wonder if this channel will be in the standard packagaing of the foxtel offerings or whether it will be in one of the add ons. Despite what SBS say its hard to imagine that there are no tax dollars or portion thereof going into its productions costs. Some of the existing infrastructure must be used to present it and therfore some tax dollars are employed. I dont think it would be right for foxtel to have this as an add on it should be treated like the other FTA’a. If its inlcuded in the add ons I will be writing to federal memebers and Senators.

  5. I think they will do a good job. They usually pick up decent overseas programs that the commercial networks overlook and they should have a library of arts and documentary programs.

    But I hope they did not initiate the cancelling of Ovation channel by making a proposal to Foxtel to drop it so they could replace it with their own channel.

  6. Wow…. did’t see that coming. But it seems to be a good fit with the goals of SBS as an organisation. I always thought ovation was a waste of a channel. Don’t think I have ever watched one program on it.

  7. Wow, really didn’t see this coming! No complaints from me, as SBS seems to be running their primary channel pretty well these days (okay, maybe “Channel 9 syndrome” has sunk in a bit), so I’m pretty confident they’ll do a good job with this.

    Now I just really want to know why Ovation was kicked off the air. The way the managing director is talking, it makes it seem that they were forcibly ousted by Foxtel.

    This whole debacle is the most interesting thing that has happened in the arts area for a long time!

  8. And the FTA viewer gets screwed my missing out on a prime digital multi-channel – Genre TV is what is needed for FTA Digital to succeed. SBS, you have a chance to do that now

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