Foxtel to acquire Showtime channels

Foxtel has announced that it has reached agreement with the shareholders of the Premium Movie Partnership (PMP) to acquire certain assets of the PMP business.

Showtime channels include showtime premiere, showcase, showtime action, showtime comedy, showtime drama and enjoy rights to HBO and Showtime titles such as Dexter, Game of Thrones, Breaking Bad, Sons of Anarchy, True Blood, Boardwalk Empire, Veep and more.

Showtime also produced Cloudstreet, SatisfactionTangle and The Playlist for the local market.

A statement said the current PMP channels would be directly produced and managed by Foxtel and the majority of current PMP staff would be offered positions at Foxtel.

Foxtel CEO, Richard Freudenstein said, “This is a very sensible transaction for Foxtel. It drives synergies and savings that will enable us to offer a better movie and premium drama product to our subscribers. Bringing the PMP channels in-house will perfectly complement our recently launched drama channel SoHo.”

Movie Network channels including Movie One, Movie Extra, FMC and Starpics remain independently managed.

The deal, which is subject to a number of conditions precedent, is expected to be completed by 31 October.


  1. Showtime’s Showcase competes directly with Foxtel’s Soho and Fox’s FX for US premium cable dramas.

    Foxtel’s basic channels were based on cheap FTA rejects and repeats and haven’t done that well. They have recently launched Soho and FX and thrown heaps of new content at Showcase, and then made Showtime an offer they can’t refuse to get control of that market.

    It would be good if they move Showcase’s content from the movie package to the premium drama package where it belongs. That would make the drama package value for money and allow me to ditch the useless movie package.

  2. @ bill – the more channels Foxtel own, the less chance of any competing STV providers as they will have to broadcast Foxtel owned channels – meaning Foxtel makes money whether they are the STV provider or not. This is quickly becoming like Sky in the U.K. or Shaw Direct in Canada. Australia should be like the U.S. where the STV provider owns a couple of channels which differentiates it from it’s competition, but all other channels are owned by other companies which allows for competition and for the growth of media companies.In my opinion, A&E Networks should buy back A&E, History, CI and Bio; Universal should buy back Arena; Fox International Channels (FIC) should buy FOX8 and FOX Classics; and Viacom (MTV Networks) should buy Nickelodeon (35%), Nick Jr (35%) Country Music Channel, and Comedy.This would leave Foxtel with The LifeStyle Channels, SoHo, The Weather Channel, Main Event (& Adults Only), 111 Hits, as well as the music channels (V, V Hits, and Max) which is plenty is enough to allow for a STV competitor to launch and either purchase alternatives or pay for Foxtel’s channels without loosing too much money.

  3. @ David – what do you mean? Are you saying that Foxtel may also acquire Movie Network? If so, I guess it would be like Sky Movies in the U.K. where they saturate the market covering most genres with other companies only have 1-2 channels (TCM, MGM, Movies4Men, etc.).

  4. Glad to see they are not gobbling up the Movie Network as well and allowing a bit of diversity in the Foxtel offering. If it was all Foxtel owned and controlled channels a certain sameyness of approach would be inevitable.

  5. You’ve gotta be kidding me. I have been wishing Foxtel would sell some of their assets as they own half the channels available (slight exaggeration, but they do own half the entertainment and half the documentary channels). So Foxtel will produce and manage the channels, but does that mean they have brought shares in the network?
    On a positive note, atleast this may mean that there is a better chance of more Showtime HD channels in the near future (with movie and sport channels most benefiting from a HD feed this is good news that Foxtel now have their “finger in the pie”). On the downside, if they do get priority then entertainment channels such as TV1 who have a large audience share and have HD content would likely miss out. Seriously don’t know whether this news is good or bad.

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