YouTube killed the video star as music ends for Channel [V]

Channel [V] Presenters 2013-The Riff

Foxtel’s Channel [V] will end as a stand-alone channel on Friday, ‘merging’ into the [V] Hits clip channel.

The decision ends a 20 year run on the Pay TV platform.

The closure is due to low viewer numbers and loss-making, as younger viewers turn to YouTube to watch the latest music videos. An industry source told TV Tonight the decision was “a long time coming.”

Clip channel  [V] Hits will remain, as will older-skewing music channels MAX, CMC and Smooth.

A Foxtel spokesperson said, “We are making some changes to our music channels on Foxtel. Starting from this Saturday, February 27 you will begin to see some changes to Channel [V].  Following on from that, from March 25 we will no longer use the Channel [V] brand, which will change to V Hits and V Hits +2.  V Hits features a line-up of music videos and countdowns, including the latest hits from Australia and around the world.”

The decision said to be unrelated to a recent stand-off with Universal Music, but is believed to have been sudden with Foxtel still publicising events such as [V] Island Parties for March as recently as 2 days ago. Other local productions such as B4:30 have been few of late, while The Riff (pictured) ended last year.

Channel [V] contracted-presenter Danny Clayton will be retained by Foxtel.

Pedestrian has leaked an email from Brian Walsh, Director of Television:

Dear Colleagues,

As foreshadowed in my presentation yesterday, we are making changes across our organisation in order to be match fit in an increasingly competitive landscape. One area I discussed with you was channel rationalisation. 
Over the past several years music clips have become ubiquitous with availability on services like YouTube, whilst linear broadcast audiences for music channels have been in steady decline. In order to run the Foxtel music services more efficiently we have decided to merge Channel [V] and [V] Hits. 
The new service will be called [V] Hits and we will create a +2 of this channel. [V] Hits will continue to be a clip based channel with no long form content.
This change will begin to take place this Saturday, with the channel branding completed by late March.
I would like to thank the music team for their hard work and dedication in making Channel [V] an integral part of the Australian music landscape throughout the years.
I would also like to thank those team members leaving us today. You leave with our best wishes for your onward journey.
Brian Walsh & Stephen Baldwin


  1. Armchair Analyst

    This is yet another example of when you mess with the format the show/channel eventually gets the axe. Video Hits changed formats before youtube certainly before youtube became prominent. Channel V was a victim of change for changes sake. They could have just axed VHits and made Channel V a music clip channel mixed with performance shows.

  2. Sad to read this news. I was lucky enough to work for Channel V as one of the first jobs of my career back in the late 90s, as a lot of young people were back then. While it started as a simple clip channel with “local” programming consisting of prerecorded intros to clips, it evolved to something truly unique, finding form once it moved to Fox Studios. By Demand, Room 208, Jabba’s Morning Glory, the Music Bus – the channel produced huge amounts of live programming each week. And there were some truly special live performances out at Fox too – Foo Fighters and REM to name just two. Fortunately many survive on YouTube. Good memories.

  3. No big loss. channel v has been getting worse worse. B430 what a joke of a programe. Go over sea’s and look at the buildings kids. Yeah right. No more kissing the big day’s out’s butt. Blame the band keep our broadcast rights it was the bands fault.

  4. My favourite of the lost Foxtel music channels was the Movie Soundtrack channel, which as the name implies played music clips from movies and interspersed them with movie previews. Sadly it was one of the first to close.

  5. Wow I definitely didn’t see this coming. Especially given a quick look at the OzTAM B2 reports shows it is still outperforming MTV’s video clip channels, as well as out-rating entertainment channels like Style and Foxtel Arts. But Foxtel make a good point that they have to keep up with viewing trends. But in saying that, why waste bandwidth on a +2 channel when they could better use it to launch another HD feed (something that viewers do want and isn’t as available via the internet)? TVH!TS, UKTV, Comedy, MTV, E!, CI – all channel which have good viewer shares and are flooded with content filmed in HD. Just my opinion.

    • No sure if it’s happening but for last 2 weeks the program info on channel E has the HD symbol not sure if this is a coincidence or not? Maybe HD channel in works?

      • I too have noticed that. I sent a Tweet to FOXTEL about it back in November and got no reply – whether that is because they are trying to keep it under wraps or if it is just an error I have no idea.

    • Agree on the +2 channel for music. Such a waste of bandwidth – more so than other +2 channels. Converting an existing channel to HD would have made much more sense.

      And with the number of people that have iQ boxes, surely there is no need for +2 channels anymore. I too would much rather see some of the existing channels bumped up to HD.

  6. I’m surprised it has lasted this long really. Don’t even know how V Hits will survive.

    Though making a +2 channel of V Hits seems a waste, it would be nice if Foxtel provided some new general entertainment channels instead of just shutting down channels (eg. Bio)

  7. It’s a shame, but the channel it a shadow of its former self. Most gyms have V Hits on screen rather than Channel V, since they decreased the number of music videos and went down the MTV/VH1 format of entertainment based program. I rarely have the channel on at home these days.
    Channel V did a lot for the music industry and help develop the careers of many people like Yumi, Osher, James and Jabba.

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