Foxtel announces BBC Earth channel

Foxtel extends its deal with BBC for drama, entertainment, docos, with BBC Earth to replace BBC Knowledge.

A BBC Earth channel will launch on Foxtel later this year, as part of a renewed deal between both parties.

Featuring natural history series, including Sir David Attenborough, it will replace BBC Knowledge channel.

The long-term extension with BBC spans premium British drama, entertainment, documentaries, natural history, children’s and includes thousands of additional hours of on demand content.

Foxtel CEO Patrick Delany said: “We know how much Foxtel customers love the BBC’s fabulous shows and we are incredibly pleased to put in place a new agreement providing a long-term extension to our 24-year relationship.

“For Foxtel, the new agreement is another step in ensuring we are future fit. Our integration of Netflix into the New Foxtel Experience dramatically increased on demand content available through Foxtel.

“This agreement provides a five-fold increase in BBC programming available on demand. It helps ensure we continue to deliver on our promise to provide customers with the best TV and on demand content, all in one place.”

Jon Penn, Managing Director for BBC Studios said: “We’re delighted to be continuing our successful partnership with Foxtel, bringing Australian viewers the BBC channels and programs they love, and giving them the opportunity to consume them in the way they want to.

“As an added bonus, viewers will be getting a new channel dedicated to the BBC’s premium documentaries, offering some of the greatest natural history series ever produced.”

Jamie Chambers, Regional Director ANZ, BBC World News & BBC.com said: “In a world where media diversity and access to a range of viewpoints is more important than ever, as the leaders in global breaking news we are pleased the partnership continues to offer Foxtel’s audiences access to BBC World News’ independent, impartial and trusted journalism.”

The content agreement will see the following channels on Foxtel:

• BBC First. The go-to channel for premium British drama including on demand access to boxsets of the BBC’s top franchises. BBC First on Foxtel includes Australian premiere rights to Call the Midwife, Death in Paradise and Silent Witness, plus new dramas including World on Fire starring Helen Hunt and Stephen Poliakoff’s Summer of Rockets, starring Keeley Hawes.
• BBC UKTV. Watched by 1.4 million Foxtel households each month, UKTV is the home of British continuing dramas including Australian premiere episodes of EastEnders, Coronation Street and Emmerdale, plus chat-shows, celebrity specials, quiz and variety shows and classic British comedy.
• BBC Earth. The new BBC channel connecting viewers with the world, through documentaries from the world’s most inspiring and passionate experts. This includes the best of Sir David Attenborough from BBC Studio’s acclaimed Natural History production unit, alongside science programming, adventure series and human stories from experts including Louis Theroux, Michael Mosley, Kate Humble and Professor Brian Cox.
• BBC CBeebies. The BBC’s best-loved British children’s programming including Hey Duggee, Thomas & Friends and Sarah & Duck.
• BBC World News. Under the agreement with BBC World News, Foxtel will continue to deliver the BBC’s impartial, in-depth analysis of international news including sport, weather, business, current affairs and documentaries.

The Foxtel-BBC agreement also provides first-run territory premiere rights for BBC lifestyle programming for viewing on Foxtel network channels and on demand offerings.

BBC Studios will continue its partnership with Foxtel’s advertising sales arm, Multi Channel Network (MCN), for the broadcaster’s advertising sales representation in Australia. The partnership sees MCN represent BBC Studios television and on demand properties for BBC First, BBC UKTV and the new BBC Earth channel.

14 Responses

  1. Most of the premium Natural History content has been sold on the market. The ABC, 9, 10 and Animal Planet have bought a lot of it. BBC Knowledge used to have the 2nd tier stuff: Horizon, Archeology and History docos, Bang Goes The Theory. SBS has been buying many of the docos.

    For the last 5 years Knowledge has had wall to wall repeats of Top Gear, Bear Grylls, Theroux and silly contest shows. Won’t miss that.

  2. It’s taken BBC and Foxtel long enough to replace Knowledge with Earth – BBC started the rollout in 2015! I would hazard a bet that Australia is one of the last counties to make the switch. But nevertheless good that we’ve caught up and that Foxtel’s on demand library keeps growing. Maybe part of the deal should have included UKTV getting it’s HD feed back though…

  3. Wait, replacing BBC Knowledge? Does that mean no more Top Gear? I enjoyed watching those repeats as I had never seen many of those episodes before.

    Doesn’t seem like a bonus to me to be replacing one channel with another. That’s a replacement, not an addition.

    1. Foxtel is pathetic, they add a new channel as long as they can delete an existing channel, wtf, why remove BBC Knowledge?! Foxtel has gone to crap in the last year, channels are constantly being deleted… shame

  4. BBC Knowledge should have been named The Top Gear Channel from the get go! It was rebranded in New Zealand months ago, but don’t think it was BBC Earth tho…

  5. How is it an added bonus when one channel is just replacing the other ? I wonder if Top Gear remain on BBC Earth as it is currently rerun multiple times on BBC Knowledge . They need to ditch the ads on UKTV as we are paying $29 for basic channels with 10 mins of ads during Eastenders

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