FOX Sleuth & FOX Sci Fi channels from mid-December

Foxtel has announced two more FOX-branded Entertainment channels: FOX Sleuth & FOX Sci Fi, to launch on December 17.

The announcement was made at tonight’s Sydney launch of new Entertainment and Movies channels attended by John Travolta together with Aussies Liana Cornell (Britannia) and David Berry (Outlander).

It follows today’s announcement of a new multi-year content agreement with NBCU.

FOX Sleuth offers murder mystery titles including Vera, Endeavour, Murder, She Wrote, Murdoch Mysteries, Poirot and Magnum P.I.

FOX Sci Fi is features supernatural, paranormal and science fiction programming including Heroes, the original Charmed, Battlestar Galactica, plus Star Trek (Original Series), Star Trek: The Next Generation, Star Trek: Voyager and Star Trek: Deep Space 9.

Foxtel Executive Director Television Brian Walsh said: “The launch of the FOX Sleuth and FOX Sci Fi channels in December completes a major refresh of our Entertainment and Movies line-up providing Foxtel viewers with the best of TV and on demand for summer.

“The all-new line-up creates a distinct group of channel propositions and personalities that make Foxtel more accessible for viewers and provide us with more supplier flexibility to bring the world’s best content to our customers. They also strengthen our long association with the FOX television brand and confirm Foxtel as the brand’s exclusive home in Australia.

“FOX Sleuth will be the home of the classic whodunnit, appealing to the armchair detective in us all. The channel will feature authentic, sometimes playful characters such as Vera’s DCI Vera Stanhope played by Brenda Blethyn and Poirot starring David Suchet, all much loved by murder mystery fans particularly women.

“FOX Sci Fi provides the best in science fiction and supernatural TV and is designed to appeal to the entire family with strong characters and storylines driving the mysterious, cheeky personality of the channel.”

These channels rebrand 13th Street and Syfy channels.


  1. SyFy US is doing production deals with Netflix that cover global distribution, so their Australian channel has had little first run content. 13th Street has sold a lot of its first run rights to the ABC, so it seemed likely it would be shutting down.

    NBCU may continue to distribute to others, and run channels on Fetch, or it may have agreed not to in the deal with Foxtel. It seems likely that with the Foxtel and Seven output deals, they aren’t going to start a streaming service in Australia to compete against Disney and CBS All Access any time soon.

    • The deal Foxtel did with NBCU was about the content for those channels rather than the channels themselves. It’s about Foxtel being able to curate the channels themselves.

  2. Rearranging the deckchairs on SS Foxtanic. Where’s the new stuff? Poirot and Vera must be clocking up the frequent flier points as they flip from the ABC to the Comicals to Foxtel. Both are available on Amazon Prime for free (7 day trial).
    It’s rumoured that Foxtel will be asking it’s shareholders for more money but will Telstra cough up?

    • It may be at touch early to say SS Foxtanic as Mr.Murdoch will have a scheme or two left for his cable business assets, but what you say is true about Foxtel recycling it’s over used catalogue of well known TV titles, titles which fill all the slots which by rights should have fresh new shows each month. You have to hand it to Foxtel though, this rebranding strategy is nothing new but still must work in their promotional advertising.

  3. Whether you put the egg in the mixing bowl first or the milk first when making an omelet, at the end of the day, its still an omelet. What Foxtel are doing with their “Re-Branding” of channels is no different: they are just putting the same stuff into different bowls…

    • A lot more than that. They don’t own the current channels. They do own the new channels. The current channels are also available on Fetch. But the new channels will not be.

  4. This recent move towards largely owend and operated channels, Fox this, Fox that, is creating a rather homogenous experience from a viewer perspective. Although the content is differing (slightly) it still appears like a new outfit for the same model. Broadcast aside, something else I’ve recently noticed is that Foxtel seems to be moving away from the transparency of their package model – the website and the magazine no longer show what channels are included in the different tiers, what the costs are etc. in favour of a more esoteric ‘bundles’ system (that start at a cost-point of a tiered product at around $50 a month rather than their cheaper options). I’m uncertain if you can even self-service upgrades on the website any more, it looks like you have to engage a service rep via one of their myriad contact portals. From a customer perspective, by making things more difficult and…

    • You can view which channels are in which package via the links at the bottom of the screen on their website.

      The only changes you can’t make online are moving from the ‘old’ channel packs to the new ones, and of course downgrading your package (nothing’s changed there.

  5. All Foxtel has done is rename existing change to reflex there brand, content will be the same , google an American TV guide and you can see the same programs on the old or different channel names , don’t see Fetch being affected as they already have a contract with Universal

    • This is not true. As I commented below, based on the information in this article it appears this is not a simple rebrand but rather Foxtel replacing existing channels owned by third party broadcaster with internal versions. You are correct in saying the programming will likely be rather similar given Foxtel has arranged relevant output agreements with the main distributors, but in the bigger picture it is Foxtel continuing to cannibalise the Australian pay TV industry to reduce its costs and increase profits (something which has not always been in the customers best interests – simply look at how Syfy was in the first 12 months when Foxtel forced TV1 Partnership to close and it offered minimal content and was on constant repeat, not to mention the 30+ staff who were put out of work).

  6. “rebrand” refers to when a company changes its product. Given this sounds like Foxtel are launching new channels in lieu of two existing NBC owned channels I think the better word would be “replace”. This is TV1 General Partnerships TV1 and SF with TVH!TS and Syfy; and Showtime and Movie Network with Foxtel Movies all over again… Soon we’ll be lucky to have any channels owned by someone other than Foxtel and it’ll really be a monopoly.

    • No monopoly at all. There are plenty of FTA digital channels, local streaming services available and streaming platforms available through VPN’s and not to mention other options. There has never been more choice.

      • You are right in that there is no monopoly for overall content with FTA, STV and streaming. However, my comment related to ownership/availability of STV. Foxtel is the only satellite company in Australia (monopoly). It’s nearest competitor is Fetch (IPTV) but as Foxtel own-&-operate a large portion of the channels they make them exclusively available on its own platforms. As such, if you want to watch the latest Game of Thrones, NRL, Real Housewives, DC comics series, etc on STV (note I explicitly say STV) you have no choice but to choose Foxtel. If for example you were in the U.S. and you wanted to watch Real Housewives (Bravo) you would be able to choose between DirecTV, Dish, XFINITY, Spectrum, and the list goes on (note I’m not a Housewives fan but the example fit). Because Foxtel have been allowed to gradually consume network after network, that has increased their exclusivity of…

        • Anybody can have their channel on Foxtel’s platform, they just have to cover the costs. This was a condition of the merger with Austar.

          The small Australian market couldn’t sustain two STV providers.

  7. David do you know if this will affect Fetch, as 13th St and Sci Fi channels are part of Fetch package, not sure if Foxtel would allow Fox branded content to be on Fetch?

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