New channels FOX One, FOX Crime, FOX Hits and FOX Funny launch today as Foxtel realigns its Entertainment channels.
FOX One is a first-run drama channel, largely with US network titles. It will operate as a companion to FOX Showcase which remains the first choice for premium HBO and FX cable titles.
FOX Crime, FOX Hits and FOX Funny are library channels with nostalgic brands.
All new channels are available on the Basic package, including for Foxtel Now customers, with TV Hits and Binge channel being removed.
FOX One will include Chicago Fire, Chicago PD, All Rise, Prodigal Son, Outlander, Warrior, Mayans M.C, Ballers, Days of Our Lives, Young & Restless in HD.
“FOX One will be a companion channel to FOX Showcase, which continues to be the destination for premium drama -specifically shows from HBO and FX. FOX One will be younger-skewed, and feature more US network first-run series,” said Foxtel Executive Director of Television Brian Walsh.
“Another factor in our decision is we are now receiving so much content from HBO and FX. They have increased the number of hours they are delivering to us. So we needed another destination.”
FOX Crime will feature procedural dramas such as NCIS, CSI, Criminal Minds, Bones in HD.
“There’s a real appetite for crime destination that is 24 / 7 with hugely successful global series.
“Some people love to come home, being able to put on a channel and -to use an expression- the ‘name on the tin’ says it all. So with FOX Crime you know you can go there and get NCIS or CSI. It’s a lean-back experience,” Walsh continues.
“But there are others who want to ‘lean-in’ and watch one of the many HBO series On Demand. As always, we are giving our customers the option of doing either.”
FOX Hits and FOX Funny
FOX Hits becomes a comedy channel aimed at older viewers, with retro titles from the 80s / 90s Friends,, Will & Grace, Everybody Loves Raymond, Seinfeld, Frasier and Malcolm in the Middle in SD.
FOX Funny is aimed younger with sitcoms from the last decade such as The Big Bang Theory, The Office, How I Met Your Mother, Modern Family in HD.
“A lot of the series that will be featured on some of these channels are ones that have been highly sought after by the Streamers. If you look at what’s been paid for Seinfeld, South Park, The Office,” he continues.
“Some of the evergreen comedies are really forming the backbone of the success of Netflix, Amazon, Hulu in the US. So to have some new channel destinations to showcase some of the greatest television series of all time, is timely.”
Walsh concedes that some titles for FOX One have been delayed in Australia for the channel launch.
“That’s true, but we know with all the pre-emptions in the US we will catch up to day-and-date by the end of January,” he insists.
“All series are screened express on VOD when they screen in an international territory, and the linear play goes as close as possible to US airdate. There might be an odd example where a show is a few weeks behind, but they are rare.”
While the channels also increase advertising revenue they see the subscription provider increase the FOX brand beyond FOX Sports, FOX8, FOX Classics and FOX Showcase.
“All of this is about building the FOX brand. We recognise there will be a lot more competition in the market,” Walsh concludes.
“FOX has remained with the News Corp brand as part of its sale to Disney, so we’re consolidating the brand in Australia, as it is exhibited in the United States.”