Foxtel have officially announced the launch of their new arts channel Arts HD, set to replace their current arts channel, the SBS operated Studio, in early 2015. The new service will further Foxtel’s efforts to launch more owned and operated channels onto the service, while considerably strengthening the content on offer for their 55+ aged subscribers.
When Foxtel replaced arts channel Ovation with Studio in 2010, it sought a service that would focus more on younger viewers, with a greater male skew. Prior to being dumped, Ovation was routinely mocked for its reliance on the then-very popular Andre Rieu concerts. While Ovation continues operating, selling the station strictly as an IPTV service delivered via an iOS/Android app and through selected smart TV’s, it is with considerable amusement that Foxtel is again targeting the same viewers that Ovation were dumped for appealing to.
As per the Foxtel media release:
The channel will feature the world’s most renowned orchestras, ensembles and companies and highlight the finest performing artists from the greatest opera houses, concert halls and festival stages including Daniel Barenboim, Renee Fleming, Herbert Von Karajan and Anne Sophie Mutter as well as the popular favourite, Andre Rieu.
The decision to refocus their arts channel is another very clear indication that Foxtel are readjusting their efforts on appealing to 55+ aged subscribers. Many were surprised to see that Foxtel had picked up the recently cancelled Seven Network series A Place To Call Home. Seven had initially dumped the series for attracting an audience that were primarily 55+, so while that may not appeal much to a broadcast TV network that relies on advertising dollars generated through selling to 16-55 year-olds, it is perfect for a subscription TV service that is losing its younger audience rapidly to online delivery of TV content.
Arts HD won’t draw in audiences in droves, but it’s a valuable addition to the stable of Foxtel channels that clearly have more traditional viewers in mind.
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Foxtel ARTS HD to launch in 2015
Foxtel will launch a new high definition channel dedicated to arts and entertainment in early 2015.
The new channel, Foxtel ARTS HD, will showcase the full breadth of artistic forms including the world’s finest opera and ballet productions, theatre, dance, cabaret, classical and contemporary performance as well as informative documentary specials and series from the diverse world of cinema, literature, music, visual art, artists and the history of ideas and techniques from which art is created.
Foxtel Executive Director of Television, Brian Walsh, said: ”The new Foxtel ARTS HD channel will draw from a rich and varied television palette – from the timeless to the contemporary – to create extraordinary experiences from Australia and around the world for an intelligent and passionate arts and entertainment audience.”
”The channel will extend Foxtel’s commitment to fostering and supporting Australia’s creative industries and arts organisations. As a vital part of Australia’s cultural life, Foxtel ARTS HD will feature locally produced magazine shows and specials, festival news and information, in depth interviews and reviews, all in High Definition.
“With Foxtel ARTS HD, we will also participate in and support the broad spectrum of arts communities working in Australia today and invite our subscribers to enjoy an ongoing awareness of Australia’s rich creativity and the inspiring people behind its dynamic artistic expression.”
The channel will feature the world’s most renowned orchestras, ensembles and companies and highlight the finest performing artists from the greatest opera houses, concert halls and festival stages including Daniel Barenboim, Renee Fleming, Herbert Von Karajan and Anne Sophie Mutter as well as the popular favourite, Andre Rieu. Foxtel ARTS HD will be the new home to major awards shows including Australia’s annual Helpmann Awards for live performance and Broadway’s coveted Tony Awards.
In its documentary offering, Foxtel ARTS HD will discuss, dissect and deliberate a wide variety of artistic endeavours from the visual arts, literature, all forms of theatre as well as the luminaries, traditions and cultural developments that have shaped art and artists and which continue to exert an influence today.
Foxtel ARTS HD will replace the Studio channel in the platform channel line-up.