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Foxtel Extends BBC Deal, Rebrands Channel

Foxtel has announced a long term extension of its deal with the BBC that will see the British broadcaster’s content continue its 24-year presence on the local pay TV provider’s service as well as the rebranding of BBC Knowledge to BBC Earth.

The deal will also see BBC Studios continue partnering with Foxtel’s Multi Channel Network for advertising in Australia.

It comes as overseas rival Amazon considers bringing its a-la-carte subscription television platform Amazon Channels to Australia, holding talks with local executives of content providers including the BBC, as well as Discovery and NBCUniversal.

The deal extension includes the rebranding of BBC Knowledge to BBC Earth, and also gives Foxtel the right to premiere BBC lifestyle programming in Australia.

The new channel will house BBC’s renowned nature documentaries including existing series from Sir David Attenborough.

BBC’s other four channels on Foxtel will be BBC First for premium drama, BBC UKTV for comedy, continuing series and variety shows, BBC CBeebies for British children’s programming, and BBC World News.

BBC regional director of news Jamie Chambers said the inclusion of the news channel was particularly important in providing “media diversity and access to a range of viewpoints”.

The BBC will also provide “thousands of hours” of additional content streaming on demand each year, which Foxtel CEO Patrick Delany said represents a “five-fold increase”.

Foxtel recently announced changes to its user experience that integrated Netflix into its viewing platform, significantly boosting Foxtel’s amount of content available to stream on demand.

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