Foxtel Inks New Deal With US Giant ViacomCBS
Embattled pay-TV and streaming provider, Foxtel, has inked a deal with US media behemoth ViacomCBS to debut a suite of new music channels – from rock to R&B, contemporary to classics.
ViacomCBS is the owner of Network Ten in Australia, with the Foxtel deal also renewing MTV, Nickelodeon and Nick Jr channels.
“We are delighted to forge this new partnership with ViacomCBS which reaffirms Foxtel’s commitment to music television designed for Australian audiences,” said Foxtel chief commercial officer Amanda Laing in a statement.
“The agreement continues the refresh of Foxtel’s channel line-up and provides our customers with an even greater choice of music genres.”
The expanded music channel collection will be fronted by MTV HITS, MTV Classic, Club MTV, CMT and Nick Music (for kids).
The deal will see the axing of Foxtel’s Max and Channel [V] after 25 years, plus CMC (Country Music Channel) at the end of June.
The news comes as Foxtel lays off around 200 staff, and places around 140 on leave until mid-year, as the company continues to grapple with the economic impact of coronavirus.
Chief Executive, Patrick Delaney, describes its recent actions as one of the “toughest” in company history.
Foxtel’s sports unit has been lacking fresh content after COVID19 restrictions forced the suspension/cancellation of sporting events.
It follows reports Foxtel is tipped to launch a new entertainment streaming service (dubbed ‘Binge’) in following weeks, as popular sports streaming service, Kayo, faces a decline.
Foxtel management asserts music remains “strategically important” to the entertainment content company.
“Expanding ViacomCBS Networks International’s portfolio of music channels allows us to build even deeper relationships with Australian music fans, artists and labels,” states ViacomCBS Executive Vice President, Music & Talent Programming / Events, Bruce Gillmer.
“These branded channels resonate with music fans all over the world and launching in Australia gives us even more opportunity to bring audiences great music across genres.”