News Corp and Telstra sign definitive agreements to combine Foxtel and FOX SPORTS Australia
News Corp and Telstra today announced they have signed definitive agreements to combine Foxtel and FOX SPORTS Australia, which will deliver premium and innovative content to Australians with ever greater quality, variety and efficiency.
The key commercial arrangements include:
•News Corp will have 65 per cent shareholding in the combined entity and Telstra will have 35 per cent.
•News Corp will appoint four directors (including the Chairman) to the combined entity’s board and the
senior executives, and Telstra will appoint two directors.
•News Corp will consolidate the combined entity into its financial statements
The combined company will provide Australian viewers with the best possible experiences by:
•Putting greater emphasis on live streaming products and an expanded library, including Australian written, produced and directed programming;
•Delivering new and creative products and packages across devices and platforms, with investment in
exclusive content and technology, including a focus on high quality FOX SPORTS Australia productions;
•Expanding distribution channels for Foxtel and FOX SPORTS Australia products, along with developing greater operating efficiencies across the combined businesses; and
•Levering the benefits of the assets and experience of News Corp in Australia and around the world.
News Corp Chief Executive Robert Thomson said: “The launch of the combined company will mark the dawn of a new era for our Australian business, and Foxtel and FOX SPORTS Australia will together be a formidable force. We will be able to use our powerful media platforms to promote the unique sports and entertainment assets in the two companies, and improve services for consumers and advertisers. Patrick Delany and his talented team will be absolutely focused on serving viewers compelling, contemporary
Australian content and superlative sports coverage on personalized platforms.”
Mr Delany will be Chief Executive Officer of the combined company.
Telstra CEO Andy Penn said the combination of Foxtel and FOX SPORTS Australia with their content assets would position the company to strongly compete in the dynamic media market, and it would continue to be an important part of Telstra’s media strategy.
“Our customers are streaming more and more sport and entertainment on their TV at home and on their mobile devices while on the move. Telstra will be the exclusive telco sales agent for the combined entity on mobile and IP products and we will continue with our broadcast reseller arrangements,” Mr Penn said.
News Corp Australasia Executive Chairman Michael Miller said: "Under the leadership of Patrick Delany, this company will provide the exclusive and quality content that Australian consumers demand and expect. It will broadcast and stream in the most exciting, innovative and engaging ways across all platforms.”
The transaction is expected to close during the fourth quarter of Fiscal Year 2018.
Melbourne?? That’s funny, every time I ring I get a Malaysian or Filipino voice. And you can tell they’re over-worked because of the tiredness in their voices.
Quite a few channel lineup changes and a new channel from May 27. Here’s the rundown of the changes:
13th Street HD 118 to 117
Animal Planet 615 to 621
Arena HD 105 to 112
BBC First HD 117 to 116
BBC Knowledge HD 612 to 614
Binge HD 116 to 119
Box Sets HD 115 to 118
CNN 605 to 607
Crime + Investigation 613 to 609
Discovery HD 608 to 612
Discovery Science 638 to 616
Discovery Turbo 634 to 620
FOX News 604 to 606
Fox Sports News HD 500 to 602
History HD 611 to 608
National Geographic HD 610 to 613
Nat Geo WILD HD 616 to 622
Showcase HD 114 to 115
Sky News Business HD 602 to 601
Sky News Extra (renamed from Sky News APAC) 604
Sky News Live from 601 to 600 AND 103
Sky News UK (NEW CHANNEL) 605
UKTV 103 to 105
Universal HD 112 to 114
reports tonight that Adam Gilchrist will be the face of Fox Cricket.
Andrew Winter nominated for a Gold Logie!
Foxtel secures a total of 17 nominations for the
60th Annual TV Week Logie Awards
Foxtel has secured an outstanding 17 nominations for the 60th Annual TV Week Logie Awards including its first ever Gold Logie nomination for popular presenter Andrew Winter.
Appearing on two of Lifestyle’s top rating, locally produced series – Selling Houses Australia and Love It or List It Australia – Andrew Winter is Foxtel’s first personality to be nominated for the coveted TV Week Gold Logie Award. Andrew will also be vying for the Silver Logie for Most Popular Presenter, while Selling Houses Australia has been nominated for Most Popular Lifestyle Program.
Andrew Winter said: “What an absolute honour and what a real compliment for all of us at Foxtel. This nomination has only happened as I’m surrounded by such true talent, from dedicated passionate crew, production and on screen colleagues, through to the continued support by Foxtel executives. This nomination is massive for a former UK real estate agent who never wanted to work in TV.”
In total, Foxtel’s 17 nominations include 10 for its internationally celebrated Australian dramas, four for its lifestyle shows, and one apiece for factual, children and sports coverage.
Foxtel Executive Director of Television Brian Walsh said: “What a momentous occasion for Foxtel. I’d like to congratulate Andrew on this incredible achievement, along with all our nominees who have been recognised today.
“These 17 nominations re-enforce Foxtel’s commitment to producing a broad range of Australian content for our customers, and cement the resonance our shows have amongst our viewers and their ever-growing fan bases,” he said.
Showcase’s local drama series A Place To Call Home and Wentworth acquired eight nominations between them, and were joined this year by BBC First’s critically-acclaimed event series Top of the Lake: China Girl with two nominations.
Wentworth’s fifth season is nominated for both Most Popular Drama Series and Most Outstanding Drama Series. Kate Atkinson is nominated for Most Outstanding Actress for her role as Vera Bennett, while Pamela Rabe, who plays Joan ‘The Freak’ Ferguson, is also nominated for Most Outstanding Actress. Celia Ireland, who plays Liz Birdsworth, is nominated for Most Outstanding Supporting Actress, the same award she won in 2016. Wentworth’s sixth season will launch on June 19 on showcase.
The fifth season of sweeping drama A Place To Call Home has gained a nomination for Most Outstanding Drama Series. Jenni Baird is nominated in the Most Outstanding Supporting Actress category for her role as Regina Bligh, and Aaron Pedersen, who plays Frank Gibbs, has been nominated for Most Outstanding Supporting Actor. The sixth and final season of A Place To Call Home is planned to premiere on showcase in August.
Top of the Lake: China Girl has secured two nominations at this year’s TV Week Logie Awards – Most Outstanding Drama Series and Most Outstanding Actress for Elisabeth Moss who plays Detective Robin Griffin.
The two-time Logie Award-winning Gogglebox Australia has once again been nominated, this year in the Most Popular Entertainment Program category. Season 8 is planned to premiere on Lifestyle later this year.
CI’s The Queen & Zac Grieve, a hard-hitting documentary from Walkley Award-winning investigative reporter Dan Box, has been nominated for Most Outstanding Factual or Documentary Program.
MAIN EVENT’s coverage of Horn v Pacquiao – World Title is nominated for Most Outstanding Sports Coverage; and Nickelodeon’s Crash the Bash is nominated for Most Outstanding Children’s Program.
For a full list of all nominees for the 60th TV WEEK Logie Awards visit www.tvweeklogieawards.com.au.
The 60th TV WEEK Logie Awards 2018 will take place for the first year at The Star on Queensland’s Gold Coast on Sunday July 1, 2018.
Foxtel are finally ditching those stupid dots they’ve had in their rebrand of 18 months ago.
Foxtel launches brand new drama content every week
Foxtel today announced a bold new programming strategy, which will see a new or returning drama series launch every single week. The move highlights the incredible line-up of television drama available to Foxtel customers, both on demand and across its suite of linear channels.
Featuring an unprecedented collection of brand new scripted drama series from Australia and around the world, the announcement cements Foxtel as Australia’s home of drama.
Kicking off this exciting new strategy is the much-anticipated HBO series Sharp Objects, starring multi-Oscar nominee Amy Adams, and from the director of the Emmy Award-winning series Big Little Lies.
Foxtel’s Director of Channels, Stephen Baldwin said: “Foxtel is the home of must-watch drama series and we are committed to bringing our customers a diverse range of content, both locally and from around the world.
“Our partnerships with HBO, FX, BBC and many other renowned distributors enable us to provide our customers with an exciting new drama series every week of the year, via our streaming service and linear channels.”
The stellar weekly drama line-up commences with the following:
HBO’s highly-anticipated thriller series Sharp Objects premieres today, July 9, streaming on demand and screening on showcase on Mondays at 11.00am, with a primetime encore at 8.30pm. Starring Amy Adams, Patricia Clarkson and Australia’s own Eliza Scanlen in her breakout role as Adams’ half-sister, the eight-part series, based on the book by Gillian Flynn (bestselling author of Gone Girl) tells the story of reporter Camille Preaker (Adams) who returns to her small hometown of Wind Gap, Missouri to cover the murders of two young girls. Trying to put together a psychological puzzle from her past, she finds herself identifying with the young victims a bit too closely.
The eighth season of hit legal drama series Suits launches on July 19, screening on Universal TV on Thursdays at 8.30pm. Joining the series this season is Katherine Heigl, who stars as powerhouse attorney Samantha Wheeler. Suits centres on a Manhattan corporate law firm led by legendary lawyer Harvey Specter (Gabriel Macht), his intelligent but delicate partner, Louis Litt (Rick Hoffman) and secretary-turned-COO Donna Paulsen (Sarah Rafferty). After surviving leadership turmoil and the loss of key partners, the trio continue to tackle top corporate cases with the support of formidable Alex Williams (Dule Hill) and the talented Katrina Bennett (Amanda Schull). After muscling her way in to the firm, Samantha Wheeler (Heigl) joins the ranks and challenges the status quo.
Brand new drama series Patrick Melrose starring Oscar-nominee Benedict Cumberbatch premieres on July 23, screening on BBC First on Mondays at 9.30pm. This five-part series is based on the acclaimed novels by Edward St. Aubyn and tracks Patrick Melrose (Cumberbatch) from a privileged but deeply traumatic childhood in the South of France, through severe substance abuse in his twenties in New York and ultimately, towards recovery back home in Britain. At once harrowing and hilarious, Cumberbatch stars as the troubled, titular character.
The latest installment in Ryan Murphy’s hit series, American Horror Story: Cult launches on July 26. Screening on showcase on Thursdays at 8.30pm, the whole season can also be watched in its entirety on demand from July 26. The 11-part horror drama stars Sarah Paulson, Billie Lourde, Evan Peters and guest stars include Lena Dunham. The series is set in the fictional city of Brookfield Heights – a city that is left divided by the 2016 presidential election. Local resident Ally (Sarah Paulson) is distraught by Trump’s victory, while fellow resident Kai (Even Peters) rejoices at the results. In the months following, Kai begins running for city government, while Ally is terrorized by masked clowns. Those close to her struggle to decide whether the attacks she alleges are real or merely anxiety-fuelled hallucinations.
The sixth season of the hit series Orange is the New Black starts on July 27, streaming on demand and screening on showcase on Fridays at 5.00pm. The series follows engaged Brooklynite Piper Chapman (Taylor Schilling), whose decade-old relationship with a drug runner, Alex (Laura Prepon), results in her arrest and a 15 month long detention in a federal penitentiary. To pay her debt to society, Piper must trade her comfortable New York life for an orange prison jumpsuit and a baffling prison culture where she is forced to question everything she believes about herself and the world at large.
Brand new ten-part fantasy series Siren premieres on July 30, streaming on demand and screening on Fox8 on Mondays at 8.30pm. Legend has it that Bristol Cove was once home to mermaids. Now, this coastal town has a mysterious new visitor named Ryn (Eline Powell), who may prove the stories to be true. Ryn catches the eye of local marine biologist Ben (Alex Roe), while other townfolk become suspicious of the new resident. The battle between man and sea then takes a dangerous route, as these predators seek to claim their birthright.
The third season of animated HBO series Animals premieres on August 7, streaming on demand and screening on The Comedy Channel on Tuesdays at 9.00pm. The brand new installment in the edgy half-hour series focuses on the downtrodden creatures native to Earth’s least habitable environment: New York City. Whether its lovelorn rats, gender-questioning pigeons or ageing bedbugs in the midst of a midlife crisis, the awkward small talk, moral ambiguity and existential woes of non-human urbanites prove startlingly similar to our own.
Fear the Walking Dead 4B, the second half of the series’ fourth season, launches on August 13, streaming on demand and screening on showcase on Mondays at 1.30pm with a primetime encore at 7.30pm. In the back half of the season, the characters will explore who they are now – as individuals and as part of the greater group – and how they will forge ahead. They will find themselves pitted against new adversaries – human, walker, and even nature itself. Theirs will be a journey wrought with danger, love, heartbreak, loss, and ultimately, hope. The series stars Lennie James, Alycia Debnam-Carey, Colman Domingo, Maggie Grace and Jenna Elfman.
The sixth and final season of Foxtel’s hugely popular drama series A Place to Call Home premieres on August 19, streaming on demand and screening on showcase on Sundays at 8.30pm. The 10-episode season will take the much-loved characters in to 1960 - and will be brought to life by award-winning actresses Marta Dusseldorp and Noni Hazlehurst, along with Brett Climo, Abby Earl, Craig Hall, Sara Wiseman, Tim Draxl, Frankie J Holden, Deborah Kennedy, Arianwen Parkes-Lockwood and David Berry.
FOXTEL SIGNS MAJOR PRODUCTION DEAL
WITH TIM MINCHIN
ANNOUNCES LANDMARK CO-PRODUCTION WITH SKY U.K.
TIM MINCHIN TO STAR
Foxtel, Sky UK, Screen Australia and Lingo Pictures today announced production of a landmark new series UPRIGHT, starring musician, comedian, actor and writer Tim Minchin.
The stellar team behind UPRIGHT includes the creator Chris Taylor, best known as a member of The Chaser team. Taylor and Minchin are writing the eight-part series alongside award-winning writer-actors Kate Mulvany (Fighting Season, Jasper Jones stage play) and Leon Ford (Offspring, No Activity). The Director is Matthew Saville (Please Like Me). Minchin will also write the music and is Executive Producer with Penny Win and Helen Bowden. Producers are Lingo Pictures’ Jason Stephens, Chris Taylor and Melissa Kelly (Hounds of Love).
The series will be made in association with the South Australian Film Corporation. Screenwest and Create NSW are also investors.
A sharp-tongued and touching drama, UPRIGHT is the story of two misfits, thrown together by chance in the middle of the Australian desert, who forge the unlikeliest of bonds in their quest to get a precious piano from one side of the country to the other.
Lucky Flynn (Minchin) hasn’t spoken to his family in years. He’s broke, distant and damaged. He’s also a gifted pianist, whose talent for music is matched only by his talent for self-destruction. When he learns that his mother has only days left to live, Lucky sets off in a hire car to drive the 4000 kilometres from Sydney to Perth to say goodbye to her, taking with him his only cherished possession in the world – a battered and scarred upright piano. But what should have been a straightforward drive across the Nullarbor soon becomes a test of Lucky’s emotional fitness, when he (quite literally) runs into Meg (Milly Alcock), a hilarious, tough-as-nails teenager, who we soon discover has plenty of scars and secrets of her own.
Production will begin in South Australia and Western Australia in October.
Foxtel’s Head of Drama Penny Win said: “As part of Foxtel’s commitment to telling great Australian stories, we are delighted to be able to bring this wonderful adventure to the screen. We look forward to working with Tim Minchin and Lingo Pictures on what will be a wonderful showcase of Aussie talent.”
Screen Australia’s Head of Production Sally Caplan said: “Foxtel have proven their commitment to the production of premium Australian drama with Wentworth, The Kettering Incident and most recently the iconic Picnic at Hanging Rock which has had fantastic success locally and with international sales.
“UPRIGHT is a project that will also appeal in Australia and to the international market, with the hugely talented Tim Minchin on board to produce and star in the series. What attracted us to this series was the well-crafted young female protagonist, and work of the strong writing team including accomplished writer Kate Mulvany, and comedic writers Leon Ford and Chris Taylor. I have no doubt this moving and quirky comedy will resonate with audiences.”
SAFC Chief Executive Courtney Gibson said: “UPRIGHT brings together an extraordinary combination of creative talents to deliver what promises to be outstanding television. South Australia’s stunning locations will provide the perfect setting for this landmark production for Foxtel, which will be based at Adelaide Studios.”
Morwenna Gordon, Commissioning Editor Sky Comedy, said: “Sky Comedy is always striving to work with the best talent and on the most surprising, unique and beautifully crafted shows, so we’re delighted to be collaborating with the world class Tim Minchin on UPRIGHT. Alongside Milly Alcock (and a battered piano), we’re sure this is a road trip Sky customers will never forget.”
Tim Minchin said: “From the moment I heard about the idea for UPRIGHT, I knew it was the show I’d been waiting to make. I like stories that make me laugh and think and cry, I adore the landscapes of outback Australia, and I love music, and homecomings, and characters full of flaws. It’s awesome to be writing with this extraordinary team, and I’m looking forward to acting alongside Milly Alcock, who I think is a really special talent.”
Jason Stephens, Lingo Pictures, said: “There are not many shows I’ve enjoyed developing as much as UPRIGHT. It’s been a joy having Tim back home and working with our talented team of writers scripting this beautiful and funny show. Matt Saville’s direction always delivers something special so I can’t wait to start shooting and bringing this story to the Foxtel and Sky audiences.”
Lingo Pictures is currently producing Lambs of God for Foxtel, starring Ann Dowd (The Handmaid’s Tale), Essie Davis (Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries, Game of Thrones) Sam Reid (Prime Suspect 1973) and Jessica Barden (The End of the F*****g World).
Production credit: UPRIGHT is a Lingo Pictures production for Foxtel and Sky UK, with major production investment from Foxtel and Screen Australia in association with the South Australian Film Corporation. Financed with support from Create NSW and Screenwest. Rest of world sales are being handled by eOne.
FOXTEL AND WWE® EXTEND LONG-STANDING PARTNERSHIP TO AIR WWE PROGRAMMING LIVE IN AUSTRALIA
Foxtel and WWE (NYSE: WWE) will extend their partnership into its 19th year with a new agreement to broadcast WWE programming live in Australia, including flagship shows Raw® and SmackDown®, as well as WWE’s live pay-per-views events.
Foxtel’s FOX8 will continue to air Raw live at 10.00am on Tuesdays and SmackDown live at 10.00am on Wednesdays. For the first time, FOX8 will re-air Raw on Tuesday nights in primetime and SmackDown on Wednesday nights in primetime, and FOX Sports will air one-hour versions of Raw and SmackDown in primetime each week. Both shows will be available On Demand following their broadcast.
“We are delighted to extend our long-standing partnership with one of the biggest brands in entertainment, and increase our WWE offering across both our linear channels and On Demand,” said Stephen Baldwin, Director of Foxtel Networks and On Demand. “WWE has such a passionate fan base in Australia, and Foxtel is pleased to be able to continue bringing this popular content to our customers.”
“Foxtel is a long-time, valued partner who shares our vision and passion for engaging and entertaining our fans,” said Michelle Wilson, WWE Co-President. “This agreement allows us to continue showcasing our unique blend of action-packed, family friendly entertainment across Australia.”
Fans can also order all of WWE’s live special events on Foxtel pay-per-view channel Main Event, including WrestleMania®, SummerSlam®, Survivor Series® and Royal Rumble®. Additionally, new this year are WWE weekly highlight shows Afterburn® and Bottom Line®, which will be available On Demand on Foxtel Now.
AUSTRALIA’S OWN RUBY ROSE TO STAR AS BATWOMAN
Rising Hollywood star to appear in worldwide crossover event between hit DC series The Flash, Arrow and Supergirl
Express from the US this December
Only on Foxtel – the home of express DC television
Australian actress and rising Hollywood star Ruby Rose is set to appear on television screens as the ultimate female superhero, as she dons her cape for the coveted role of iconic DC Comic character Batwoman this December on Foxtel.
Ruby will make her debut as Batwoman during US network The CW’s annual crossover event between three of their hugely popular DC shows: The Flash, Arrow, and Supergirl. The crossover television event will stream on Foxtel and screen on FOX8 in December, express from the US and only on Foxtel.
The CW is also developing a stand-alone series based around the character of Batwoman, produced by Berlanti Productions in association with Warner Bros. Television.
Batwoman, whose real name is Kate Kane, is armed with a passion for social justice and a flair for speaking her mind. She soars on to the streets of Gotham as Batwoman, an openly gay, highly-trained street fighter, primed to snuff out the failing city’s criminal resurgence. But in a city desperate for a saviour, Kate must also overcome her own demons before embracing the call to be Gotham’s symbol of hope.
Ruby Rose first entered the public eye in Australia as a presenter on Foxtel’s MTV Australia channel, before moving on to host the local FOX8 production Ultimate School Musical. After a successful career in Australia, Ruby achieved international recognition after she was cast in the third season of Orange is the New Black. Since then, she has appeared in several high-profile films including Pitch Perfect 3, John Wick: Chapter 2 and XXX: The Return of Xander Cage.
Foxtel will air brand new express seasons of Warner Bros. Television DC series The Flash, Arrow, Legends of Tomorrow and Supergirl in October, consolidating Foxtel’s place as the home of express DC television in Australia.