SBS to launch new channel on pay TV

30 November, 2009 by IF

Press release from SBS:

SBS announced that it had reached agreement with Foxtel and Austar to launch a new channel focused on arts and entertainment on the Foxtel and Austar platforms.


A blend of locally produced and acquired content, this new channel will showcase the best of Australian and international arts, culture and entertainment across a diverse range of genres including performing arts, cinema, books, opera and ballet, music, Indigenous art and art and design.

To be launched in the first half of 2010, programming will include:

– exclusive broadcasts of selected major Australian arts and entertainment events;

– the best international arts content across a range of genres and forms;

– showcases of major arts events from Australia and around the world;

– original commissioned programming to engage audiences with the contemporary arts and entertainment scene; and

– information and reviews about performances and events throughout Australia.

“SBS will utilise its expertise in collating the best local and international content to deliver a channel that will be the premier on-air destination for arts and entertainment programming, news, events and debate,” SBS Managing Director Shaun Brown said.

“SBS will work closely with Foxtel and Austar to use and deepen the rich relationships all three organisations have with Australia’s arts sector. The channel will become an integral part of the arts scene in this country. We will build partnerships with arts organisations and companies to celebrate and showcase the very best of Australian creative culture as well as sourcing the best arts content from markets across the globe.”

“We are delighted to be able to offer our customers a new and renovated arts and entertainment channel which both respects Ovation’s heritage but also offers a renewed and really contemporary engagement with the Australian and international creative communities across the spectrum of interest in the performing and visual arts, film and show business generally” Foxtel Chief Executive Kim Williams said.

“Australians produce such an extraordinary range of creative, inventive, entertaining and highly original works which deserve celebration to a broad television audience. I am particularly pleased that the new channel will offer the choice of this rich array of Australian and international creativity to our 6 million plus viewers.” Mr Williams added.

“Austar is committed to providing our customers in regional Australia with the best television experience that the world has to offer, so we are delighted to partner with SBS to deliver the next generation in arts programming. The new channel will not only showcase a wide range of international arts content, but our regional audience will also love the diverse, local series that will be produced”, said John Porter, Austar’s Chief Executive.

The name and branding for the new channel will be finalised in the coming months with a launch anticipated for April 2010.

The channel will expand SBS’s subscription television interests. It will be operated through SBS’s wholly owned subsidiary, Multilingual Subscriber Television Limited which owns PAN TV, operator of the World Movies Channel.