Foxtel closes Channel V, MAX and CMC to make way for ViacomCBS partnership

Foxtel has closed its three music channels, Channel V, MAX and CMC, in favour of an extended partnership with ViacomCBS.

The parent company of MTV and Nickelodeon will provide Foxtel will a “broader range of music genres”, it said, including a kid-friendly music channel.

Channel V closes after 25 years in Australia with 70 jobs expected to be cut. The Bachelor host Osher Günsberg added his voice to the collection of unhappy media personalities, having started his career on the channel.

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It is with a heavy heart that I learned Foxtel is closing their Australian based music channels in a few weeks. 70 jobs are gone, and 25 years of supporting the music industry in this country – not to mention incubating and launching a massive wave of TV talent both on camera and off camera, people who have taken their careers far and wide since the early days at Wharf 8. Not long ago I found this letter, dated 28/3/99 – from Tim “Dangerman” Daley the exec producer of By Demand to a 24 year old Andrew G nervously waiting to leave SAFM and start a new career in TV. Read it. This is what intention setting is. This is what enrolling new staff in a greater vision is. This is what bold vision with a drive for execution is. This is manifesting in essence. Everything Tim wanted to happen happened, and so so much more. By a Demand became What U Want and that was a powerhouse of a show that did extraordinary things. Tim went on to start MAX and CMC – it’s fair to say he’s done his part in championing music in this country – as well as championing the people who worked for him. Sometimes the right combination of people come together under the right leaders and magical things happen. I’m honoured to be a small part of the legacy that those leaders built. Thanks Barry, thanks Jacquie, thanks Ben and thank you Tim. I hope one day to be the kind of leaders you were for us for someone else. We worked our balls off. We partied hard and then we worked some more. It was incredible fun. Thanks Channel [v]. For everything.

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“We worked our balls off. We partied hard and then we worked some more. It was incredible fun,” said the host.

“Thanks Channel [v]. For everything.”

The new channel lineup will take place from 1 July, covering ‘every music style’, including rock, pop, contemporary, country, dance, urban, R&B, easy listening and classics. MTV HITS will be the flagship channel, alongside MTV Classic, Club MTV, CMT (Country Music Television) and Nick Music for four to 15-year-olds.

The expanded portfolio will be owned and operated by ViacomCBS with the MTV and CMT-branded channels all programmed in Australia for Australian audiences. The agreement also includes the renewal of Nickelodeon, Nick Jr and MTV.

Foxtel chief commercial officer, Amanda Laing, said: “We are delighted to forge this new partnership with ViacomCBS which reaffirms Foxtel’s commitment to music television designed for Australian audiences.

“The agreement continues the refresh of Foxtel’s channel line-up and provides our customers with an even greater choice of music genres. ViacomCBS are global leaders in music television with a long-standing commitment to Australian music and we are pleased to continue building on our relationship with them with this historic new arrangement.”

ViacomCBS executive vice president, music and talent programming / events, Bruce Gillmer said: “Expanding ViacomCBS Networks International’s portfolio of music channels allows us to build even deeper relationships with Australian music fans, artists and labels. 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.

“We’ve showcased incredible Australian artists from Gang of Youths to The Veronicas internationally. Launching these new music brands on Foxtel gives more Australian artists the opportunity to connect with fans locally and, potentially, around the world.”

Foxtel executive director of television, Brian Walsh, added: “Music remains as a strategically important part of the Foxtel content story and emphasises the depth and richness of our programming. These new channels will all be programmed by Australians, for Australians continuing our passion for local music curation.

“We are proud of the heritage of our owned and operated music channels and the success they have enjoyed entertaining Foxtel customers for the past 25 years. I want to acknowledge the management and music teams, past and present, who created Channel V, Max and CMC.

“Creating a great entertainment experience for our subscribers means constant renewal in every aspect of our business and our partnership with Viacom provides a fresh, new direction for music on Foxtel.”


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