Foxtel consolidation: Channel changes, staff departures

Foxtel Arts and Foxtel Smooth to share broadcast signal

• Foxtel Arts and Foxtel Smooth to share broadcast signal
• Lifestyle YOU closing as programming moves to Lifestyle and Arena
• Around 12 staff depart after business review

Foxtel has announced that, from October, there will be scheduling changes to its linear channel lineup with Foxtel Arts and Foxtel Smooth channels sharing a broadcast signal and key Lifestyle YOU programming making the move to Lifestyle and Arena.

The announcements were accompanied by the departure of some key staff members, including programmers and creatives.

Effective October 11, both Foxtel Arts and Smooth will share the same broadcast signal, while still occupying two channel numbers (133 and 806). The two channels will be day-parted, with Smooth programming throughout the day and overnight from midnight to 6pm and Foxtel Arts content scheduled from 6pm to midnight, daily.

Lifestyle YOU will cease broadcasting with key programming moving to The Lifestyle Channel, Arena and On Demand.

“We have taken this decision because it makes a lot of sense both in financial terms and audience optimisation,” said Brian Walsh, Foxtel’s executive director of television.

“Foxtel Smooth’s peak audiences are in daytime, while for Arts, audiences tune in during the evening, so this is really about combining the best of both worlds for our customers. Yes, this is consolidation. However, as our television and video world continues to evolve, it is imperative we review every aspect of the business.

“Foxtel is in the business of curating and acquiring the best content across multi genres and creating strong super channels which serve a wide variety of tastes. The new Smooth/Arts combo and the streamlining of Lifestyle YOU are examples of that,” he said.

The change comes just one week after Foxtel Arts received the ASTRA Channel Achievement Award for its showcase of the arts, artists and their creative achievements.

Foxtel Smooth/Foxtel Arts will continue to be broadcast at two channel locations on the Foxtel platform, at both Channel 133 and Channel 806.

This change also means that, for the first time, Foxtel Arts will be available to all Foxtel customers, irrespective of their subscription package.

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