Multi Channel Network (MCN), in collaboration with Foxtel, has announced it is abolishing its traditional annual “UpFront” season – the annual showcase of upcoming TV programming – in favour of a new, interactive, year-long program of events at a landmark new space.
In July this year, MCN and Foxtel will officially open the doors to “Foxtel on Oxford”, an entertainment venue which has been custom built to better connect advertisers, agencies and subscribers with the Foxtel platform and its various content pillars.
Situated at the former Academy Twin cinema site at 1-11 Oxford Street in Paddington, Foxtel on Oxford will host a full program of content previews, technology demonstrations, and interactive workshops for advertising industry professionals, plus regular business and programming updates from MCN over the next 12-18 months. It will also connect Foxtel programming with subscribers through experiential activations and other special events.
Previously dormant for 10 years, the space has been revamped into a contemporary, connected entertainment hub that showcases the Foxtel iQ4 set-top box experience. Complete with a 250-seat state of the art cinema, the 1,800 square metre venue will house meetings, presentations, screenings and performances.
Foxtel CEO Patrick Delany said: “Foxtel on Oxford is a unique and exciting new concept for the Foxtel business. We have created a physical representation of the Foxtel brand to unite and delight all of our valued customers – from viewers to advertisers alike. Foxtel constantly strives to bring home Australia’s valued entertainment, and this new space will feature a program of events that brings to life our vast portfolio of sports, lifestyle and entertainment content for our community in new and exciting ways. Foxtel is the only entertainment and streaming company to boast its very own cinema and entertainment hub.”
MCN CEO Mark Frain commented: “Our constantly changing media landscape has shown us that we need to provide a deeper, richer ongoing conversation with both our agency and advertiser partners. As a result, we began looking at how we could adjust our approach to be more agile and reflect our clients’ day-to-day needs. We believe the answer is an “always-on” and personalised strategy, and so we are delighted to be launching Foxtel on Oxford as the new home of Australian advertising innovation.
“Our marketing program over the next 12-18 months will be an extension of the MCN advertising model; mass communication through targeted specialism, welcoming core groups of advertisers whether they be category based or genre based. This targeted approach will mean we can offer highly relevant information that helps advertisers deliver better advertising outcomes.”
MCN head of marketing and communications Sarah Tucker, who led the team responsible for the initial concept, added: “Following the highly successful Homefronts model MCN introduced five years ago, we are thrilled to once again offer the media and marketing industry a new and original UpFront concept. As our marketing home for the next year and a half, Foxtel on Oxford promises to provide our agency clients, marketers and partners with unique and dynamic ways to experience Foxtel content, more often. It’s extremely exciting to launch our very own entertainment space that allows us to showcase what Foxtel is really famous for: amazing content, and amazing viewing and advertiser experiences. I’d like to thank our incredible partners for their support.”
To transform the Academy Twin cinema site into Foxtel on Oxford, Foxtel and MCN have partnered with independent creative production company Alfred for the design, restoration and production of the space, Innovative Production Services for the technical services, and hospitality pioneer Merivale as the exclusive food and beverage provider.
Alfred founder and director Stuart Couzens said: “We are incredibly proud to have led a project that revives a historic entertainment site for Australia’s premium media network, Foxtel. For 100 years, this site was one of Australia’s most recognised cinemas, before closing its doors in 2010. Since then it has by and large remained empty – so it’s quite fitting it is being transformed into a resource for the media and entertainment industry. We’ve had a lot of fun re-inventing the space to allow people to touch and feel Foxtel’s world-class content, ensure Foxtel viewers can be invited to enjoy unique experiences, and the Foxtel community can connect with their favourite entertainment and sporting brands.”
As part of the partnership, Merivale will be promoting Made by Merivale – its new catering arm that provides clients with a great hospitality option for events that Merivale may not be able to accommodate at their own venues. Made by Merivale completes the Foxtel on Oxford experience, offering the personalised hospitality synonymous with Merivale’s portfolio of restaurants, bars and event spaces.
Merivale’s chief sales officer Kathy Savill said: “We’re thrilled to partner with Foxtel, MCN and Alfred on this exciting project and curate unique hospitality experiences that complement Foxtel’s diverse range of movie, sport and entertainment brands. Foxtel on Oxford screenings and events will have menus designed by the likes of Mr. Wong’s Dan Hong, Fred’s Danielle Alvarez or Bert’s Jordan Toft, perfectly paired with wine handpicked by master sommeliers and drinks created by award-winning cocktail gurus”.
Top Photo: Foxtel on Oxford exterior