It's just been announced that Australian pay-TV provider Foxtel has given [V], MAX and Country Music Channel (CMC) the axe as part of a partnership with US conglomerate ViacomCBS.
As reported by The Music Network, the Pay-TV giants will be powering down MAX, CMC and Channel [V] on June 30. It brings an end to a rich 25 year history of supporting local music, with each channel once playing a vital role in the broadcast of music videos, live performances and awards nights.
The Music Network have also reported that all music-only staff members who worked on the affected channels will be leaving Foxtel. Mumbrella also reported last week that an additional 70 jobs had been cut from the Pay-TV network due to the huge corporate restructure. At this stage, the future of Smooth FM, a joint development between Foxtel and Nova, is still unknown.
To replace the outgoing channels, Foxtel will be teaming up with ViacomCBS to deliver channels that deliver a 'broader variety of music genres', which will include rock and pop, country, contemporary, electronic and dance, charts, rap and R&B and a new kids-friendly music channel. Foxtel has stressed that these channels will remain locally programmed with content aimed for Australian audiences.
In a statement shared by the network today, ViacomCBS EVP of music & talent programming/events Bruce Gillmer said that “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 Veronicasinternationally. Launching these new music brands on Foxtel gives more Australian artists the opportunity to connect with fans locally and, potentially, around the world.”
Foxtel's Executive Director of Television Brian Walsh also added to the statement, saying that “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."
Find out more about the new deal via Media Week.