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At tonight’s Foxtel-MCN 2014 Upfront presentation event in Sydney, the subscription television broadcaster announced its programming and technology plans for 2014 including a wide range of new and returning television series from Australia and overseas, as well as the highly-anticipated iQ3 which will fully integrate Foxtel’s personal recorder with internet entertainment.
Foxtel Chief Executive Richard Freudenstein also announced a brand new Electronic Program Guide (EPG) enhancement which lets viewers browse back in time by up to 26 hours in the TV Guide on selected channels to watch shows that have already broadcast – via the internet.
Mr Freudenstein said, “This exciting new feature will dramatically increase the amount of content available to our customers so they don’t miss out on the shows they love. We have started to roll out this feature to our internet capable iQ and iQHD subscribers and it will be available nationally over the next month, as our iQHD is offered across the entire country. The best news – it’s all included with a Foxtel subscription.”
Mr Freudenstein also revealed plans about the new Foxtel iQ3 set top unit. “The revolutionary iQ3 will be a quantum leap forward from our previous set top boxes. Using wi-fi technology it will offer significantly more opportunities for internet delivery and a vastly improved TV Guide that has been streamlined to help customers discover the best programming for them,” he said.
“With combined live, recorded and On Demand programs, this box will customise the TV experience and take it to the next level. We look forward to sharing more details about what the iQ3 is capable of over the coming months ahead of its launch next year.”
Through its newly aligned partnerships with the world’s most prolific television companies, Foxtel is home to the best that television has to offer from around the globe.
Foxtel now has major content agreements with the world’s most profilic television companies including BBC Worldwide (launching an additional premium BBC channel showcasing drama and comedy in 2014), HBO, Showtime, AETN, NBCUniversal, Paramount, Disney, CBS, Sony, Warner Bros and 20th Century Fox securing leading television and movies for its customers across a wide range of genres.
Foxtel also announced two new channels – TV Hits and Syfy.
TV Hits is a new general entertainment channel featuring television’s all-time favourites and well-loved series. To launch on January 1, 2014, TV Hits will feature iconic series such as NCIS, the CSI: Crime Scene Investigation franchise, Everybody Loves Raymond, Friends and How I Met Your Mother.
Syfy, the global channel brand from NBCUniversal, launches on Foxtel in High Definition early in 2014. The new channel will be the destination for imagination-based entertainment offering classic science fiction and fantasy programming.
Foxtel Executive Director of Television Brian Walsh said, “Content is and always will remain king, and we’ve gathered, commissioned and programmed the very best for our customers. 2014 will be another monumental, game-changing year for Foxtel.
“Scripted drama is one of the biggest TV genres and is very popular with Foxtel subscribers. Over the past few years we have seen the rise of the event series or ‘super series’ taking the once exclusive high-end production experience of the cinema and creating plotlines that are far deeper than any movie can produce, over an 8-12 episode series. From Game of Thrones to Wentworth, Foxtel is the home of drama that’s different.”
From HBO, Foxtel has secured the fourth season of Game of Thrones for 2014, as well as Newsroom S3, House of Cards S2, VEEP S3, Ray Donovan S2, and the new series True Detectives, as well as many more popular titles for its showcase channel.
Ground-breaking hit Australian drama Wentworth will return in 2014 for a second season on SoHo and new locally produced mini-series The Devil’s Playground is set to premiere next year on showcase.
Once again Foxtel locks in the hottest shows from the US including Robin Williams’ return to television in the most-watched new series on American televison, The Crazy Ones (FOX8). Also joining the line-up in 2014 will be the US version of hit original Australian series Rake, starring Greg Kinnear to be screened on the new-look Universal Channel.
New series Star-Crossed joins returning popular series on FOX8, such as Revolution S3, Grimm S3, Chicago Fire S2, Hart of Dixie S3, and Pretty Little Liars S5 which are all screened Express from the US.
Foxtel proudly announced it has signed Australia’s Next Top Model host Jennifer Hawkins to a new two year deal. The hit reality series will return for its ninth season on FOX8 in 2014.
Also on FOX8, the world’s number one supermodel, Naomi Campbell, will bring her new format The Face downunder in 2014. Following the success of the US and UK versions, Naomi is headed to Australia next month to film the debut local season of The Face Australia.
Renowned chef Matt Moran’s first series for Foxtel Paddock to Plate (The LifeStyle Channel) premieres next month and Donna Hay will return to Foxtel with a new special, A Donna Hay Christmas (LifeStyle FOOD), later this year. The LifeStyle Channel also has a new series of Celebrity Come Dine With Me Australia in the works.
Later this month, LifeStyle YOU will debut Embarrassing Bodies Down Under joining a stellar line-up of programming on The LifeStyle Channel including Selling Houses Australia S7, Location, Location, Location Australia S2, Grand Designs Australia S4, River Cottage Australia S2, and a new series Meet The Frockers which follows the rollercoaster world of three rival bridal salons all vying for business on the same Melbourne street, to premiere in early 2014 on LifeStyle YOU.
Coast Australia will see UK host Neil Oliver explore the Australian coastline like never before on History in December 2013. Also premiering in December are the Australian productions Outback Coroner and Behind Mansion Walls, both on CI Network. Outback Coroner follows the often confronting working life of coroners in rural Australia. Behind Mansion Walls is a unique murder and mystery crime series investigating the lives of the wealthy. It is a new television series for one of Australia’s most popular hosts, Kerri-Anne Kennerley.
Also in 2014, Foxtel will hunt for The Recruit. This FOX8 reality series features a search for an undiscovered football player to be awarded the opportunity to become an overnight sensation at an AFL club.
Currently in production to premiere on Arena early next year is the previously announced series The Real Housewives of Melbourne.
Foxtel is home to Live and Exclusive sport with over 12 sports channels from FOX SPORTS, FOX FOOTY, ESPN, Eurosport and Sky Racing. These channels provide the most comprehensive coverage from all the major Australian sports including AFL, NRL, A-League, Cricket, and Rugby Union, as well as international sports such as soccer, american football, car racing, basketball, hockey, tennis and golf.
Foxtel will continue providing the best in music video entertainment with its dedicated music channels such as Channel [V], MAX, [V] HITS, and CMC.
Foxtel is one of Australia’s most progressive and dynamic media companies, directly employing around 2,500 people, and delivering a diverse subscription television service over cable, satellite and broadband distribution. We offer a better entertainment experience every day to each one of our 2.5 million subscribing homes through delivery of new and inspiring programming across all genres, the world’s most popular channel brands, and investment in high quality local content. As constant champions of innovation we have brought customers the iQ personal digital recorder, Australia’s largest HD offering, the Foxtel Go App for tablets and mobile devices, and our new internet TV service, Foxtel Play. Foxtel is owned by Telstra Corporation Limited ACN 051 775 556 (50%) and News Corporation (50%). foxtel.com.au
Foxtel enhances EPG enabling viewers to look back in time
·Internet enabled and connected Foxtel iQ or Foxtel iQHD users can now scroll back in time up to 26 hours to watch selected programs they may have missed.
· This new service will be available nationally as iQHD set top units begin to be offered around the country over the next month.
· This service is available in standard definition and in high definition for Foxtel iQHD customers with the HD channel pack.
· This new enhancement is available at no extra cost as part of a Foxtel subscription
· Program availability is based on the customer’s subscription.
· Programs are available to watch within 15 minutes after live broadcast ends.
· Customers receive the new enhancement automatically via their set top unit.
· When subscribers scroll left in the EPG using the left arrow on a Foxtel remote a blue shade will appear, indicating they’ve looked back in time.
· Programs available to watch will feature black text, while shows not available will appear with grey text. Customers can then press select on their remote to begin viewing.
· At launch selected programming on the following channels will be available Fox Sports, ESPN, Eurosports, Disney, Nickelodeon, Cartoon Network, FOX8, FX, E!, MTV, Arena, Studio, UKTV, The LifeStyle channels, A&E, the Discovery Channels, the National Geographic channels, BBC Knowledge, Showcase, the Foxtel Movie channels and World Movies
· Recommended Internet speeds apply. ISP and data charges may apply
· Foxtel and some services not available to all homes.