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Media Release: Monday May 4, 2020
Foxtel and ViacomCBS announce new landmark partnership
Agreement expands Foxtel music channels with a broader variety of music genres including a new kid friendly music channel
Foxtel today announced a landmark partnership which will see ViacomCBS Networks International (VCNI) provide a fresh, new line-up of music channels offering a wider range of music genres for Foxtel subscribers.
The new agreement will provide Foxtel subscribers with a broader variety of music genres including a new kid friendly music channel, the first of its kind for Australian television.
From 1 July 2020 the new look music line-up will cover every music style, rock and pop, contemporary and country, charts and dance, urban R&B, easy listening and the all-time classics.
The music channel collection will by spearheaded by MTV HITS, together with MTV Classic, Club MTV, CMT (Country Music Television) and the brand-new Nick Music, a kid-safe and family-friendly music video channel for 4-15 year olds featuring chart-topping hits by the world’s most popular artists. The expanded portfolio will be owned and operated by VCNI with the MTV and CMT-branded channels all programmed in Australia for Australian audiences.
Foxtel also provides its customers with an extensive range of commercial-free audio music channels, comprising over 20 different streams of non-stop, uninterrupted music to complement the Viacom CBS broadcast channels.
The new agreement with VCNI also includes renewal of the channels Nickelodeon, Nick Jr. and MTV on the Foxtel platform.
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 & 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.”
From 12pm Friday April 10 through to Monday April 13
Settle in this weekend with MAX’s most popular and iconic countdown The 1000 Greatest Songs Of All Time which rolls out this Easter long weekend and counts down the greatest songs in musical history from 1000 to one from 12pm this Friday April 10 through to Monday April 13 on Foxtel.
MAX is the destination of the greatest music from music’s greats, the soundtrack to your life delivering the songs we love from the ‘70s, ‘80s, ‘90s and ‘00s and its annual 1000 Greatest Songs Of All Time delivers all of that and more.
The 1000 Greatest Songs Of All Time countdown is compiled using Facebook viewer votes, feedback from industry peers and experts, chart ratings and song popularity.
So, the question is which music great will win the coveted No.1 spot this year? Could it be last year’s winner, Queen’s “Bohemian Rhapsody”, the 1975 legendary rock hit written by Freddie Mercury which has dominated the number one position? Or could a song from Bon Jovi, Madonna or AC/DC knock Queen from the number one spot?
Today, MAX can reveal ahead of this weekend’s countdown the artists and bands who have dominated The 1000 Greatest Songs Of All Time include U2, who have once again polled with the most entries with 16 incredible songs, closely followed by AC/DC and INXS with 14 song entries each and Madonna and Queen with 13 song entries.
The countdown kicks off with the 1000th song, Blondie’s 1980 hit “The Tide is High”. Music from the 1980s remains the dominant decade with 38% of the countdown and 1987 as the most popular year in the countdown with 49 entries, not surprising when the year saw the release of albums like Michael Jackson’s ‘Bad’, Whitney Houston’s ‘Whitney’ and ‘Kick’ by INXS.
The 1990s retains roughly 20% of the entries bolstered by releases like U2’s ‘Achtung Baby’, Prince’s ‘Diamond and Pearls’ album and ‘Blood Sugar Sex Magik’ by Red Hot Chili Peppers. The year 2000 was the most popular year of the 21st Century thanks to record releases including Madonna’s ‘Music’ and Eminem’s ‘Marshall Mathers LP’.
This year’s 1000 Greatest Songs countdown sees the addition of a new decade, with two artists from last year securing spots in the decade, Tones & I’s record-breaking “Dance Monkey”, which became the longest-running ARIA #1 and Lizzo’s infectious self-positivity anthem “Good As Hell” with the oldest song being Elvis Presley’s 1957 hit “Jailhouse Rock”.
The race for the best decade narrows in the top 10, with all the songs being from the ‘70s or ‘80s with two Aussie rock bands nabbing a top ten position.
Fraser Stark, Foxtel’s Group General Manager, Entertainment & Music, said: “MAX’s countdown of the 1000 Greatest Songs Of All Time is an Easter fixture. The Long Weekend always offers viewers the chance to keep the mega-list playing for four days at home – or to drop in and out as it climbs to number one each year. Now that we’re in a Covid-induced Loooong Weekend – what better way to brighten the home to have all the hits play right on through? It’s a monster music marathon for the times”.
The countdown always draws attention from industry peers, local and international music superstars chiming in with their nominations on which song truly is the greatest of all time.
Before his untimely death, MAX had the honour of Greedy Smith in studio, his last television interview where he shared his favourite song of all time, Bob Dylan’s “Like A Rolling Stone”. Greedy leaves a legacy with the 1985 hit song he wrote for Mental As Anything “Live It Up” making it into the countdown.
If Jessica Mauboy had to pick her number one song, she says it has to be Whitney Houston’s 1987 hit “I Wanna Dance With Somebody” while Adam Lambert can’t go past Queen’s “Another One Bites The Dust”.
For more top picks from artists such as 5 Seconds of Summer, Sam Smith, Paul Kelly, Midnight Oil, Lewis Capaldi, Joan Jett, Vance Joy, INXS, Hanson, Human Nature, Amy Shark and more, tune in to The 1000 Greatest Songs Of All Time, this weekend on Foxtel’s MAX to see who got it right and who got it wrong. The full list of all The 1000 Greatest Songs Of All Time will be live at maxtv.com.au from 9am Tuesday April 14 and MAX will be publishing the full countdown on their Spotify at maxaustralia.
**All songs that are eligible for the countdown need to have a licensed broadcast quality music video available. Some artists (The Beatles) do not give permission for all their video clips to be broadcast on television**
Steve Balbi chooses Sony high res mics for The Big Red Bash
Featuring Midnight Oil, The Living End, Casey Chambers and more
SYDNEY, 16 April 2019 – The music of singer, composer, performer and producer Steve Balbi mines a kaleidoscope of life at the margins. Transcending rock and pop while coalescing sentimentality and soul, Balbi bespeaks Bowie and Dylan in melody and verse, exploring the heterogeneity, refinement and dirty rotten groove of Radiohead. For one of his more high-profile gigs, The Big Red Bash in Birdsville, featuring Midnight Oil, The Living End, Casey Chambers and more, Balbi has decided to record the show with Sony high res mics.
Balbi explained, “David Green from Sony was aware of my work as a producer, and as a performer as well I suspect, so he approached me at a show one night. We got to talking about recording, of course. Recognising that I’m an inherently instinctual artist; for me recording to be all about feel and aesthetic he became curious to know what I would think about the Sony 100 Series High Res Microphones on that level, in my world.”
That meeting of minds greatly affected Balbi and his decision to use Sony’s unique high res mics for his future projects.
He continued, “I believe that the unconventional often creates the most interesting art, so I’m always looking for something different. I tried out two pairs of the high res mics; a C-100 side address dual diaphragm pair and a pair of end address pencil condensers. At the time I was doing what I call a low fi sounding track, so I used the C-100 mic on the vocal. It delivered an amazing effect, to have the vocal so crystal clear, almost sounding like the voice was being sung at point blank to my ear. The music was kind of dreaming away in another room, which was quite a stunning effect that kind of gave me a natural focal point.”
According to Balbi the C-100 mics sounded so incredible, he literally found it hard to believe his ears.
He added, “It wasn’t just the C-100 mics. So too the pencil room mics on drums, which are also great as a second mic on acoustic guitar. The pencil condensers, both the cardioid and omnis sound sublime on piano, so I’m really looking forward to recording strings in the next few weeks, as I know they will sound amazing. These mics have a strange feel to them, almost spooky. It would appear that I have become used to only receiving a limited frequency, however these mics give more highs and lows, which is odd at first, then after a while it is just so beautiful. These high res mics are very musical. They have given me another angle to work with; options and avenues that my already healthy mic kit has not provided.”
Balbi has used the Sony high res mics on his new solo recordings; for an orchestral composition with strings, horns and timpani, which became the theme song for Fox Cricket in the summer; Glenn Shorrock’s new album; the Spectre Tapes EP, the Electric Hippies new recordings, as well as a new version of his latest single, ‘Modern Love’, to promote Psykinetic’s new ground-breaking eye-control technology – something we will hear more of from him at a later date.
Balbi said, “I’m using the mics on the Legendary Dustbuckles too. So yeah, I’m using them on just about everything I record and produce right now. I’ve started to use them as a focal point sonically. Sure, this can be done in many ways when mixing, but I am a source man, so I like to record the sounds that I hear and feel. They generally stay that way, rather than being manipulated after the fact. Now this is generally speaking, since I’m known for voluntarily destroying perfectly good sounds before I record it. To me this is a great way to use these mics. For instance, imagine the trashiest, most rubbish sounding steel-stringed guitars known to man, then putting the most beautiful mic in front of it … BOOM!”
All of these experiences have lead Balbi to make the decision to use the Sony high res mics to record his show at the upcoming Big Red Bash in Birdsville, featuring Midnight Oil, The Living End and Casey Chambers.
He explained, “I have compared the Sony Series 100 high res mics against other, commonly used big names in the market, and I can confirm without reservation that the Sony ones offer something very special that I have not heard with any other mics. A HD microphone is just different. In this sense, I’ve an incredible new tool in my kit and for this reason, these mics have given me a distinct edge. Listen out as it’s this edge you’ll hear on all of Balbi’s future recordings, including the Big Red Bash in July, courtesy of the amazing Sony High Res Microphones.”
For more on Sony High Res Series Studio mics click here or go to: https://pro.sony/en_AU/products/studio-microphones
The Big Red Bash will be held in Birdsville, Queensland from 16-19 July. For more information go to: http://www.bigredbash.com.au/bigredbash/index
Sony C-100 high res mic