Foxtel's blog

Sun 6 Jan, 6.30pm AEDT, LIVE and EXCLUSIVE on FOX SPORTS 2HD and FOX SPORTS 2

A huge week of BBL action culminates with a top of the table showdown between the Melbourne Stars and the Melbourne Renegades on January 6.

The 66th Annual Tony Awards, Broadway’s ultimate night of nights from New York’s Beacon Theatre will be broadcast live via satellite and exclusive on Foxtel’s Bio. channel on Monday, June 11 from 10am AEST.

Marking 66 years of excellence in Broadway, The Tony Awards’ ceremony is the most glamorous night of the Broadway season with dozens of stage and screen stars on hand to present the awards.

Returning to host the glamorous Awards night will be popular Emmy Award winner, Neil Patrick Harris, from Arena’s How I Met Your Mother. Continue reading »

FOXTEL today announced Duane Hatherly has been appointed to the roles of General Manager, LifeStyle Channels and Head of Production, FOXTEL effective from the completed acquisition of Austar by FOXTEL, expected in late May.

FOXTEL Executive Director of Television, Brian Walsh, said: “This is a well deserved promotion for Duane, an outstanding television executive who has demonstrated impressive qualities as a manager and an architect of channels in the general entertainment genre. He is an exceptional leader and has mentored many under his charge. Continue reading »

Last night Foxtel unveiled its new 2012 AFL team at Encore in St. Kilda.  

Tonight FOX FOOTY will officially switch on creating AFL Broadcasting history with a new dedicated 24/7 AFL channel, featuring for the first time LIVE coverage of every game of every round, ad-break free, siren to siren.
 
In Season 2012 viewers will hear from the best in the business, a superstar team who between them have played 3975 games kicked 4641 goals, won 24 Premierships and achieved accolades including 30 Best & Fairests, 1 Norm Smith Medal, 2 Brownlow Medals, 3 Coleman Medals, 46 All Australians, 3 MVP Awards and 8 who have received coveted AFL Hall of Fame honour.

Patrick Delany, Chief Executive Officer, FOX SPORTS said, “The FOX FOOTY team have done a magnificent job putting together an amazing team of AFL experts who will preview, review, dissect and analyse every aspect of the game. With new talent on-board including a man synonymous with AFL, Eddie McGuire, an icon of the game Dermott Brereton and one of the premier callers in the country Anthony Hudson joining an already fantastic line-up of talent”. 

FOX FOOTY will kick off at 5.00pm (AEDT) tonight with FOX FOOTY OPENING NIGHT live from the stands of Etihad Stadium with a star-studded 90-minute program featuring Aussie Rules royalty and the entire FOX FOOTY team.  

The official bounce down of round one of the NAB cup is at 6.45pm (AEDT) between Richmond, North Melbourne and Hawthorn. 

The FOX FOOTY team of AFL experts are: 

Dermott Brereton                    

Matthew Campbell

Leigh Colbert                          

Ben Dixon

Jason Dunstall                        

Damien Fleming

Danny Frawley                      

Gerard Healy

Anthony Hudson                    

Glen Jakovich

Brad Johnson                          

David King

Alastair Lynch                        

Eddie McGuire

David Parkin                          

Liam Pickering

Mark Ricciuto                        

Mark Robinson

Paul Roos                              

Dwayne Russell

Tony Shaw                            

Mike Sheahan

Gerard Whateley

FOXTEL’s internet television service, FOXTEL on Xbox 360 launches three channels this week – Cartoon Network, ESPN2 and FOOTY PLAY Powered by FOX SPORTS.

From February 14 FOXTEL on Xbox 360 subscribers will see Cartoon Network as part of the Get Started Package[1] as well as the addition of ESPN2 to the Sports Package – at no additional cost.

From February 17, FOXTEL on Xbox 360 will launch a dedicated AFL channel, FOOTY PLAY Powered by FOX SPORTS.

FOXTEL on Xbox 360 lets subscribers view over 30 world-leading FOXTEL channels on the live streaming television service, six BigPond TV channels, Catch Up TV, and hundreds of blockbuster films, library movies and TV episodes from the FOXTEL on Xbox 360 On Demand service.

FOXTEL Executive Director of Product, Jim Rudder said, “FOXTEL on Xbox 360 provides an alternative way of receiving and enjoying FOXTEL over the internet, offering a wide variety of channels, Catch Up and On Demand content under flexible agreements.

“We’ve listened to feedback from our FOXTEL on Xbox 360 subscribers about the service and we’re responding to the demand for more sport content and channels, and more premium entertainment brands.

“The landmark FOXTEL and AFL deal means we’re able to launch a dedicated AFL channel produced by FOX SPORTS on not only our set-top-unit service, but also on our IP TV services including FOXTEL on Xbox 360. FOOTY PLAY will provide AFL fans with unprecedented LIVE coverage, never before available on IPTV in Australia – FOXTEL is once again creating television history.”

Subscribe to the FOOTY PLAY channel through your Xbox 360 to get eight games LIVE in every full round of the 2012 Toyota AFL Premiership Season.

With FOOTY PLAY on FOXTEL on Xbox 360 all you need is an Xbox 360, Xbox LIVE Gold membership and 2.0Mb/s Internet connection – there’s no installation required and no need to sign a lock-in contract to receive the following AFL service:

· Eight games LIVE every full round of the 2012 Toyota AFL Premiership Season (the ninth game is broadcast on delay).

· Up to five games every round with no ad breaks, siren to siren.

· Twenty-five NAB Cup matches LIVE with no ad breaks siren to siren. NAB Cup Grand Final and 4 other NAB Cup matches will be available to watch on delay.

· Exclusive magazine programs including After The Bounce, AFL 360, On The Couch, AFL Insider, League Teams, EMT Eddie McGuire Tonight and Open Mike.

· An additional channel FOOTY PLAY+ will be used to show a few games each round to ensure customers do not miss out when more than one LIVE game is on at the same time.

In a win for existing[2] FOXTEL on Xbox 360 Sports subscribers, FOOTY PLAY is available for no additional charge for the duration of the NAB Cup (from February 17 to March 17, 2012).

FOOTY PLAY is available for $20 per month in addition to the Sports pack (totalling $49.50 per month), or customers can buy a season pass for $100* (pay for the first five months and get two additional months free*) [3].

ESPN2 brings Australian sports fans more of the best international sport with more live and exclusive events than ever before. ESPN2 on FOXTEL on Xbox 360 means more unrivalled, exclusive international sports coverage from an Australian perspective. Sports fans will enjoy more NBA, UEFA Champions League, NFL, ATP Tennis, X Games, RBS 6 Nations Rugby, Major League Baseball and local sports programs including Pardon the Interruption and SportsCenter.

Cartoon Network animates kids’ lives by inspiring laughter and creativity in an imaginative playground where almost anything is possible. The Cartoon Network subscription television exclusive Ben 10: Destroy All Aliens will premiere on Sunday, March 11 at 9.00am. Upcoming programming highlights also include Australian first episodes of Adventure Time (Monday to Thursday at 7.00pm AEST) and the BAFTA award winning animated comedy, The Amazing World of Gumball (Saturdays at 9.00am AEST), plus family favourites such as Scooby-Doo Mystery Incorporated and The Looney Tunes Show. 

Telstra BigPond broadband customers are not charged for any data when using FOXTEL on Xbox 360. FOXTEL on Xbox 360 subscribers can choose the amount of data used when watching live streamed TV by selecting the “Change Quality” option when watching a channel, and choose from any of the High, Medium or Low settings. The download file size of Catch Up TV and On Demand movies or TV episodes varies depending on the duration of the title selected, and this information is clearly communicated onscreen prior to viewing on FOXTEL on Xbox 360.

FOXTEL on Xbox 360 is only available to Xbox 360 owners who live in FOXTEL metropolitan areas of Australia and who subscribe to both the Xbox LIVE service and the FOXTEL on Xbox 360 service. Xbox LIVE Gold subscription required for all live TV packages.

FOXTEL launches its new factual entertainment channel A&E this Thursday February 16 at 6.30pm on HD Channel 607 (and SD Channel 230). 

A&E will deliver hundreds of hours of original and exclusive unscripted series to viewers in dynamic High Definition.

The schedule for A&E in Australia is comprised of original and exclusive programming from the US cable giant A+E Networks.

It will feature Australian premiere seasons of record breaking series franchises including Storage Wars, Storage Wars Texas, Dog The Bounty Hunter, Billy The Exterminator, Pawn Stars and American Pickers.

As well as Swamp People, Axe Men, American Pickers, Dog The Bounty Hunter and IRT: Deadliest Roads. 

A&E has commissioned Cordell Jigsaw, creators of Bondi Rescue, to produce the one hour special MegaTruckers.

This uniquely Australian program will launch the channel at 6.30pm this Thursday.

Currently being developed as a series, MegaTruckers follows blue collar hero Jon Kelly, the man who built Heavy Haulage Australia from scratch, and his “hard as nails” drivers hauling some of the world’s largest and heaviest loads across the treacherous Australian terrain. 

A&E champions genuine, passionate and fearless risk takers who continually push their boundaries providing thrill and anticipation for viewers.

These real life series centre on the high stakes lives of these captivating people whose risks are high and their rewards even greater, guaranteeing that every show and every moment keeps you on the edge of your seat.

Sky News Business, in conjunction with The Australian newspaper, will tonight launch a weekly television program, Australian Business, that will set the agenda in business television. 

The nation’s leading finance journalists and commentators will be joined by business leaders to dissect the critical issues for corporate Australia and the economy. 

SKY NEWS Chief Executive, Angelos Frangopoulos, said: “SKY NEWS and The Australian have already changed the face of Sunday morning politics on television. Now we’re doing the same with business.”

Tonight’s premiere episode will feature ANZ’s Australian boss Philip Chronican, fresh from delivering the bank’s keenly watched decision on mortgage rates. 

SKY NEWS BUSINESS’s, Kylie Merritt will then join The Australian’s Adam Creighton and Glenda Korporaal in discussion with investment banking stalwart, Mark Carnegie, on the global market turmoil and why he’s turning his own investment strategy on its head. 

Encore presentations of Australian Business will also be shown on Sundays – as part of the Sunday Business block – at 7.00am, 3.00pm and 11.00pm on SKY NEWS BUSINESS. *All times listed in AEDT.

To commemorate the 70th anniversary of the bombing of Darwin, The History Channel will premiere the exclusive one-hour documentary THE BOMBING OF DARWIN: An Awkward Truth on Sunday, February 19 at 7.30pm AEDT.
 
On February 19, 1942, the same Japanese forces that attacked Pearl Harbor struck Darwin, dropping more bombs, killing more civilians and sinking more ships.
 
The attack was one of Australia’s most shocking disasters and its first physical contact with WWII and yet the magnitude of the attack and the death and devastation that followed has, for decades, remained virtually unknown – an awkward truth.
 
This explosive documentary examines why the Australian military was totally unprepared for the sudden attack and why the government chose to keep the bombing a dark secret.
 
Following the fall of Singapore, many feared a Japanese invasion was imminent, but with the bulk of its troops overseas, Australia was unprepared and ill-equipped for war on its own doorstep. Tragically, the nation’s deepest fears would soon be realised.
 
At 9.58am on February 19, 1942, Japanese bombers and fighter planes appeared in the sky over Darwin and began a day of carnage. By its end, the surprise attack would leave over 250 people dead, a town burning in ruins, eight ships sunk and an air force base bombed into oblivion.
 
Drawing on long-hidden documents, incorporating rarely-seen archival footage and using dramatisations, eyewitness accounts from survivors and expert commentary, this gripping documentary finally reveals the true story surrounding the attack, as well as the disturbing events that occurred in the aftermath.
 
THE BOMBING OF DARWIN: An Awkward Truth was commissioned by The History Channel and produced by Artemis International.

To mark the anniversary of the Australian Government’s Apology to Australia’s First Nations Peoples and the Stolen Generations – FOXTEL’s Bio channel will premiere the second part of the award-winning local production WHO WE ARE, highlighting inspiring stories of Indigenous sports men and women.

The one-hour locally produced documentary special, WHO WE ARE IN SPORT, will premiere on Bio, Monday, February 13 at 8.30pm. 

Through the lens of some of the world’s greatest sporting achievers including Anthony Mundine, Mark Ella, Phil Krakouer, Nova Peris, Kyah Simon and Des Abbott,WHO WE ARE IN SPORT is a close-up look at some of the best known Indigenous Australian role models. 

Along with their struggles, sacrifices and legacies, they also reveal to us their dreams for the future of their sports, and their hopes for Indigenous Australians in all walks of life. 

The first series of WHO WE ARE, aired across 25 of FOXTEL’s mainstream channels in 2010, and went on to win a host of awards including 10 Awards at the New York Festivals 2011 World’s Best Television & Films, including a coveted Grand Award. 

The series also won the 2011 ASTRA Award for Most Outstanding Documentary. As Australia’s biggest subscription television broadcaster, invited into more than 1.66 million homes and with around 6 million viewers tuning in each week, FOXTEL has a powerful platform from which to contribute to reconciliation. 

WHO WE ARE IN SPORT marks the second production in a three-part creative strategy and complements FOXTEL’s other activities, which include: Broadcasting National Indigenous Television (NITV) nationally since 2007Providing indigenous traineeships and career opportunitiesFounding the Media Reconciliation Industry Network Group (RING) FOXTEL is also a major sponsor of The Dreaming Festival, Australia’s International Indigenous Festival.

Smash is a musical drama that celebrates the beauty and heartbreak of the Broadway theatre as it follows a cross section of dreamers and schemers who all have one common desire – to be a “Smash.”  

The series centres on a desire to create a Broadway musical based on the life of Marilyn Monroe – written by the successful songwriting duo of Tom (Tony Award nominee Christian Borle,  Legally Blonde: The Musical) and Julia (Emmy Award winner Debra Messing, Will & Grace).

Julia recently began the process of adopting a child with her husband Frank (Tony Award nominee Brian d’Arcy James, Shrek the Musical) of many years, but her focus is torn when she has the opportunity to write another Broadway hit.

A rivalry soon forms for the lead role between a youthful, inexperienced Midwestern beauty Karen (Katharine McPhee, American Idol) – who is trying to find fame in the big city against all odds – and stage veteran Ivy Lynn (Megan Hilty, 9 to 5: The Musical, Wicked), who’s determined to leave the chorus line and finally get her big break. 

A tenacious producer Eileen (Oscar winner Anjelica Huston, Prizzi’s Honor) discovers the “Marilyn” project and jumps on board with a brilliant director Derek Wills (Jack Davenport, Pirates of the Caribbean films) – whose talent is matched by his cunning and egocentric amorality.

Jaime Cepero (Porgy and Bess) stars as Tom’s assistant Ellis, and Raza Jaffrey (Sex and the City 2, MI-5) stars as Karen’s boyfriend Dev. Guest stars in the 15 episode series include Uma Thurman as movie star Rebecca Duvall, Bernadette Peters playing Ivy’s Tony Award winning mother Leigh Conroy and Nick Jonas as Lyle West who started as a child actor on Broadway and is now a television sitcom star. 

The series stemmed from an idea of executive producer and multiple Emmy and Oscar winner Steven Spielberg (ER, Schindler’s List). 

The pilot was written by creator/executive producer and acclaimed playwright/screenwriter Theresa Rebeck (Mauritius, NYPD Blue). David Marshall Grant (Brothers and Sisters), Craig Zadan and Neil Meron (Oscar winning Chicago and Hairspray) and Darryl Frank and Justin Falvey (United States of Tara, The Borgias) also serve as executive producers.

Original songs are written by Tony and Grammy Award winners Marc Shaiman and Scott Wittman (Hairspray, Catch Me If You Can), who serve as executive producers as well.  Smash is a production of Universal Television in association with DreamWorks Television and Madwoman in the Attic.