111 HITS, which launches on November 1st will be aimed squarely at the lucrative advertiser-friendly 25-54 demographic, as a move to compete with the new standard definition digital channels by commercial networks.
It will program US hits primarily from the Warner Bros, Disney and 20th Century Fox studios, including Friends, Will & Grace, Ally McBeal, The Wonder Years, That 70s Show, ER, Murphy Brown, Alf, Lost, 24 and Baywatch.
The schedule from 6.30pm each weeknight begins with Murphy Brown, The King of Queens, That 70s Show, Dharma & Greg, Friends and Will & Grace. Nine’s major US hit this year, Two and a Half Men, will screen five nights a week (at the same time) in 2009.
“Collectively, our ambition is to take audience away from the free-to-airs,” Foxtel executive director of television and marketing Brian Walsh told The Australian.
“If anything, this will take audiences away from the three commercials.”
“It will be great to have a channel that shows programs consistently and reliably,” he said.
“We promise a dedicated schedule that won’t change.”
The channel will comprise part of the Get Started package and be run from the Comedy Channel base in Melbourne.
FOXTEL today announced the iconic programming line-up for its exciting new entertainment channel 111 HITS which launches on November 1, 2008. The channel comes from the FOXTEL Owned & Operated group which is behind the ASTRA Award winning channels FOX8, W., Arena and FOX Classics.
111 HITS will be the new home to television’s biggest hits and some of the most-loved programs in television history, including critically acclaimed dramas and award-winning comedies. It’s triple the stars, triple the memories and triple the hits.
Top-rating and ground-breaking series such as Friends’ Will & Grace, Ally McBeal, The Wonder Years, That ’70s Show, ER, Murphy Brown, Alf, Lost, 24 and Baywatch are just some of the programs that capture the energy, fun, heart and soul of this new channel.
FOXTEL Executive Director of Television and Marketing, Brian Walsh said: “The television you love now has a brand new home on 111 HITS, bringing the best of TV from the ’80s, ’90s and today, together at one FOXTEL destination.”
111 HITS will be presented to audiences in a new format offering blocks of programming across the day. For FOXTEL subscribers this means the best dramas are delivered as movie length double episodes and comedies are grouped together based on genre and audience profile.
Walsh continued: “The unique programming blocks on 111 HITS have been strategically targeted based on audience viewing habits of these programs gathered from FOXTEL’s research. It will ensure that once you arrive at 111 HITS you”ll never want to leave.
“111 HITS is a wonderful addition to FOXTEL’s stable of channels’ and provides an even wider range of sought after programming ensuring our subscribers will always love what’s on FOXTEL seven days a week.”
With the introduction of 111 HITS, viewer favourite FOX Classics will be re-positioned to celebrate the legendary television series’ from the ’60s and ’70s including Mash, Petticoat Junction, Lost In Space, as well as continuing its much-loved Bill Collins’ Golden Years of Hollywood with Mr Movies himself. FOX Classics will continue to honour the films of James Bond which have been ratings juggernauts for the channel throughout the 2008/09 summer season.
FOXTEL is also pleased to announce Alex Ristevski as the new Channel Manager for 111 HITS. As Group Channel Manager for 111 HITS and THE COMEDY CHANNEL, Ristevski will operate the channel from FOXTEL’s Melbourne studios.
111 HITS will be part of FOXTEL’s Get Started package, enabling all subscribers to enjoy watching the most successful shows in television history. Find 111 HITS at channel 111 on FOXTEL’s Electronic Program Guide.
On November 1, 2008 FOXTEL is also launching two new family-oriented channels exclusively to its subscribers – CBeebies, an ad free channel for pre-school children and BBC Knowledge which is a documentary channel. Both unique channels are from BBC Worldwide, FOXTEL’s subscription television partner in Australia.
Source: The Australian