Hallmark switch to Universal Channel

By David Knox on May 28, 2010 / Filed Under Pay TV 24

“Characters Welcome.”

The Hallmark Channel is set to change its name on July 1st to Universal Channel.

The channel is owned and operated by NBC Universal Global Networks, which also owns 13th Street.

It airs content from the original American Hallmark Channel, selected telemovies from America and the UK, along with classic and contemporary Australian drama series from Southern Star Entertainment, including Blue Heelers, Packed to the Rafters, SeaChange, Sea Patrol, McLeod’s Daughters, Rain Shadowand Stingers.

24 Comments »

  1. susie November 30, 2010 at 5:31 pm -

    Could you please bring back the Martha Stewart Show, we dont get new season 6 anymore just repeats. not fair!

  2. Josh July 1, 2010 at 8:57 am -

    Yay the logo actually looks really good =). Why cant NBC Universal have made their logo for 13th Street and KidsCo the same size! I really approve of the change, now they just need to change their other logos and i wont have a fault with them =) well except that KidsCo isnt 16:9 but that will happen before the end of the year anyway =p

  3. DAN May 30, 2010 at 12:04 am -

    well thanks to hallmark i have very singile episode of a country practice al 1’088 of them so i am gratefull to them but i do agree an aussie channel would be awesome

    @Gary Wallace imagine if that came true we would be in hevan

  4. Billy May 29, 2010 at 5:28 pm -

    I contacted Hallmark and suggested they add more Australian shows and to cut the double A Country Practice episodes and just have 1 followed by another Australian show. Crash Palace, Prisoner , The Secret Life of Us , Canal Road , The Young Doctors and many more options .Something not too recent , since this was the closest thing to a Pure Aussie style drama channel and now it will become the furthest thing.
    The response I got from them was they hope that I am delighted with the news that they are going to screen Rush !! ?? They didn’t get it and now are not getting it even more…..
    I think people after Aussie classics should request them from Fox Classics which also needs Aussie shows.

  5. hairy harry May 29, 2010 at 1:56 pm -

    Sadly this sounds like the channel is going to me more American and less Australian. Let me join the chorus of comments that suggest we should have a fully Aussie channel.
    Would love to see old soapies repeated in the daytime and all those great dramas we currently see on Hallmark at night. They could also add all the dramas and comedies that have screened on Foxtel over the years and we don’t see again now like Shock Jock, Crash Palace, Shark Bay and Supernova.

  6. Josh May 29, 2010 at 1:30 pm -

    @ bakshi43 – i actually like the logo but i believe the size of it during a show is unnecessary and a pain in the ass. it draws away your attention from the show and cuts out a good portion of the image. if they reduced the size it wouldnt be too bad.

  7. bakshi43 May 29, 2010 at 11:23 am -

    I can only wonder what the new on-screen logo will look like.
    When I had access to 13th Street, I found I couldn’t watch it due to the atrocity of the on-screen branding.
    16X9 is well overdue though.

  8. Josh May 29, 2010 at 10:00 am -

    @ Jellyman – in my opinion we have we to many other channels that should go HD before Hallmark/Universal. Arena, Sci Fi, Showtime Comedy, Showtime Drama, History, Animal Planet, Discovery Turbo Max, Nat Geo Adventure, Disney Channel – and their just the channels i can think of off the top of my head. But yes i do think that would go on the list of “Make Into HD” but i cant see it being on the short list. I would like to say again that is Just my opinion =p

  9. Matt J May 29, 2010 at 3:47 am -

    @ Jellyman – what’s the point if the channel will be in HD? What classicshows were filmed in HD let alone in WS? The channel should be in WS! Don’t worry about HD. Unless Fxtel will not charge for HD and there were more channels, that’s when we begin to ask then that question :)

  10. Jellyman May 28, 2010 at 10:48 pm -

    Will we get Universal HD in Australia in late 2010?

  11. Josh May 28, 2010 at 8:22 pm -

    @ Craig – yeah isnt it great that 16:9 is nearly on all channels! Once TV1, Arena and Universal Channels go widescreen there will only be 2 channels in the 100′s to go widescreen. Keep an eye on the wikipedia page en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Austar_channels i update it constantly with any Austar/Foxtel news =)

  12. Gary Wallace May 28, 2010 at 5:39 pm -

    So how about an Aussie Channel. There’s plenty of content if they can get the rights. Matlock, The Sullivans, Division 4, Homicide, Skippy, The Restless Years, Sons and Daughters, Ryan, Bluey, Waterloo Station, Chopper Squad, Prisioner, Carson’s Law, Cop Shop, Skyways, The Young Doctors, Aunty Jack etc etc etc

  13. Craig May 28, 2010 at 5:15 pm -

    Thanks Josh, I didn’t know.

    I don’t mind the name change, as long as it still has a lot of local shows.

    BTW I also didn’t know TV1 ans Arena are (finally) going 16:9 in a few days. A few channels still remain 4:3, but they are becoming a rare thing.

  14. Josh May 28, 2010 at 4:29 pm -

    @ Craig and a couple of the other commenters – Hallmark were set to change to 16:9 on July 1st before this news so im guessing that they picked to leave it till then to make it seem like a new channel instead of just a new name.

  15. J Bar May 28, 2010 at 3:17 pm -

    Why change the name? I would rather have an OzTV channel that featured all those great Aussie series and more.

  16. Kuttsywood May 28, 2010 at 3:15 pm -

    I agree with the people who want the Australian drama channel.

    In fact, Foxtel should dig up the idea of bringing TV Land to Australia again, but devote it solely to Australian content, including negotiations for stuff like the Crawfords, Grundy and Kennedy-Miller libraries to air on a TV Land network, alongside modern content.

  17. Grinspoon May 28, 2010 at 1:39 pm -

    “Characters Welcome”

    is also the slogan for the US cable channel “USA network”
    Which is a NBC/Universal channel.

    So does this mean this is essentially an aussie version of USA but re-branded?

  18. tomothy May 28, 2010 at 1:36 pm -

    The “Characters Welcome” slogan is that of the USA Network in the US which airs Psych, Monk, White Collar to name a few.
    Really dont see the need to change the name, considering the content is barely any of the Universal Studios productions.
    Would have been better to relaunch it as an Australian classics network, then move the other non Australian content to 13th Street, UKTV and W.
    I assume, that there has been no word on whether it will be a 16:9 channel, most probably because it will remain 4:3 as did MTV Classics after the loss of VH1.

    Talking of widescreen, shouldn’t be long now before Arena and TV1 go wide, both have stated mid year for their switch over, lets hope their good on their word.

  19. Rod May 28, 2010 at 1:35 pm -

    That tag line works much better for the USA Network (also NBC-Univ) back stateside.

  20. Jer May 28, 2010 at 1:25 pm -

    The channel should be switching to Widescreen then too.

    TV1 and Arena will be Widescreen June 1 :)

  21. Phoenix May 28, 2010 at 12:26 pm -

    Does anyone know if the Universal Channel is going be in widescreen instead of its current full screen format? It’s very frustrating watching cut-down movies and shows that were made in widescreen.

  22. Craig May 28, 2010 at 12:18 pm -

    So will the switch also include an upgrade to 16:9 format David?

  23. Nathan from Extra Source Podcast May 28, 2010 at 12:05 pm -

    Love the name
    Love Universal!

  24. Rhys May 28, 2010 at 11:52 am -

    Would have been good to see them split the channel in two. One drawing on US/UK content, and the other dedicated to airing Australian drama and mini-series.

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