Ovation struggling as stand-alone Arts channel

Independently-owned channel Ovation has vanished from the Foxtel platform for a second time after struggling to sustain its subscriber base.

The specialist Arts channel had been part of Foxtel packages for 13 years before it was replaced by STVDIO in April 2010. It then installed its own customer service system to oversee its subscriber base and returned via Foxtel and Austar as an add-on channel.

But now the channel advises it has been unable to meet enough subscribers to meet the costs involved in broadcasting via Foxtel.

“We had hoped by now that our subscriber numbers would be enough to keep the channel on Foxtel. Unfortunately we have not reached sustainable subscriber numbers and, due to the hefty access costs involved in getting the channel broadcast to Foxtel homes, it is no longer feasible to continue to bear these costs. As a result Foxtel has removed Ovation from its platform.”

TV Tonight understands that behind the scenes some Ovation staff have recently been let go.

Ovation’s content consists of concerts, dramas, musicals, dance, classical music, cabaret, literature, jazz, rock music, art documentaries and is widely recognised for making Andre Rieu a household name in Australia.

Comment is being sought from Foxtel.

14 Comments:

  1. Business news shows Foxtel working steathily to remove all competitors by any peans. They’ve pulled the plug on Ovation and are currently bidding for Austar. Select TV has gone into liquidation. (Anything we should know about Optus?) Not surprising strategies when a 50% shareholder of Foxtel is Telstra followed by Aus News Corp at 25%.
    I signed with Foxtel four years ago.I have watched the quality of programs deteriorate whilst the costs have increased. I have returned to free to air tv programs and reduced my Foxtel packages from 4 to 2. The only benefit i get from Foxtel is ABC2 and SBS2, and the wide coverage of news and weather. If there is one more increase in cost or further channel cuts Foxtel will lose me.

  2. @marcalpet – Err…read the article again. Foxtel haven’t taken any money from subscribers for Ovation since March 2010. Ovation is responsible for its own subscriber management and, by association, all billing. As such, Foxtel doesn’t need to notify subscribers – that’s technically Ovation’s responsibility if they can’t pay their broadcast license.

  3. I Had the free trial for January 2011 and then was offered to get Ovation for 12 months at a cost of $99. Paid $99 about two weeks ago now the channel has been switched off!! Not happy Jan. Have tried to contact them by phone only to receive a message. I want to talk to someone. I have left a message but they have not phoned. Have also emailed them with no reply. I have not received any emails from Ovation when I heard from the owner of Ovation via the Ian Maurice show 4bc brisbane that we would be getting an email on saturday. Has not happened yet. I really do enjoy watching Ovation. I hope that I have not lost my $99. Can’t afford to lose that sort of money.

  4. Heeelllooo Foxtel, where is your comment on this? Did not even give subscribers notice, but still took their money. I have about had it of Foxtel.

  5. I can’t think of a single time that I ever watched Ovation. Recent programming on the channel has been rubbish. Mostly old movie musicals that can be seen on other channels (even on Fox Classics!) but they expect people to pay extra for it?

    As for STVDIO, like Ovation, I rarely if ever watch it. There isn’t enough content that appeals to a wide audience.

  6. It had the odd good program (like most pay tv stations) but I’m already paying too much for my pay tv.
    Studio is the same – it has the occasional good program.

  7. Well its no wonder they cant get a subscriber base. How are you meant to when your charging $5 for a single SD channel! It shound be integrated into the same tier as STVDIO so customers can view it without having to pay the rediculous price, hence gaining a larger customer base. Its not that hard to figure out.

  8. Can’t say I ever watched Ovation, but the whole way they were dumped by Foxtel in the first place was a little weird anyway.

    Maybe Ovation should get Andre Rieu to hold a personal plee to Foxtel or benefit concert or something lol

  9. Not suprised one bit! All it basically screened was Andre reieu, and similar artists. I had a 1 month free trial in January, never viewed a single program on it!!

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