Movie Networks channels to fold

Subscription TV’s Movie Network channels will cease to exist after December 31st.

Set to shut down are Movie One, Movie Two, FMC (Family Movie Channel), Movie Extra, Movie Greats and StarPics 1 & 2.

Studio Partners Time Warner, Disney, MGM & Village Roadshow announced their decision to end their joint venture partnership yesterday.

Around 40 Staff were told by management yesterday.

General Manager Peter Jenetsky told TV Tonight, “The Shareholders acknowledge that it is a disappointing outcome for the Management and Staff who after 12 years have achieved great success in building the Movie Network Channels business for their Studio and Subscription TV Distribution Partners.

“Personally I am extremely proud of the many accomplishments and accolades achieved by Movie Network Channels community during this time. We have been constant innovators in terms of our channels and services, formats and brands, productions, acquisitions and digital initiatives. Such accomplishments would not have been possible without the great support of our many and varied partners and collaborators who we have counted on time after time to make our ambitions come to fruition.

“Today was an exceedingly difficult day for all of us here at Movie Network Channels, and our first priority was to focus on the needs of colleagues and staff. I’m incredibly proud of each and every staff members professionalism, commitment and loyalty to this company, and never more than today when they received such devastating news.”

Original programming on Movie Networks has included Conspiracy 365 (pictured), The Jesters, Chandon Pictures, Small Time Gangster, Project Greenlight plus sponsorship of Tropfest, Movie Extra Webfest and AFI Awards.

The news follows Foxtel’s decision not to renew its movie contracts with suppliers while it prepares to launch its own movie channels, having recently purchasing Premium Movie Partnership (Showtime channels).

Foxtel Director of Television Brian Walsh recently told TV Tonight, “We will be rebadging those channels and reconfiguring the genre channels under movies and relaunching that service in early 2013.

“We’re holding our Upfronts event until the new year when we can publicly detail what our movies offerings will be and what our premium drama will be.

“We’ll have a new coat of paint, it will have a new name, it’s not going to be called Showtime.”

47 Comments:

  1. @David …. 16 channels down to 11 …. for the same price. This is a significant drop in channel choice / viewing options. I think it confirms the view that Foxtel are looking to increase their profit margin on this package. And Mr Walsh’s lick of paint doesn’t seem to be quite enough in my book. I think I have ‘jumped’ to the correct conclusion. Time to fire up the Apple TV to rent what movies I want.

  2. In the current package structure TCM is included in the Get Started Package, not in the movie tiers (although it used to be). I imagine that is where it will remain.

  3. In the current package structure TCM is included in the Get Started Package, not in the movie tiers (although It’s used to be). I expect that’s where it will remain.

  4. @ Paolo Royale — I’m sure new movie channels will be released by Foxtel. And I’m hoping you’re right that they’re “new and improved”. 🙂

  5. David might know of this, but have read elsewhere, that the new channels are going to be released tonight after 6pm, somekind of embargo till then.

  6. @Phoenix Settle down and wait and see. An announcement on new,improved movie channel brands and offerings will be released soon. No doubt Foxtel had to delay releasing their plans until affected staff had been notified.

  7. @wwenrl – TCM (Turner Classic Movies) is owned by Turner-Time-Life-Warner and usually comes as a package with CNN. Only Turner has rights to all of their TCM titles. 99.99% chance it will stay.

  8. I Love how some people are already making negative comments on the new film channels, already, even though nothing official has been announced, other than showtime and movie network are not going to be around 1 Jan 2013. No websites are up, no listing of which films are going to be on the first week, or which studios will or will not be on the new channels.
    Until Foxtel come out and say what they are going to be doing- it is going to be pure speculation. The only people who know what is going on, are the people at Foxtel, and the film studios they are dealing with right now!

  9. @TBone23 I rang foxtel and they said there were more showtime channels launching and the price would be the same. But I also read somewhere they don’t have deals with the 4 movie network studios. So I am downgrading my package and will buy movies rather than subscribe to them. I’m afraid I want more than a new name and a lick of paint as Mr Walsh says they’ll do. How absurd is that statement! Is he really in charge of television?

  10. What is the point of movie channels these days anyway?

    Most Hollywood films are rubbish and there are only 1 or 2 movies a month on that I would ever want to watch. Much cheaper to get them on Pay per View or DVD.

    Our household subscribes to the movie channels only to watch Mad Men, True Blood, Dexter, Boardwalk Empire, Treme, Girls etc.

  11. Foxtel are increasing their monopoly. In an interview about their taking over Showtime and locking up the rights to all HBO content for decades, they straight said they will be putting up prices for premium content

  12. BigVic December 7, 2012 at 12:20 pm &

    Kev December 7, 2012 at 12:11 pm –

    Not sure if this is a troll, but you really don’t think foxtel would ditch all the film channels…. for more sports??? How about the people who subscribe to pay, not for sport, but for films?

  13. Don’t forget independent producers are big losers here as well. MNC have commissioned hours of original scripted comedy and drama from smaller production companies. They were another “door”, not in the “club” and prepared to take a few risks. Now we have the same old Showtime drama team (with a new coat of paint) commissioning from their buddies as usual – Screentime, Endemol, Matchbox. Same as it ever was. As Foxtel drives down the programming costs, the 10% spend on Australian content also comes down.

  14. hopefully movie network channels will be replaced with some new movie channels but if not foxtel should definitely lower the subscription price. i guess we will know in a few weeks

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