Universal Channel rebrands from January 1st

By David Knox on October 17, 2013 / Filed Under Pay TV 12

2013-10-17_1215NBCUniversal’s Universal Channel will move to Foxtel’s Essentials Pack on January 1, 2014 (channel 116) with a new logo, on-air packaging and the tagline “100% Characters”

Amongst its new “character-driven entertainment” will be The Michael J. Fox Show, The Night Shift, Perception (Season Two) and the US version of Rake starring Greg Kinnear.

It will also include classic titles including Law & Order: SVU, Law & Order: CI, 30 Rock, Rookie Blue, Covert Affairs and Suits.

“Our significant investment in Universal Channel underscores our commitment to the brand and its key role as a portfolio driver for our channels’ business in Australia,” said Christine Fellowes, MD, Universal Networks International, APAC. “We are thrilled to be moving our transformed flagship brand to Foxtel’s basic tier giving more subscribers access to this great, character-driven content – including ‘Express from the U.S.’ series and new seasons of popular dramas and comedies .”

Premiering on Wednesday, January 15, The Michael J. Fox Show premieres in the 8:30 p.m. timeslot. In his return to a major television series lead role, Fox portrays a caring husband dealing with family, career and the challenges of Parkinson’s, all loosely drawn from his real life.

The following evening on Thursday, January 16 at 8:30 p.m. subscribers can tune in to the second season of Perception, featuring Eric McCormack. McCormack plays neurological professor Daniel Pierce who helps the FBI solve cases courtesy of his odd, and often imaginative, view of the world.

Later in 2014, Universal Channel will premiere anticipated medical drama series The Night Shift and the U.S. version of comedy-drama Rake, starring Emmy®-Award nominated Greg Kinnear as a brilliant but destructive criminal defence lawyer.

Universal Channel’s new, powerhouse line-up of content will be unveiled with the all-new look channel featuring a brand new logo, look and “100% Characters” tagline.

“We arrived at our unique positioning because we believe that great characters are the magnets that draw viewers back to their favourite shows – week after week,” said Lee Raftery, EVP, Marketing, NBCUniversal International Television. “Universal Channel’s new logo, look and ‘100% Characters’ tagline are simple and intuitive enabling us to connect with the hearts and minds of our audiences, everywhere, and maximize the potential of this global entertainment brand.”

Brian Walsh, Foxtel’s Executive Director of Television said: “NBCUniversal has established an impressive array of highly successful entertainment channels around the world and I am delighted that their reinvigorated flagship brand will now be available to all Foxtel subscribers.”

“NBCUniversal is one world’s most prolific producers and distributors of highly successful television series and I have no doubt that the new look Universal Channel will become a primary destination for viewers who love great television.”

A core channel brand for Universal Networks International, Universal Channel is seen in 103 countries and delivered in 16 languages around the world. The channel’s newly refined positioning – as the home of character-driven entertainment – has come to life across Asia, Central and Eastern Europe, Africa, Latin America, Brazil, the UK, Poland and Romania earlier this year.

12 Comments »

  1. CraigW October 18, 2013 at 8:57 am -

    TV1 traditionally on New Year’s Day rolled out pilot eps of their shows. Wonder if they’ll show a marathon of finales (where available)?

  2. Pertinax October 18, 2013 at 8:53 am -

    NBC Universal are increasing their presence in this country. They are moving out of repeats of old murder mysteries and into more general current content from their US studios.

    Hopefully we will eventually get to see S6 of Psych.

    According to The Australian, The ABC put a clause in the deal for Rake US which said it can’t air here till after the ABC shows S3 of the local version. That is why it will have to be in late 2014.

  3. Nate October 18, 2013 at 2:07 am -

    So they’re basically copying’s USA Network’s tagline of Characters Welcome and seemingly picking up a few of their shows to go with it, wouldn’t be surprised if Psych moves over when TV1 dissolves as well.

  4. Guy October 17, 2013 at 5:55 pm -

    @Paul and others

    TV Hits is replacing TV1. Universal is just rebranding. Will be great to finally have it on the essentials package

  5. brentstv October 17, 2013 at 4:31 pm -

    I hope They play All Saints season 11 & 12 which i’m Still Waiting for.

  6. bill October 17, 2013 at 2:35 pm -

    Disappointing, but not that surprising, that it isn’t going to be in HD

  7. peter October 17, 2013 at 1:59 pm -

    Gerk Kinnear .

  8. paul95 October 17, 2013 at 1:59 pm -

    So David, as this the replacement for TV1 will seinfeld be on this channel and will it be available on Foxtel go?

  9. Dalmanic October 17, 2013 at 1:47 pm -

    This sounds like more of the usual
    “Pay more for less (content/choice)”
    that Foxtel users are getting used to.
    They’ll probably have a few good shows for a while, then fade back to bleh.

  10. Josh777 October 17, 2013 at 1:25 pm -

    It’s great that Universal will finally have some more great U.S. series as opposed to the odd one or two and then the rest of the schedule filled with telemovies and Aussie repeats. In terms of programming, it looks like anything that was on TV1 that isn’t a “classic” has been picked up by Universal (Law & Order, 30 Rock, and Covert Affairs). At the same time season 2 of Perception and STV premiere of Suits are great additions. Not to mention the Aust. premiere of The Michael J Fox Show which if promos are anything to go by is going to be a hit. In terms of the brand, it rolled out overseas earlier this year so it was inevitably going to happen here.

  11. Qubec October 17, 2013 at 1:25 pm -

    What a crock!!! They’re getting rid of two channels (TV1 and TV1+2), replacing them with a single channel and merging two channels worth of content (TV1 and Universal) into a single channel, thereby giving a significantly less content than before. Typical Foxtel ripping off customers yet again. Can Kogan, Virgin, someone, anyone, please take on Foxtel? It’s just getting ridiculous at how they’re monopolising the entire cable sphere and taking advantage of customers in the process.
    Then again, Netflix, Hulu and other streaming services will soon start eroding their business and they’ll be begging customers to come back. That will be nice…

  12. CraigW October 17, 2013 at 1:16 pm -

    So will the Drama and Lifestyle Package option be cheaper (and associated higher packages which include it)?

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