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Foxtel extends NBCU deal, axes two nets

Series such as Poirot will air on Fox Sleuth

Leading Australian pay TV platform Foxtel has signed an extensive non-exclusive multi-year agreement with NBCUniversal (NBCU) but is axing two NBCU-owned channels as part of a refresh of its entertainment roster.

On December 17, Foxtel will launch two Fox-branded channels, Fox Sleuth, which will tap into the murder mystery genre, and Fox Sci Fi, featuring supernatural, paranormal and science-fiction programming. They will replace NBCU-owned duo 13th Street and Syfy respectively.

Fox Sleuth will be home to whodunnit series including Vera, Endeavour, Murder She Wrote, Murdoch Mysteries, Poirot and Magnum PI.

Fox Sci Fi will screen such shows as Heroes, the original Charmed, Battlestar Galactica, Star Trek: The Original Series, Star Trek: The Next Generation, Star Trek: Voyager and Star Trek: Deep Space 9.

They will join the rebranded channels Fox One, Fox Funny, Fox Hits and Fox Crime together with the pillars Fox Showcase, Fox8 and Fox Classics.

Brian Walsh, Foxtel executive director of television, said: “The launch of Fox Sleuth and Fox Sci Fi channels completes a major refresh of our entertainment and movies line-up, providing Foxtel viewers with the best of TV and on demand for summer.

“The all-new line-up creates a distinct group of channel propositions and personalities that make Foxtel more accessible for viewers and provide us with more supplier flexibility to bring the world’s best content to our customers.”

The Foxtel-NBCU deal covers movies, drama, comedy, entertainment, reality and news for the Foxtel group’s broadcast, on demand and streaming platforms.

It includes first-run subscription rights to movies from Universal Pictures and a significantly expanded range of titles from the studio’s library, plus first-run rights to drama procedural Chicago PD, which will premiere on Fox One on November 15, and complete seasons of The Office, 30 Rock and Parks & Recreation for Fox Funny and Fox Hits.

NBCU will also provide thousands of additional hours of on-demand content, including movies and Bravo reality series and scripted box sets.

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