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C21May iPad

Foxtel to launch classic movies channel

Steve McQueen in The Great Escape


Australian pay TV platform Foxtel is strengthening its movie line-up by launching a classic movie channel on March 23, featuring many titles that will be available in HD for the first time.

Foxtel Movie Greats will fill a gap after the company axed two classics channels at the end of 2012 and since the demise of TCM in 2016.

Recognising that subscribers are increasingly migrating from linear channels to streaming, the new network will also be available on SVoD service Foxtel Now, and a new “golden oldies” library will be accessible on demand.

Despite the rise of Netflix and the plethora of other platforms that offer movies, the category is a consistently popular part of Foxtel’s service, boosted by a pop-up movie channel.

Around 50% of Foxtel’s 2.8 million subscribers take the movie pack, which costs A$20 (US$15.50) per month.

The movie greats channels were scrapped when Foxtel reconfigured its movies and drama line-up with the introduction of Premiere and Masterpiece plus genre channels.

Foxtel has secured new digitally remastered prints of many of the titles so they will be seen in HD for the first time on Foxtel Movie Greats, the 10th movie channel on the platform.

The raft of titles at launch will include King Kong, An Officer & A Gentleman, Kramer vs. Kramer, Saturday Night Fever, The Godfather, Greatest Show On Earth, Risky Business, Flying High and Flying High 2, Chariots of Fire, Escape from Alcatraz, Death on the Nile, Murder on the Orient Express and Pretty in Pink.

Among the all-time classics will be My Fair Lady, Cleopatra, The Great Escape, Ben-Hur, War and Peace and The Ten Commandments.

Executive director of TV Brian Walsh said: “We know how much our customers love movies and we recognise how important it is for them to have choice. That includes movies of every genre and from every decade.

“We recognised a gap in not providing a service dedicated to the all-time movie greats and that is why this new channel has been added to the line-up.”

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