Foxtel announces Movie Greats channel, boosts on-demand movie library

• Movie critic Bill Collins hosting part of an expanded Foxtel On Demand movie library

Foxtel has chosen Oscar day to announce changes to its movie services, including the addition of a new channel dedicated to the all-time greatest movies ever made and a new “golden oldies” library available On Demand. The channel will launch on March 23, and will also be available to be streamed on Foxtel Now and On Demand.

The move comes just over 12 months since the subscription TV platform stopped carrying TCM, a classic movie channel.

Brian Walsh, Foxtel executive director of television, 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 lineup.

Mediaweek meets The Programmers – Foxtel’s Brian Walsh

“Foxtel Movie Greats will be carefully curated with a wide selection of outstanding motion pictures from every major Hollywood studio, including 20th Century Fox, Disney, Warners, Sony, Paramount, Universal and MGM. The channel will feature titles from Hollywood’s illustrious past through to modern classics. It will mean that Foxtel customers will now have the choice of 10 dedicated movie channels, including our incredibly successful pop-up movie channel More Movies,” he said.

“All movies on Foxtel are available in HD and ad-break free with fresh titles added to the lineup every week – combined with over 1,200 movies to watch On Demand – including the World Movies service, making the Foxtel Movies offer compelling and the best currently available on the market.”

The new Foxtel Movie Greats channel will feature the most-acclaimed actors and actresses of all time including Meryl Streep, Audrey Hepburn, Elizabeth Taylor, Clint Eastwood, Kiefer Sutherland, Tom Cruise, as well as notable comics Eddie Murphy, Goldie Hawn and Dan Aykroyd, and fan favourites Molly Ringwald, John Travolta, Demi Moore, Rob Lowe, and Sean Astin.

Key titles during launch include King Kong, An Officer And A Gentleman, Kramer vs. Kramer, Saturday Night Fever, The Godfather, The 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, Pretty In Pink, The Goonies, St. Elmo’s Fire, Trading Places, and all-time classics such as My Fair Lady, Cleopatra, The Great Escape, Ben-Hur, War And Peace, The Ten Commandments and many more.

Foxtel’s Brian Walsh

Brian Walsh added: “We have secured brand new digitally remastered prints of many of the titles, which look stunning. For a great many of the movies, this is the first time they will be seen in glorious HD, which will add to the magic,” he said.

In addition to the introduction of Movie Greats, Foxtel has announced that veteran movie critic Bill Collins will be part of an expanded On Demand library service available to subscribers, also from March 23.

“Bill is a much loved and highly respected movie reviewer, currently celebrating 55 years on Australian television, 23 of those with Foxtel,” continued Brian Walsh.

“From next month, Bill’s popular Golden Years Of Hollywood will be available On Demand, with a dedicated section of the On Demand library boasting a large number of Bill’s personal favourites and the all-time classics from Hollywood’s golden age. It will be a real treasure trove of movie masterpieces,” he said.

Titles available in Bill Collins’s On Demand library will include, at launch, All About Eve, All That Heaven Allows, Sunset Boulevard, The Wizard Of Oz, Singin’ In The Rain, An American In Paris, Casablanca, The Philadelphia Story, The African Queen, Auntie Mame, The Postman Always Rings Twice and Magnificent Obsession.

The Foxtel Movie Greats channel will be available in HD to Foxtel Movies and Foxtel Platinum subscribers on Channel 403. Over 60 of the key films from the new Foxtel Movie Greats channel will be available to watch from Foxtel’s On Demand library and will be streamed on Foxtel Now.

Top photo: The Godfather

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