Foxtel to launch murder-mystery, sci-fi channels as part of entertainment refresh

‘Star Trek: Deep Space Nine.’

The NBCUniversal-owned channels 13th Street and Syfy will disappear from Foxtel’s platform next month, replaced by two new Fox-branded channels.

On December 17 Foxtel will launch Fox Sleuth, which will tap into the murder mystery genre, and Fox Sci Fi, featuring supernatural, paranormal and science fiction programming.

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

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 Nine.

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 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.“

Foxtel has signed an extensive but non-exclusive multi-year agreement with NBCUniversal covering movies, drama, comedy, entertainment, reality and news for the Foxtel group’s broadcast, on demand and streaming platforms.

The deal 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 the series Chicago P.D., which will premiere on Fox One on November 15, and complete seasons of The Office, 30 Rock and Parks and 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.

The deal also gives Foxtel more ammunition for its planned low-cost drama and entertainment streaming service (known internally as Project Ares), which is expected to launch in March or April.