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Studios JV Oz channels to leave Foxtel

A pair of Australian channels jointly operated by NBCUniversal, Sony Pictures Television and CBS Studios International are reportedly set to close.

The high-rating TV1 and sister channel SF both have carriage contracts with pay TV leader Foxtel that expire at the end of the year but new talks are believed to have broken down.

TV1 is one Australian pay TV’s oldest channels, while SF is affiliated with the global NBCU Syfy brand, having previously been known as Sci Fi.

A Foxtel spokesman told local trade news website Mediaweek: “Channel agreements regularly come up for renegotiation and our current agreements with TV1 and SF are due to expire at the end of this year. We are currently in discussion with several of our content suppliers to determine new arrangements and will continue to maintain both a replacement general entertainment channel and a dedicated science fiction channel on the Foxtel platform.

“We are confident that, as a result of those discussions, our most popular content will continue to be available to our subscribers. More details will be provided once new agreements have been finalised.”

Australian news outlets later confirmed the report. Thirty-five staff are affected by the potential closure.