Foxtel is retiring its Showtime and Movie Network subscription cable TV packages, and replacing them with a unified cable and streaming service it is calling Foxtel Movies & Premium Drama.
Seven new Foxtel Movies channels will make up the core of the new subscription package, which will be implemented from January 1, 2013. The seven channels are: Premiere, Action/Adventure, Comedy, Drama/Romance, Family, Thriller/Crime, and Masterpiece.
The HBO channel Showcase will also be part of the new package, as will a World Movies channel. Showcase and Foxtel Movies Premiere also have two '+2' channels, with the same programming but delayed by two hours. All the new channels will be broadcast in High Definition with the exception of World Movies and the two +2 services.
A 'sneak peek' list of January's movies can be found here.
Foxtel users that currently only subscribe to one of the two available movie packages will be shifted to grandfathered versions of the new tier, with the half-way Movie Basic Showcase and Movie Basic Family packages each comprising around half of the full nine-channel service.
Foxtel On Demand will also get a content boost with the addition of full-length movies from the new subscription tier, with "a rich and vastly increased" variety of movies available to watch after they are broadcast on the cable service — hundreds of movies will be available at any one time, but the length of viewing time available before expiry is not set in stone.
Foxtel CEO Richard Freudenstein had nothing but praise for the revamp: "Our research told us customers want one destination for their movies, as well as simple navigation to find the movie they feel like watching. The seven dedicated and intuitively themed movie channels will ensure we make it as easy as possible for people to find and watch the movie they feel like watching.
"Additionally, our better Foxtel On Demand offering perfectly complements the channels, giving customers a virtual movie library at their fingertips, with hundreds of titles available at any time – providing amazing value for movie subscribers."