Foxtel: Comedy Channel moves to Melbourne

Foxtel is moving its Comedy Channel to the giggle palace of Melbourne - and opening a brand spanking new production studio to boot. Melbourne comedians said to be amused.
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Foxtel today announced it would continue to produce television programming in Melbourne and will move its popular The Comedy Channel to new Melbourne headquarters.

In a Monty Python mood, Foxtel has appointed Sean Riley as General Manager, Foxtel Channels, Melbourne. Riley will also be Channel Manager of the relocated The Comedy Channel. Riley was formerly Channel Manager for The Fox Footy Channel, so we are looking forward to the re-casting of Dermot Brereton as John Cleese.

Footy Towers, anyone?

Melbourne International Comedy Festival Director Susan Provan welcomed the move as “obviously a good thing”, noting that most comedy execs flew to the Festival to scout, however “local relationships are always easier maintain,” she said.

A number of other Foxtel channel partners, including Fox Sports, are also expected to use the new Melbourne production facility, which will be known as Foxtel Studios Melbourne.

Foxtel’s Melbourne TV Headquarters which will be based at 40 City Rd, Southbank, just around the corner from the den of iniquity that is otherwise known as ScreenHub.

In an “I can’t quite see why this is relevant, but here goes” moment, Foxtel Chief Executive Kim Williams said that Foxtel already had its call centre and installation operations based in Melbourne and this new television facility reinforced Foxtel’s presence and commitment to Melbourne.

Calls to Foxtel are now expected to be funny.

“Foxtel already employs more than 1000 people in Melbourne. Foxtel Studios Melbourne will contribute to the growth and development of the production community in Victoria with subscription television’s significant and growing slate of local productions.

“We are delighted to be joined by our channel partners in this new facility,” Mr Williams said.

The Foxtel Studios Melbourne premises, which for the past five years has housed the Fox Footy Channel, will be reconfigured to accommodate both studio and television post production facilities.

“The formation of a dedicated television production facility in Melbourne is the natural next stage of development as the subscription television industry continues to increase its local production slate across all genres,” Foxtel’s Executive Director of Television and Marketing, Brian Walsh, said.

“Foxtel and its channel partners are already filming a number of productions in Melbourne and this exciting initiative ensures that Melbourne will remain a vibrant hub for quality television production.

“It is also tremendously exciting that Foxtel’s owned and operated The Comedy Channel will now be based in Melbourne, the city universally regarded as the home of Australian comedy.”

The new Melbourne-based The Comedy Channel will be officially relaunched on Australia Day, January 26, 2007.

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