Foxtel has confirmed this morning that the Channel V brand will disappear from its platform this Friday.
The change will see the channel rebranded as V Hits, all long-form programming has been axed as part of the change. At this stage it is unclear how many staff will lose their jobs due to this decision.
Channel V (formally Red TV) has been an important part of the Australian Pay-TV industry for 21 years. At its peak it was one of the most successful channels on the Foxtel network, producing numerous hours of live content and discovering TV presenters such as James Mathison and Osher Gunsberg (Andrew G), Yumi Stynes, Jabba, Danny Clayton and Andrew Mercado, however audiences slowly declined as music videos became moreover easily accessible on online platforms such as YouTube.
Foxtel music channels, including Channel V are currently being disrupted by a dispute with Universal Music which has prevented videos from that label being played on the network since October 2015.
Despite earlier reports, DeciderTV understands there will be no changes to the MAX, CMC or Smooth music channels.
A statement from a Foxtel spokesperson this morning confirmed the decision stating,
"We are making some changes to our music channels on Foxtel, You will start to see some changes to Channel [V] from this Saturday, February 27. From Friday, March 25 we will no longer use the Channel [V] brand and will change to V Hits and V Hits +2. V Hits features a line-up of music videos and countdowns, including the latest hits from Australia and around the world."
A leaked staff email has also emerged on thePedestrian blog from Foxtel's Brian Walsh and Stephen Baldwin.
As foreshadowed in my presentation yesterday, we are making changes across our organisation in order to be match fit in an increasingly competitive landscape. One area I discussed with you was channel rationalisation.
Over the past several years music clips have become ubiquitous with availability on services like YouTube, whilst linear broadcast audiences for music channels have been in steady decline. In order to run the Foxtel music services more efficiently we have decided to merge Channel [V] and [V] Hits.
The new service will be called [V] Hits and we will create a +2 of this channel. [V] Hits will continue to be a clip based channel with no long form content.
This change will begin to take place this Saturday, with the channel branding completed by late March.
I would like to thank the music team for their hard work and dedication in making Channel [V] an integral part of the Australian music landscape throughout the years.
I would also like to thank those team members leaving us today. You leave with our best wishes for your onward journey.
Brian Walsh & Stephen Baldwin"
Channel V is closing on Friday. Must have been a tough call to make for MGMT. 20yrs of cutting edge TV, sad to see it go.— Osher Günsberg (@oshergunsberg) February 23, 2016
After 20 years of music television, @channelv says goodbye this friday..Thanks for the memories and the great times. I loved working wit you— Jane Gazzo (@JaneGazzo) February 23, 2016