Pay TV History

Showtime and Nine cofunded films back then too, they’d invest and then get exclusive or first run rights to air them too.

Were channel ten doing it as well? Because I have an idea that Crackerjack may of been a “ten production” or coproduction.

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You’re right. Network Ten and Showtime are listed as producers of Crackerjack on IMDb.

Would have helped someone meet local content requirements too

TVC was not Optus’ version of TVSN … TVC was the initial TVSN brand … ‘TVC The Value Channel’ … there was a rebrand around 1996/7/8 ish.

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musicMAX never became MTV Classic Australia … musicMAX (along with the V channels) was wholly owned and operated by Foxtel Networks at the time of it’s closure … when the music video channels were all wholly outsourced to MTV Networks Australia.

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Wasn’t it called Mosaic ? I remember CETV (predecessor to Austar in regional VIC).

Movie Network (One, Extra Greats, Starpics, FMC) was an entity owned by Warner / Disney / MGM / Village Roadshow - initially it was only available on Optus, and an a package on Austar - it was only later in the piece that it became available to Foxtel.

Foxtel had always offered the PMP (Premium Movie Partnership) package of channels (Showtime, Encore etc) - PMP was basically owned by the other major studios.

Eventually both packages were available on Foxtel - then Foxtel took over PMP - then signed up all of the studios, and Movie Network shut down.

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Early on, before it was on austar it was known (at least amongest where i lived on the NSW / Vic Border) how to get into the austar service menu, change the frequency the box scanned at and get the movie network channels - presumably they used the same encryption as austar? i don’t know i was only a teen at the time and didn’t care for the technical

Doug Mulray Music Max breakfast promo

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What was thebasement, it sounds like an early internet radio station?

it was Max’s breakfast show. It didn’t last long, only a couple of weeks IIRC.

I’m pretty sure it was a tie-in with The Basement music venue, which was a reasonably iconic live music venue in Sydney for a few decades*, but I can’t remember if they were running an early internet radio station at the time; it does ring a bell.

* The original venue in Circular Quay closed in 2018 - a similar Melbourne basement venue’s taken over the name and is looking for a new Sydney venue; while another operator’s taken over the original venue since.

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Remember the Australian version of TechTV?

Wasn’t around for long, launched for Foxtel Digital and was replaced when the US version merged with G4, with Crime & Investigation Channel.

Was this basically a Foxtel channel?

Albeit not of Foxtel’s fault to be fair; the decision by Comcast (who owned G4) to pull the international feed at the end of 2004, rather than distribute the newly merged channel. Was mainly just really bad timing, although yeah, it meant it lasted less than a year here.

The TechTV part was dumped off the merged channel’s name in the US barely weeks after [it remained for a while in Canada because CRTC format rules wouldn’t have fit the G4 peg into the TechTV format hole] and it’s hard to know whether the “video game culture” stuff G4 focused on would’ve worked here; it was quite a bit different from some of TechTV’s remit. Certainly CI would’ve rated much more so, as much as cable channels really “rate”, given the interest in the true crime genre.

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Loved it - Call for Help with Leo Laporte, the screen savers, so much good nerdy content.