Don Groves is a Deadline contributor based in Sydney
The new output arrangement with HBO gives Foxtel, Oz’s dominant pay-TV player, a longer hold-back period before shows are available to free-to-air networks and stipulates that it can run programs as soon as possible after they air in the U.S. Foxtel will be 50% owned by News Corp. once the conglomerate’s Consolidated Media acquisition goes through and much as the News Corp.-controlled Sky has done with HBO shows in the UK, Foxtel in Oz intends to fast-track series after their U.S. launches. Foxtel will also position Showcase, one of the Showtime movie channels it’s acquiring from Sony, NBCUniversal, Fox, Paramount and Liberty Media, as Australia’s “home of HBO” just like Sky has done with the UK’s Sky Atlantic. Showcase already screens HBO shows including Boardwalk Empire, Game of Thrones, Girls, True Blood and Veep. Among the new shows covered is upcoming police drama True Detective, with Matthew McConaughey and Woody Harrelson.
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