CMC To Cease Broadcasting After June

Written by on 5 May, 2020

Foxtel announced it will turn off its in-house music channels on 30th June. This means the famed Country Music Channel (‘CMC’) will cease broadcasting along with sister channels in [V] and Max.

Music video channels won’t entirely disappear from the pay-tv service however. Foxtel has struck a deal with Viacom, owners of the existing MTV music channels, to launch replacements. As for the Foxtel-Nova Entertainment joint venture in Smooth, it may survive. Meaning radio could save the video star.

Viacom’s music channels to replace Foxtel’s in-house channels

Viacom will continue broadcasting its MTV channels in Australia as well as launching Nick Music (Viacom owns Nickelodeon, the kids channel) and Country Music Television (CMT).

Viacom will be launching CMT in Australia

America’s country music channel CMT, will replace CMC in July

Many Aussies will recognise CMT from their favourite American and Canadian artist social media posts. CMT is the American equivalent of CMC but with a stronger programming lineup.

The announcement from Foxtel has seen many Australian artists take to social media to voice their sadness at the news.

Country Music Channel, 2004 – 2020

CMC launched in 2004, itself replacing an existing country music video channel. The channel quickly established itself as a major part of the Australian industry, providing both entertainment and support.

The channel has featured a number of locally produced programs often tied to festivals like CMC Rocks, Gympie Music and Deni Ute Musters, with local artists as hosts. In addition, CMC Rocks MC Stormy Warren become known to Aussie fans through his program Headline Country, which was syndicated on CMC briefly.

A major highlight in the growth of CMC was the launch of the CMC Awards. An awards program that recognised local talent in front of an Australia-wide tv audience. Additionally, it bought many international artists closer to Australian fans through performances and red carpet interviews.

Helping to bring CMC front and centre in the minds of country fans is the famous CMC Rocks Festival. Run by Chugg Entertainment in calibration with Rob Potts Entertainment Edge, this country music festival utilised the CMC brand to build a relationship with fans across the country.

Foxtel’s Tim Daley (left), next to Keith Urban & Morgan Evans

Tim Daley

The beauty of CMC was its localism. The programming done by Tim Daley who had worked his way up the ranks with Foxtel, starting out in the video tape room. Tim is an American-expat who was passionate about growing our local industry and building the relationship between Australia and Nashville. No doubt Tim would have loved the budget to build up the CMC Awards and programs alike, sadly money is everything.

The Music Network reports that music-only Foxtel employees will leave the business. Hopefully Tim still has commitments elsewhere in the business or can seize an opportunity with Viacom locally.

Australian Country Music Television

Its reported that CMT in Australia will feature some music programmed locally, ensuring we still get to see our artists on the screen. Hopefully its not limited to big names like Lee Kernaghan, The Wolfe Brothers and alike but also rising stars like Josh Setterfield, Cassidy Rae Gaiter and more. Additionally we hope these music videos find their way onto the American channel’s servers and provide a breakthrough for our talent without the need to start all over in Nashville like Keith Urban and Morgan Evans.

Ideally CMT ‘Australia’ would bolster its programming with some of the shows seen on CMT in America, often featuring presenters to add personality and share beyond a music video clip. Adding to this could be locally presented programs where one of our own, whether it be an Australian artist or presenter, is there to speak our slang.

Whilst we share the sentiments of our fellow members in the industry in the loss of CMC, we do have to look towards the future. What could the launch of “CMT Australia” mean for us? Click on the button below.

More From Australian Artists:

Matthew ‘MJ’ Brokenbrough has many roles at The Wolf Australia. In addition to being a co-director of the business, he is also the chief Music Director overseeing the curation and programming of music. MJ is also the Digital Content Manager, overseeing our website and social media accounts. You will hear him on air too as the co-host of our award winning Planet Country radio show.

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