Universal Channel (Australia)

Universal Channel

Universal Channel Australia logo
Launched 1998
Owned by Universal Networks International
Picture format 576i (SDTV 16:9)
1080i (HDTV 16:9)
Audience share 0.5% (January 2010, [1])
Slogan 100% Characters
Country Australia
Language English
Formerly called Hallmark Channel Australia (prior to July 2010)
Sister channel(s) 13th Street
CNBC Australia
Style Network
Timeshift service Universal Channel + 2
Website universalchannel.com.au/
Foxtel Channel 112 (SD/HD)
Channel 155 (+ 2)
Channel 1112 (SD)
Foxtel Channel 112 (SD/HD)
Channel 155 (+ 2)
Channel 1112 (SD)
Optus TV Channel 112
Neighbourhood Cable Channel 34
Foxtel Play Channel 112
Fetch TV Channel 107 (HD)

The Universal Channel (formerly Hallmark Channel) is an Australian cable and satellite television channel, owned and operated by Universal Networks International. It has been available on most subscription television platforms in Australia since 1998.[2]


Hallmark Channel logo (1998–2010)
Universal Channel logo used from 1 July 2010 till 31 December 2013

The channel was added to Austar in April 1999.[3]

On 1 July 2010 the Hallmark Channel rebranded as the Universal Channel.[4] This rebrand saw the slogan In every life there is drama replaced with Characters Welcome as well as the channel converting from 4:3 aspect ratio to 16:9 widescreen picture format. It brought the introduction of new series, including two Australian premiere series, as well as returning to first seasons of almost all programs already aired.

On 1 February 2015, Universal Channel launched on Australian IPTV service Fetch TV.[5][6]

2014 channel rebranding

On 1 January 2014 the Universal Channel rebranded itself alongside other transformations to the Foxtel platform. Among the changes under the rebrand included the channel aligning itself with the international logo and slogan 100% Characters, launching Australian premiere series The Michael J. Fox Show, The Night Shift and the US adaptation of Rake and inherited series from the closure of TV1 including 30 Rock, Covert Affairs, Suits, Law & Order: SVU and Law & Order: CI.[7] In addition to the closure of TV1, this influx of programming was attributed to the end of the output agreement between NBCUniversal and Seven Network in mid 2013, allowing for more programming opportunities for Universal Channel.[8][9]

Additionally, Universal Channel moved to the basic tier of the Foxtel platform, as opposed to its previous placement in a premium package, allowing all subscribers to access the channel. Also, a two-hour timeshift channel launched on channel 162.[7][10]

Universal Channel HD

On 3 November 2014, Universal Channel launched a HD simulcast on Foxtel. In addition, it moved from channel 116 to channel 112 and Universal Channel + 2 moved from channel 162 to channel 155.[11]


Universal Channel currently airs a variety of international programs, including:

Former Programming

Prior to the 2014 format, The channel aired content from the original American Hallmark Channel, selected telemovies from America and the UK, along with classic and contemporary Australian drama series from Southern Star Entertainment.[15] A list of Australian produced shows broadcast on Universal Channel prior to the 2014 format include:


Universal Channel is part of most satellite and cable pay television providers in Australia, usually included in an extra or add-on package. Providers include Foxtel, Austar,[3] Optus TV and Neighbourhood Cable.


The Universal Channel's ratings have increased from a 0.3% share in April 2007, to a 0.5% share in January 2010 (before the channel's re-branding). This is an 0.2% increase in almost 3 years.[1][18]

See also


  1. 1 2 "Oztam Ratings – 27/12/2009-03/01/2010" (PDF). Oztam. Retrieved 13 April 2010.
  2. "Hallmark Channel Australia"., About Us
  3. 1 2 Joyce, James (26 March 1999). "Tunedin". Newcastle Herald. p. 6. Retrieved 3 May 2010. |section= ignored (help)
  4. Knox, David (28 May 2010). "Hallmark switch to Universal Channel". TV Tonight. Retrieved 3 January 2014.
  5. Knox, David (9 December 2014). "Fetch TV adds BBC First". TV Tonight. Retrieved 19 December 2014.
  6. Perry, Kevin (9 December 2014). "Big Blow for Foxtel as they Lose Exclusive Rights for Premium Drama Channel BBC First". Nelbie. Retrieved 19 December 2014.
  7. 1 2 Knox, David (17 October 2013). "Universal Channel rebrands from January 1st". TV Tonight. Retrieved 17 October 2013.
  8. Bodey, Michael (1 July 2013). "Millions to be saved as Seven ditches output deals in bid to 'cherry-pick' hits". The Australian. Retrieved 20 October 2013.
  9. Groves, Don (17 October 2013). "Foxtel preps entertainment net". C21. Retrieved 20 October 2013.
  10. "Summer Channel Changes". Foxtel. Retrieved 1 November 2013.
  11. Knox, David (3 November 2014). "BoxSets, Discovery Kids launch on Foxtel.". TV Tonight. Retrieved 5 November 2014.
  12. Law & Order: UK – Season 4. Australia: YouTube. 27 March 2014.
  13. Knox, David (16 April 2014). "Returning: Law and Order: UK". TV Tonight. Retrieved 17 April 2014.
  14. Knox, David (1 December 2014). "Airdate: The Librarians". TV Tonight. Retrieved 6 December 2014.
  15. "MultiChannelNetwork (MCN)"., Hallmark Channel details
  16. "All Saints". 111. Retrieved 27 March 2014.
  17. "tvhitsprogchanges" (PDF). Foxtel. Retrieved 2 January 2014.
  18. http://www.oztam.com.au/documents/2007/A2_20070401.pdf
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