STVDIO takes up arts space on pay TV

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A new arts channel begins on April 1, while Ovation viewers are offered alternative arrangements.

From April 1 subscription TV viewers will notice a new arts channel, STVDIO (pronounced "Studio").

The new channel will offer Australian and international arts, culture and entertainment across the performing arts, cinema, books, opera, ballet, music, art and design.

Presenters for the channel include operatic tenor David Hobson, ballerina Darcey Bussell and singer Katie Noonan.

Opening night titles include HMS Pinafore and Trial By Jury, Warwick Thornton's Burning Daylight and a documentary on British cellist Jacqueline Du Pré, entitled Who Was Jacqueline Du Pré?

On April 3 it has the world premiere of David Campbell on Broadway.

Featuring interviews with Broadway composers Stephen Schwartz, Alain Boublil, John Kander it also documents the recording of his own new Broadway album and includes a 40-piece orchestra.

Other titles to follow in April include Graeme Murphy's Swan Lake, Baz Luhrmann's La Boheme, André Rieu: Live in Sydney, Jerry Springer: The Opera, The Real Brassed Off and Julian Temple's The Eternity Man.

The channel is managed by SBS subsidiary PAN TV, which also operates the World Movies channel.

SBS Managing Director Shaun Brown said, "STVDIO builds on the longstanding relationship SBS has with Foxtel and Austar in its subscription television business.

"The combination of SBS and the platform partners will ensure STVDIO becomes the pre-eminent destination for the Australian arts community and arts lovers everywhere."

But the channel's debut comes at the expense of another -- Ovation will no longer be included in Foxtel or Austar packages. While it remains on Optus TV and SelecTV, it will only be available as an add-on channel to Foxtel and Austar viewers from June 1.

Austar viewers will be able to subscribe to the channel for an additional $6 per month by calling 13 24 32.

Foxtel viewers will need to subscribe direct with Ovation, taking up a 12-month subscription which can either be paid as an annual fee of $119 or monthly at around $10 per month. To subscribe call 1300 682 846.

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