Universal Channel (Australia)

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Universal Channel
Universal Channel 2013.png
Universal Channel Australia logo
Launched 1998
Owned by Universal Networks International
Picture format 576i (SDTV 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 116
Channel 162 (+ 2)
Foxtel Channel 116
Channel 162 (+ 2)
Optus TV Channel 116
Neighbourhood Cable Channel 34
Foxtel Play Channel 116

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.

2014 channel rebranding[edit]

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.[5] 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.[6][7]

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.[5][8]


The channel airs 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.[9]

A list of Australian produced shows broadcast on Universal Channel include:

Universal also airs a variety of international programs, including:


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][14]

See also[edit]

External links[edit]


  1. ^ a b "Oztam Ratings – 27/12/2009-03/01/2010". Oztam. Retrieved 13 April 2010. 
  2. ^ "Hallmark Channel Australia". , About Us
  3. ^ a b Joyce, James (26 March 1999). Friday Guide. "Tunedin". Newcastle Herald. p. 6. Retrieved 3 May 2010. 
  4. ^ Knox, David (28 May 2010). "Hallmark switch to Universal Channel". TV Tonight. Retrieved 3 January 2014. 
  5. ^ a b Knox, David (17 October 2013). "Universal Channel rebrands from January 1st". TV Tonight. Retrieved 17 October 2013. 
  6. ^ 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. 
  7. ^ Groves, Don (17 October 2013). "Foxtel preps entertainment net". C21. Retrieved 20 October 2013. 
  8. ^ "Summer Channel Changes". Foxtel. Retrieved 1 November 2013. 
  9. ^ "MultiChannelNetwork (MCN)". , Hallmark Channel details
  10. ^ "All Saints". 111. Retrieved 27 March 2014. 
  11. ^ "tvhitsprogchanges". Foxtel. Retrieved 2 January 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. ^ http://www.oztam.com.au/documents/2007/A2_20070401.pdf