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Foxtel launches premium entertainment arm

Australian pay provider Foxtel has appointed Graham Burrells to head a new premium entertainment division.

Burrells will be head of premium entertainment, managing drama channels Showcase and SoHo, The Comedy Channel and the soon-to-launch BoxSets network, which will run major HBO scripted series following an agreement in 2012 that saw Foxtel become the sole Australian home for the US premium cable channel’s content.

The Foxtel Premium Entertainment Group will also comprise head of programming Sarah Frazer, group operations manager Fraser Stark and group creative director Mikki Katz.

Burrells has been with Foxtel since 1995, but moved to the UK to work for 21st Century Fox cousin BSkyB. He returned to Foxtel in 2002 as Comedy Channel and Fox Classics channel manager. He later became head of entertainment, oversaw Foxtel’s Olympics coverage and was most recently creative director, movies and drama.

“Graham has been a hugely valued executive at Foxtel since the early days of the company and this new role draws on the wealth of experience he has accrued across the creative, promotional, production and programming realms of the television business in Australia and internationally,” said Foxtel’s director of television Brian Walsh.

“The new premium entertainment division holds some of Foxtel’s most acclaimed and coveted programming and Graham will be responsible for maximising the full potential of our exclusive HBO deal, and the deals with our other international distributors, as well as nurturing the environment for

our expanding slate of Australian dramas.”