The Comedy Channel

The Comedy Channel (promoted on air as comedy) is an Australian subscription television channel available on Foxtel, and Optus Television. The channel will cease broadcasting on 1 September 2020.

The Comedy Channel
The Comedy Channel Logo
Launched30 June 1996[1]
Closed1 September 2020; 17 days' time (1 September 2020)
Owned byFoxtel Networks
Picture format16:9 (576i, SDTV)
Audience share0.9%
timeshift 0.5% (September 2008, )
Replaced byFox Comedy
Sister channel(s)Foxtel Networks channels
FoxtelChannel 121
FoxtelChannel 121
Optus TVChannel 121
Foxtel PlayChannel 121
Streaming media
Foxtel GoChannel 121


A joint venture between Artist Services (20%), Australis Media (40%), and Foxtel (40%),[2] the channel began broadcasting on the Galaxy platform on 12 February 1989, and became available on Foxtel on 1 August 1996.[1] After the collapse of Australis in 1998, Foxtel's share of the channel increased to 80%.[2] The channel became fully owned by Foxtel after it purchased Artist Services' (now ITV Studios Australia, formerly Granada Australia) 20% stake in August 2002.[3][4]

In 2006-2007, the channel moved headquarters from Sydney to Melbourne, into the studios vacated by Fox Footy Channel.[5] Until the launch of Comedy Central in 2016, The Comedy Channel was the only channel in Australia specifically dedicated to comedy around the clock. It primarily features stand-up comedy, sitcoms, animated comedy series, sketch comedy, comedy films, and talk shows.

Comedy Channel personalities include Frank Woodley, who hosts Aussie Gold; Tim Ross and Merrick Watts, who together host The Merrick & Rosso Show; Cameron Knight, who amongst other things for the Comedy Channel hosted Stand Up Australia; and H.G. Nelson, who hosts Comedy Slapdown.

The Comedy Channel transferred from 4:3 to Widescreen 16:9 broadcasting on Thursday 1 April 2010 at 5:30am as part of Foxtel's plan to convert all of its channels to widescreen before the end of 2010.[6]

On 31 July 2020, it was announced that Comedy will cease broadcasting in September, alongside sister network Fox Hits, and be replaced by a brand new channel Fox Comedy. Its programming will be dispersed across Foxtel's Fox8 and Fox Showcase, as well as ViacomCBS' free-to-air 10 Shake.[7]


Current programmingEdit

Original programmingEdit

  • Just For Laughs Sydney (2014–present)
  • Melbourne Comedy Festival's Big Three-Oh (2016–present)

Acquired programmingEdit

Former programmingEdit

Original programmingEdit

Acquired programmingEdit


  1. ^ a b Freeman, Jane; Andrew Conway (30 June 1996). "The Joke Stops Here". Sydney Morning Herald. Sydney, Australia: Fairfax Media. p. 2. Retrieved 1 January 2010.
  2. ^ a b Schulze, Jane (28 July 1998). "Foxtel takes more of comedy TV". The Age. Melbourne, Australia: Fairfax Media. p. 5. Retrieved 1 January 2010.
  3. ^ Lee Lewes, Jacqueline (23 August 2002). "Burrells returns to run Foxtel's Comedy Channel". The Hollywood Reporter. 374 (45): 14. ISSN 0018-3660.
  4. ^ Idato, Michael (19 August 2002). "Switched on". Sydney Morning Herald. Sydney, Australia: Fairfax Media. p. 2. Retrieved 24 February 2010.
  5. ^ Ricketson, Matthew (29 November 2006). "Foxtel handballs Comedy Channel to Melbourne". The Age. Melbourne, Australia: Fairfax Media. p. 3. ISSN 0312-6307. Retrieved 1 January 2010.
  6. ^ Knox, David (15 March 2010). "Comedy Channel goin' widescreen, no foolin'". Retrieved 7 July 2010.
  7. ^ Perry, Kevin (31 July 2020). "THE COMEDY CHANNEL BECOMES LATEST ICONIC NAME TO DEPART FROM FOXTEL". Retrieved 2 August 2020.
  8. ^ Knox, David (24 November 2016). "Airdate:Brexit at Tiffanys: The Best of the Edinburgh Fest". TV Tonight. Retrieved 24 December 2016. The two hour special was filmed and commissioned by Foxtel.