Bells, whistles and what the people want – first run prime time shows played same day as they screen in the US. Couple it with the best catch-up/VOD/live TV app in the business and Foxtel make quite the compelling argument for getting their subscription service. From the (overdue for publishing) press release:

The gala event at Fox Studios in Sydney saw star of Thor, The Avengers and Snow White and the Huntsman, Foxtel ambassador Chris Hemsworth, joined by Australia’s Next Top Model host Jennifer Hawkins, chef Matt Moran, FOX SPORTS presenters Paul Roos and Matt Shirvington, television presenter Deborah Hutton and cast members of the new drama series Wentworth.

The announcements included:

  • Foxtel Go, the app that allows customers to watch Foxtel on the go is now available on compatible iPhone and iPod Touch, as well as iPad and iPad mini. FOX SPORTS 1, 2 and 3 are all now available on the revolutionary app for Foxtel customers. In March Foxtel Go will be ready to offer more than 50 live channels via the app.
  • Foxtel will continue to make the world a smaller place with its express from the US strategy in 2013. An unprecedented number of programs will screen just hours after their US broadcast; including Girls, Game of Thrones, True Blood, Dexter, Boardwalk Empire, Sons of Anarchy, Enlightened, Veep, Eastbound and Down, Treme, The Newsroom and Mad Men all on showcase; The Carrie Diaries, Revolution, Chicago Fire, Falling Skies, Grimm, Vampire Diaries on FOX8; The Walking Dead, Da Vinci’s Demons, Transporter: The Series on FX; Smash and The Glades on SoHo; The Real Housewives on Arena; and The Colbert Report, The Daily Show and TOSH.0 on The Comedy Channel.
  • Australian drama Wentworth will launch on Foxtel’s SoHo channel in April. The 10 part series, produced by FremantleMedia Australia, is a modern day re-imagining of the iconic drama Prisoner. The ensemble cast features Danielle Cormack, Catherine McClements, Nicole Da Silva, Kris McQuade, Leeanna Walsman, Kate Atkinson, Celia Ireland, Shareena Clanton, Aaron Jeffery and Robbie Magasiva.
  • Foxtel, in association with Matchbox Pictures, will produce a new drama series in 2013, Devil’s Playground. Featuring Simon Burke in the role he played 37 years ago, this provocative new series is a follow up to the 1976 Fred Schepisi film The Devil’s Playground. Set in 1988, the new series will see Tom Allen (Burke) as a psychiatrist given the task of counselling priests. The Church is at a crossroads and the greatest scandal ever to threaten Catholicism is about to break.
  • The Emmy and Golden Globe Award-winning hit series Mad Men will join the stellar line-up on Foxtel’s drama channel showcase. Season six will, for the first time, premiere express from the US, on Monday, April 8 at 4.45pm EST (with a primetime screening at 9.45pm EST).
  • Acclaimed and popular chef Matt Moran will host a brand new series for The LifeStyle Channel in 2013. From Paddock to Plate, produced by ITV Studios Australia, will premiere in the second half of the year and take Matt back to his roots in the country as he searches for the best produce available and meets some friends to create some amazing recipes and dishes.
  • Also joining The LifeStyle Channel’s local line-up is River Cottage Australia, the first international version of the hugely successful River Cottage series, co-produced by Granada Media Australia and Keo Films. Mentored by Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall, River Cottage Australia will introduce the new ‘Aussie Hugh’ and test his knowledge of food, enthusiasm for all things wild and local, and his resilience in setting up a sustainable farm in the Australian countryside.
  • LifeStyle FOOD has two local productions coming soon. Ask The Butcher explores cooking at home and how best to utilise the meats readily available at your local butcher (Tuesday, March 26 at 8.30pm AEDT). Marion’s Thailand sees former MasterChef contestant Marion Grasby travel to Thailand to explore the amazing flavours and culinary culture (premieres June).
  • Hit channel A&E will premiere Aussie Pickers in May. Based on the incredibly popular international format, Aussie Pickers Lucas Callaghan and Adam McDonald will hit the back roads of Australia, earning a living by restoring forgotten relics to their former glory, transforming one person’s trash into another’s treasure. The eight-part series is being produced by Shine Australia.
  • Also new to the factual programming slate is Coast Australia, which will launch on The History Channel in the second half of 2013. Acclaimed historian and television presenter Neil Oliver will host this eight-part series focusing on Australia’s stunning coastline. Each one-hour episode will target a different strip of coast, as Neil and his co-hosts gather stories about the history, people, archaeology, geography and marine life. The series will cast its line back tens of thousands of years, as well as study very contemporary modern social history. It will join the past and the present together – and build a true story of a country, which lives in synergy with its vast coastline, by meeting and talking with people from all walks of life.
  • Outback Coroner will premiere on Crime and Investigation Network in late 2013. Produced by Screentime in association with Evershine, this engaging and deeply emotional observational documentary series follows various coroners from all over Australia as they navigate time, distance, suspicion and culture, in search of answers to mysterious and unexplained deaths in outback and rural areas of Australia. The eight episode series will take viewers inside the mindset and challenges confronting a coroner and their team, as they investigate the forensic evidence, conduct autopsies and counsel the bereaved in search of answers.
  • FOX8 juggernaut Australia’s Next Top Model will premiere on FOX8 in July and the eighth season will be hosted by uber-model and businesswoman Jennifer Hawkins. Production is underway in Sydney and the new series will feature a new judge, model and DJ Didier Cohen, as well as leading fashion designer Alex Perry and Charlotte Dawson. Australia’s Next Top Model is produced by Shine Australia.