The Comedy Channel

The Comedy Channel (promoted on air as comedy) is an Australian subscription television channel available on Foxtel, and Optus Television.

The Comedy Channel
LaunchedSunday 30th June 1996[1]
Owned byFoxtel Networks
Picture format16:9 (576i, SDTV)
Audience share0.9%
timeshift 0.5% (September 2008, )
Sister channel(s)Foxtel Networks channels
FoxtelChannel 121
Channel 162 (+2)
Sky (UK & Ireland)Channel 136 (HD)
Channel 138 (SD)
FoxtelChannel 121
Channel 162 (+2)
Optus TVChannel 121
Channel 162 (+2)
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 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]


Current programming

Original programming

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

Acquired programming

Former programming

Original programming

Acquired programming

Outside Australia

An HD simulcast feed of the Australian version was launched on Sky in UK on 30 October 2019.


  1. 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. 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. 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.
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