MCN is close to changing its name to embrace Foxtel

By Chris Pash | 19 July 2019

MCN (Multi Channel Network) is close to changing its name and logo to more closely align as a unit of Australian subscription TV service Foxtel, according to industry sources.

Insiders say a final choice on a name and logo hasn't been made but that a decision is expected in the next few weeks.

What is certain is that the name will reflect the fact that the business is firmly entrenched as Foxtel's advertising arm. 

The front runner name is understood to be simply, Foxtel Media Group, because MCN predominately now looks after the Foxtel business.

MCN confirmed it is reviewing the brand.

Mark Frain, the CEO, said: "As we continue to work closer with Foxtel, the platform and all its content partners, MCN are reviewing our brand and position in market to better align with Foxtel going forward. It’s an exciting opportunity for us to look at how we better provide value to our clients and agency partners. The review is ongoing and we’re currently working through the opportunity with our people. We’re looking forward to sharing more once it’s finalised.”

The change, widely expected by the industry and by MCN's own staff, has been discussed since the US network CBS bought Ten last year and ended a $600 million ad sales contract.

That brought about a round of redundancies and the movement of people over to Ten's in-house team.

An insider told AdNews that a brand name change had been under discussion even before Ten was sold and MCN became even more closely aligned to Foxtel.

The 260 staff at MCN, recently surveyed about how they see the brand, reportedly said they like the closer relationship with Foxtel and the advanatges of being within a bigger corproate group.

MCN has also been restructuring, and adding new senior talent, but any name and logo change won't mean a move from its current Pyrmont offices.

This week the business appointed former Westpac senior marketing executive Toby Dewar in the newly created role of customer engagement director.  

The appointment follows the recent announcement of new chief of sales, David Roddick.

The new hires are all about Foxtel.

MCN CEO Mark Frain then said the two appointments further support MCN’s existing leadership team and disrupt how the business operates structurally, to approach the market in a new and more dynamic way.

“David’s non-television background and now the appointment of a client-side expert, have been strategic moves to bring diverse perspectives to MCN so we can charter a new way of working with our clients and connecting them to the Foxtel platform,” he said.

New hire Dewar sees a massive opportunity at MCN to strengthen how clients connect and integrate within the Foxtel platform.

“My career to date has focussed on working within categories that face significant change and structural pressure," he says.

"To survive through change, organisations have had to evolve and respond to the changing expectations of customers and stay relevant and competitive. I am looking forward to sharing this experience and leveraging these insights at MCN and across the Foxtel platform.”

Foxtel itself is going through a challenging period, repositioning against growing streaming media players such as Netflix and Stan, meaning a period of adjustment. 

A string of marketing executives have departed over the last 12 months, the latest being Carly Loder, the chief sales and marketing officer at Foxtel’s Kayo. She was the sixth senior marketer to go from the cable television operator in the last 12 months.

Parent company News Corp most recently funneled $300 million into Foxtel to help ease the company's debts, while the business has also indicated that it will increase subscription fees and cut sport costs.

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