×

Disney Shutting Down FX Plus Subscription Service

The FX Plus subscription service is shutting down — another casualty of Disney’s acquisition of most of 21st Century Fox’s assets, and a move coming as FX’s content is set to get funneled into the Disney-controlled Hulu service.

FX Plus will no longer be available after Aug. 20, 2019, according to a notice on the service’s website. Initially launched two years ago with Comcast, FX Plus offered subscribers to the $5.99 monthly service ad-free access to more than 1,400 episodes of FX programming, including “Atlanta,” “American Horror Story,” “Damages,” “It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia,” “The Shield,” “Sons of Anarchy” and “Terriers.” FX Plus later added Cox Communications as an affiliate.

Current seasons of FX Networks’ original series will continue to air on the FX and FXX linear channels and be available for “limited-time on-demand viewing” in the FXNow app and online at FXNetworks.com through pay-TV subscriber authentication, according to the cable programmer.

In a statement, FX Networks said, “We deeply appreciate every fan of FX original series who subscribed to our service, and we are more optimistic and excited than ever about FX’s future as a key brand supporting the strategic priorities of The Walt Disney Company.”

FX Plus was an effort to generate incremental revenue — and bolster viewer loyalty — without licensing the shows to streaming outlets like Netflix. FX Networks CEO John Landgraf has been outspoken not fueling the rise of direct-to-consumer streaming services with the network’s programming. When FX Plus was first announced, Landgraf said, “We have been diligent about recapturing the in-season stacking rights for all current original programming and recapturing the rights to all seasons of a large portion of our legacy of great original series.”

Disney’s strategy is to distribute FX programming via Hulu, which the Mouse House now fully controls. At Disney’s upfront preview in May, Landgraf noted that Hulu gives FX the option to distribute content ad-free as part of a larger service.

The shutdown of FX Plus also comes as Disney gears up for the launch of Disney Plus in November, a $6.99-per-month direct-to-consumer streaming service. Disney Plus will include all past seasons of “The Simpsons,” which has been available to stream on FX Networks’ FXNow service.

FX never disclosed how many subscribers FX Plus had signed up, but signs were that it wasn’t getting traction. In an interview with Variety published last month, Landgraf acknowledged that FX Plus was limited to existing pay-TV subscribers by cable carriage agreements and said it was “a rugged path” given that FX Networks has only a dozen or so current programs at any time.

“The ability to support what Disney is working to do in terms of building large aggregators that can get to very substantial audiences — big distribution is really exciting and is a much more viable pathway for us than trying to scale up a single branded service,” Landgraf said in the Variety interview.

According to FX’s customer-service site, FX Plus subscriptions will automatically end on Aug. 21, 2019. “There is no need to cancel your subscription. If you subscribe through your TV provider, your TV provider will discontinue billing you for the service,” the notice says.

Meanwhile, AMC Networks in 2017 launched a similar service, dubbed AMC Premiere, that strips out ads and is available only to customers of participating pay-TV operators. Priced at $4.99 per month, AMC Premiere is available through Comcast Xfinity, DirecTV, Dish Network, Charter Spectrum, Cox, Altice USA and Verizon Fios.

Pictured above: FX’s “Atlanta” starring Donald Glover

More TV

  • Brazilian President Jair Bolosnaro attends the

    Bolsonaro Threatens Brazil’s Central Film Fund with Censorship or Closure

    In typical shoot-from-the-hip remarks, Brazil’s far-right president Jair Bolsonaro has declared that Ancine, Brazil’s powerful state-backed federal film agency, should accept “filters”or face closure. “If it can’t have a filter, we’ll close Ancine, or privatize it,” Bolsonaro added, attacking Ancine, which plows some $300 million a year into Brazil’s film and TV industries, for supporting [...]

  • Variety Cord Cutting Placeholder Cable

    CBS Stations Go Dark on AT&T's DirecTV, U-verse Platforms Amid Contract Battle

    CBS’ 28 O&O stations are going dark for about 6.6 million subscribers of AT&T’s DirecTV and U-verse platforms as the Eye and AT&T battle over a new retransmission consent contract. The blackout affects CBS and CW-affiliated stations in 14 major markets including New York, Los Angeles and Chicago. Also off the air are the CBS [...]

  • Orlando Bloom Comic Con Immigrant San

    Orlando Bloom Claims San Diego Mayor Ran From Comic-Con Exhibit Featuring Immigrant Characters

    Did an immigration storyline cause Republican San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer to run out of Amazon Prime Video’s Comic-Con activation this week? According to “Carnival Row” star Orlando Bloom, that’s exactly what happened. At Amazon’s “Carnival Row” panel, Bloom told the audience that Faulconer stopped by the Prime Video activation and chose the “Carnival Row” [...]

  • 'Game of Thrones' Cast Calls Final

    'Game of Thrones' Cast Calls Final Season Backlash 'Media-Led Hate Campaign'

    What is life like now after “Game of Thrones?” That’s the question that fans have been asking themselves and that cast members had to answer at the show’s final Comic-Con panel. But first, Conleth Hill, Nikolaj Coster-Waldau and several others cleared the air and addressed the perceived negative response to the final season. “I don’t [...]

  • SDCC Roundup: AMC Drops 'The Walking

    SDCC TV News Roundup: AMC Releases 'The Walking Dead' Season 10 Trailer (Watch)

    San Diego Comic-Con has become a hotbed of entertainment news in recent years, especially for the television industry. In today’s SDCC TV news roundup, AMC dropped a trailer for the 10th season of “The Walking Dead” and FX released a first look at “Mayans MC” Season 2. FIRST LOOKS Related How 'Veronica Mars' Season 4 [...]

  • ARCHER: 1999 -- "Cubert" -- Season

    'Archer' Renewed for Season 11 at FXX

    “Archer” has been picked up for an eleventh season. The announcement was made Friday at San Diego Comic-Con. The news comes less than a week ahead of the Season 10 finale. Season 11 is slated to debut on FXX in 2020. While the show initially focused on the agents and support staff of a covert [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content