FX is launching FX+ on Comcast to allow Xfinity TV customers to opt for ad-free viewing of FX and FXX series.
The service option is launching on Sept. 5 and will cost an additional $5.99 per month on top of an existing Xfinity pay-TV package. The service will offer in-season stacking of episodes for current FX series as well as access to an on-demand library housing most of FX’s and FXX’s original series.
FX said that the shows will be rolled out “over a period of time” and that all series will be added to the FX+ on-demand library by 2018. FX+ subscribers can get at the FX+ content through Xfinity On Demand, the Xfinity Stream app and website, and FXNOW. FX+ is planning to offer select series in 4K and to offer downloads for some of the content.
“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,” said John Landgraf, CEO of FX Networks and FX Productions, in a statement. “Since changing the course of basic cable TV with 'The Shield,' over the past 15 years FX amassed a roster of dramas, comedies and limited series that is unequalled in ad-supported television—and in quality and breadth has few rivals anywhere. This initiative represents the first of its kind for an ad-supported cable network, and begins to put us on equal footing with premium networks and streaming services. We appreciate our partnership with Matt Strauss and everyone at Comcast who had the vision to support the creation and launch of FX+, which adds significant value for Comcast and its subscribers.”
FX is following a trail blazed by AMC Networks, which also launched an ad-free version of AMC on Comcast earlier this summer. AMC Premiere runs $4.99 per month and airs new series at the same time as the linear cable network.
Both networks are taking similar approaches as traditional premium networks like HBO and Showtime, offering live viewing and on-demand access without commercials for a premium price. And apparently the response from consumers has been positive thus far. At an event last month, Charlie Collier, president of AMC and Sundance TV, said the ad-free option has resonated with viewers.
“The response [to AMC Premiere] has been terrific,” Collier said. “I think others will follow.”