FX’s short-lived ad-free streaming service FX Plus is getting shut down by Disney, following the Mouse House’s acquisition of 20th Century Fox’s various assets. The closure of the streaming service puts a question as to whether or not the cable network’s acclaimed series will be folded into Disney Plus when it launches later in 2019. It’s not the first casualty to result from Disney’s efforts to obtain Fox assets, but it does hint at how FX Networks will operate under the Disney umbrella moving forward.
For its part, FX Plus was an effort on behalf of network CEO John Landgraf to keep the network’s programming from other streaming services like Netflix and Hulu, and to help generate revenue for the acclaimed network. The service was available for $5.99 monthly fee, which made the entire FX library of shows, including Atlanta, The Americans, Terriers, American Horror Story, Sons of Anarchy, The Shield, and more available to stream. Unlike Hulu or Netflix, however, it worked through an existing pay-TV subscriber model, making it more like an add-on to an existing cable package, similar to AMC Premiere.
As reported by Variety, FX Plus subscriptions will cease automatically on August 21, 2019, without any additional steps to cancel from existing subscribers. The decision may well rankle some subscribers, but given the service’s nominal footprint in the ever-expanding world of streaming content, it’s unlikely to generate a response similar to that of WarnerMedia’s shuttering of FilmStruck. Where FX’s content will end up, then, becomes the likely next big question to be answered by the network’s new parent company.
The answer to that question is almost certainly Disney Plus, though no official statement has been made to that effect. However, because Disney has already announced that The Simpsons will be available on the streaming service when it launches, it stands to reason FX’s other series will follow suit. Whether that will happen when Disney Plus is finally available to consumers or sometime down the road remains to be seen, however.
It would make sense for Disney to consolidate its various assets under one streaming shingle, and since Disney Plus is being constructed to compete with not only Netflix, Amazon, and Hulu, but also WarnerMedia’s upcoming HBO Max and Apple TV Plus, having as much content as possible to attract subscribers will be a must. Whether or not that proves to be the case, will have to wait until Disney Plus launches later this year.
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FX Plus will remain active for subscribers until August 21, 2019.