FX’s ad-free streaming service, FX Plus, is being shut down by Disney. Following the acquisition of 21st Century Fox’s assets, Disney is now preparing to funnel all of its content into Hulu and Disney Plus. According to a notice given on the streamer’s website, FX Plus will be discontinued after August 20, 2019. Launched two years ago with Comcast, FX Plus provided ad-free access to over 1,400 episodes of FX programming for a $5.99 monthly service fee. The shows offered on the service included It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia, American Horror Story, Atlanta, The Shield, Terriers, Damages, and Sons of Anarchy.
FX Plus was an effort by CEO John Landraf to generate revenue for the network without licensing FX programs to other streaming services like Hulu and Netflix. When FX Plus was 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.”
Now that FX Plus is being axed by its new parent company Disney, it is unclear where FX content will end up. Disney recently acquired the rights to Hulu and is gearing up for the launch of its streaming service Disney Plus in November. Disney Plus will be $6.99 per month for the streaming service that will include all past seasons of The Simpsons, which was previously available to stream through FX. Since Disney Plus is going to compete not only with Netflix, Hulu, WarnerMedia’s HBO Max, and Apple TV Plus, it would make sense for Disney to combine all of its content under one streaming service. Now that Disney is wading into the streaming service waters, Disney’s empire may become even more powerful and pose an enormous threat to Netflix.
FX never disclosed how many people were subscribed to its service, but CEO Landgraf said that it was a “rugged path” and signs pointed that the service was not gaining traction. Langraf said in an interview, “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.”
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.”