FX is the best you can get when it comes to cable TV content. From Drama to comedy and movies to the Simpsons, the network has star-studded line-up throughout the day. FX networks stylized as fX is built around live programming which caters to an audience seeking interactive viewing experience.
FX’s success can be measured through the launch of FX Plus and FX Now, which makes it one of the most viewed television channels across the United States of American and Canada.
Rebranding is its key to success
Most marketing taglines follow vision-boarding as opposed to the accurate reflection of content. However, with FX, that’s not the case. It’s neither glossy nor dull, it reflects its line-up and that’s “Fearless”. Before 2013, its slogan was “There Is No Box” which was changed to “Fearless” to represent its subversive and unflinchingly gritty dramas. Its long slog has enabled it to become one of the harbingers of today’s era – a lineup where “the Simpsons” doesn’t feel like the ultimate offering.
Diversifying Networks for tailor-made content
Back in the 1990s, most of the channels had a single channel on TV under the same banner. That changed with the arrival of HD channels, which further got influenced by the arrival of streaming networks. That’s the reason why you can find FX on cable, on satellite network and on streaming services as well. You don’t have to pay a hefty sum for cable TV when you can easily watch FX through various streaming services.
Disney ownership will strengthen the depth
Earlier this year, Disney announced its acquisition of Fox Group and its assets. Since the acquisition, a lot has been said about FX’s capabilities to transform into a global streaming giant. However, I don’t feel that Disney would pitch FX as its key independent asset when it already has Hulu, Disney+ and Movies Anywhere. With Hulu, it’s actively competing with Netflix and Amazon Prime Video. With Disney+, it’s looking to set a stronghold in the streaming market and FX Networks if bundled with any network can make the service look amazing.
John Landgraf announced this past month that FX’s content including its streaming programming will be available on Hulu right after the broadcast. FX Network includes FX for a younger audience, FXX for comedy-oriented audience and FXM as the all-movie channel.
FX Networks has been interacting with users since the early internet days. You can obviously remember Tom Bergeron streaming from his studio/apartment in New York. That was a revolutionary bit of content on a channel where old movies and television shows had plagued the network. Can you believe it? An entire decade with just a handful of notable content and rest just a showreel of past content? Me neither. Which makes us wonder how FX Networks was able to turn its fortunes?
Here’s how – FX took the independent creative path with “The Shield” in 2002. After the show won a number of Golden Globes and Emmy awards, there was no looking back for this channel. In less than two decades, Disney completed the acquisition of FX Networks as part of a bigger deal i.e. 21st Century Fox’s media assets, which made the network ABC’s sister branch.
FX Networks’ website does feel like its speaking to the youth. It’s the most dynamic and user-intuitive website I’ve seen so far. Simple video banners with ‘impactful display’ make scrolling entertaining. I love the subtlety on the home page. Sometimes, you don’t need to put everything you have to make the website look awesome. And FX really tries to be minimalistic in its approach. Want to see something which you wouldn’t see on most of the streaming sites? Just scroll down till you reach “My List” – that minimal movie titles GIF is one of the most creative bits I’ve found so far.
Aesthetically, the website follows a dark pattern, with banners that complement the backdrop. Similar to Netflix and Stan but better. The homepage has a main banner with slider options and a constant CTA button which reads “Watch Now”. It is followed by content segregation via categories such as ‘Featured’, ‘Movies’, ‘Latest Episodes’, ‘Disney+’ subscription plug for obvious reasons, and ‘My List’.
One of the few things that don’t amaze me is the website’s ‘Browsing Section.’ There are five major subcategories – ‘Originals’, ‘Movies’, ‘Holiday’ and ‘Hero Collection’ and ‘Also Streaming’. These four options aren’t enough to segregate the content in the best possible manner. Since the content is sorted based upon its type, choosing what you want to watch can feel like a task.
In the past two decades, FX has been able to navigate its way to the top of the Cable TV pyramid. Most of that can be accredited to its out-of-the-box content creation. Major success arrived after it adopted ‘Fearless’ as its slogan and started rolling out content such as ‘The Strain’, ‘Fargo’, ‘Sons of Anarchy’, ‘The Americans’ and ‘Justified’ – all of them defying expectations.
Some of the most notable content on the network includes – ‘American Horror Story’, ‘American Crime Story’, ‘The Americans’, ‘Archer’, ‘Anger Management’, ‘Baskets’, ‘Atlanta’, ‘Better Things’, ‘The Comedians’, ‘The Bridge’, ‘Fargo’, ‘Justified’, ‘Feud’, ‘Married’, ‘Mr. Inbetween’, ‘Mayans’, ‘Saint George’, ‘Partners’, ‘Snowfall’, ‘The Strain’, ‘Taboo’, ‘Tyrant’, ‘Trust’, ‘Sons of Anarchy’ and ‘What We Do in the Shadows.’
Among these shows, ‘Sons of Anarchy’ was the biggest hit with 4.654 million viewers. There were five discontinued shows which had 1m+ viewers (Justified, Anger Management, The Bridge MC and The Feud). Presently, there are five shows which have 1m+ viewers (American Horror Story, Taboo, Mayans MC, American Crime Story, and Fargo.) These numbers depict the love these shows are getting from 18-48 demographics.
FX Networks isn’t as rigid as its big brother Fox and thanks to its acquisition by Disney, it’s become more accessible. There are many ways in which you can stream the FX channel. You no longer need to commit to a cable or satellite network and can enjoy its stellar content via streaming services such as Hulu – which makes the FX viewing experience diverse.
Talking about the website’s interface and viewing experience, you get 30 seconds clip for each episode which works as a trailer. The video-watching quality on the website is not something I can write home about, however, I didn’t find any nagging issues. You can stream from your laptop or your smartphone and that is possible because of the network’s availability on various platforms such as Hulu + Live TV, Fubo TV, Sling TV, AT&T Now.
Plans & Pricing with Compatibility
FX Networks can be viewed via Pay TV, Satellite or Streaming networks. If you’re not into cable TV or satellite, there are alternative ways to stream shows from FX without having to shell out hundreds of dollars.
– Hulu with Live TV – $40 per month – supports on Roku, Google Chromecast, Apple TV, Amazon Fire Stick and Fire TV, Gaming Consoles – Xbox One and Xbox 360, iOS and Android Devices
– Sling TV – $25-$40 per month – supports on Oculus Go, Roku, Google Chromecast, Apple TV, Amazon Fire Stick and Fire TV, Gaming Consoles – Xbox One and Xbox 360, iOS and Android Devices
– Fubo TV – $44.99 per month – supports Roku, Amazon Fire, Android TV, Apple TV, iOS and Android Devices
– YouTube TV – $49.99 per month – supports Google Chromecast, Roku, Android TV, Apple TV, Xbox One, iOS, and Android Devices
– AT&T Now – $50-$135 per month – supports Roku, Google Chromecast, Apple TV, Amazon Fire Stick and Fire Tv, iOS and Android Devices
Suggestions I have for FX Networks
I don’t have much to say except that the media on the website can be worked upon. Most of the trailers show error before video playback and that has got to do with membership. I feel that Disney should work on it and improve the video viewing experience on the website.
Unlike other channels that are just available via Cable or Satellite TV networks, FX begs to differ. You can stream it via multiple platforms and also include it as a part of a plan which suits your need. It is compatible with most devices and works efficiently.