A new digital channel, FX Canada, wil be launched by Rogers Media this November. The channel, a joint venture between Rogers and FX productions, will guarantee that Canadian TV viewers have acess to a long list of acclaimed FX programs including Sons of Anarchy, Justified and upcoming FX shows. Previously, FX shows were seen on a varuety of Canadian channels and some never aired in Canada at all.
The announcement was made here today at the Television Critics Association Summer Press Tour by Rogers Media President of Broadcasting, Scott Moore, and Eric Schrier, Executive Vice President of FX Productions. FX Canada will launch on November 1 as a digital service and will eventually include original Canadian programming and Canadian sports events. Scott Moore said that the channel will be available to the 1.7 million Canadians who subscribe to Rogers VIP Digital service, will be offered free to digital subscribers for an introductory period and Rogers will be discussing the new channel’s carriage on other cable and satellite services such as Shaw and Bell Expressvu.
“Canadian viewers and television journalists have been inquiring for years about the lack of full availability of FX’s great original series in Canada,” Eric Schrier said.
The arrival of FX Canada makes it certain thast Canadian viewers will see one of this fall’s most talked-about and provocative new shows, the erotic-horror drama American Horror Story, a series created by Ryan Murphy and Brad Falchuk, the producers of Nip/Tuck and Glee, and starring Dylan McDermott and Jessica Lang.
FX is a unit of the FOX Group and was launched in 1994 as a basic cable channel in the U.S. It reaches 99 million homes in the U.S. and has consistently produced Emmy and Golden Globe-winning series. It also airs movies and college sprts. Sometimes it is called “the tortured male network” by American TV critics because it has been the home to The Shield, Justified and Rescue Me, series that have flawed male characters at their core. According to John Landgraf, Presudent and General Manager of FX, the channel’s viewership is 52% male and 48% female. The demographics for most broadcast networks are 60% female and 40% male.
Scott Moore, who spent several years at at CBC as Executive Director of Sports, sees FX Canada as an excellent fit for Rogers, which also owns the City TV channels and the cable outlets Sportsnet and Outdoor Life Network. “We were pleasantly surprised at how well-known the FX brand is in Canada, even though access to some of their programs has been spotty,” he said. “What FX makes is not niche programming, it’s hit programming. And we can use FX to guide the kind of Canadian programming we want to do. In six to twelve months you’ll hear about the kind of Canadian programming we’re working on.”
Eric Schrier said the new channel both increases the FX presence internationally and offers an opportunity to develop content, “We’re looking to expand our foorprint in Canada. We will co-develop with Canadian producers, but there is nothing in the works yet.”