21st Century Fox Inc. (FOXA)’s FX Networks, seeking to tap the popularity of online viewing, began offering an application that will stream shows including “The Americans” and “Louie” to pay-TV subscribers.
FXNow will carry programs from FX, FXX and FXM, and is available to about half of the pay-TV subscribers who receive the channels at home, the Los Angeles-based network said today in a statement. FX said more viewers will gain access as agreements are reached with pay-TV carriers.
FX is among networks putting programs online to meet the growing demand for shows and movies on mobile phones, tablets and Web-connected TVs. FXNow gives 21st Century Fox added services to tout in negotiations for retransmission fees and a fresh source of revenue from online advertising.
FXNow will carry the networks’ lineup of original programs, which also includes biker-drama “Sons of Anarchy,” “Justified,” the animated “Archer” series and the miniseries “American Horror Story: Coven.” Starting in August, the service will also become the exclusive on-demand source for all 24 seasons of “The Simpsons.”
Viewers will have access to 45 to 60 movies a month and a minimum of 165 titles in 2014, FX said. In 2015, the app will have 200 or more movies.
Customers of AT&T Inc. (T)’s U-verse, Cablevision Systems Corp. (CVC)’s Optimum TV, Comcast Corp., Suddenlink Communications and WideOpenWest Finance LLC’s WOW! have access to FXNow, the company said.
The on-demand programming, available online and on pay-TV systems, provides cable networks a new source of advertising revenue and a way to counter use of digital video recorders which can skip ads. With on-demand, TV networks can insert new commercials after the three-day period counted in Nielsen’s ratings.
FXNow content can be accessed on the Web, and the app is available for download on Apple Inc. (AAPL)’s iOS and Microsoft Corp.’s Xbox One video-game console and Windows 8 tablets and computers, the company said.
It will be available in the second quarter for devices using Google Inc.’s Android, on Microsoft’s Xbox 360 console, Roku Inc. and Samsung Electronics Co. (005930) products, FX said.
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