FX Offers Ad-Free Viewing for Comcast Cable Customers

By Joe Flint Features Dow Jones Newswires

Comcast Corp. and 21st Century Fox's FX Networks unit are teaming up to offer commercial-free viewing of popular shows like "American Horror Story" and "It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia."

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The new on-demand channel, dubbed FX+, will be available to Comcast Xfinity subscribers for an extra $5.99 a month, the companies announced Monday. In addition to offering current FX shows without ads at the same time new episodes air on the linear channel, FX+ will also have the majority of older FX shows available as well. FX+ is set to launch Sept. 5.

FX becomes the second network to join with Comcast on a noncommercial, on-demand offering. In June, Comcast and AMC Networks launched AMC Premiere, a $4.99-a-month service. It too allows viewers to watch AMC programming without commercials at the same time a show airs on AMC's flagship network.

Both services are looking to appeal to viewers who are willing to pay a little extra for a commercial-free experience similar to Netflix and HBO. But because they are only available as an upgrade for Xfinity cable customers, the services aren't designed for cord-cutters.

In unveiling the service, FX Networks Chief Executive John Landgraf said FX+ "begins to put us on equal footing with premium networks and streaming services." FX+ will include content from both FX and its sister channel FXX, which also has original programming.

As is the case with AMC Premiere, subscribers to FX+ will still have to pay for the linear FX channels.

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21st Century Fox and Wall Street Journal parent company News Corp share common ownership.

Write to Joe Flint at joe.flint@wsj.com

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

August 07, 2017 09:14 ET (13:14 GMT)