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Exclusive: Fox Movie Channel to Rebrand With 'FXM' Block

Contemporary films to join classic library on network in January 9/19/2011 12:01:00 AM Eastern

Fox Movie Channel is set to announce a
new daily programming block branded the FX
Movie Channel to launch Jan. 1.

The new FXM block will air contemporary movies
with limited commercials from 3 p.m.-3 a.m. daily,
while maintaining its current commercial-free format
of classic films from 3 a.m.-3 p.m.

The rebranded FXM block reverts back to the name
the channel had when it launched 17 years ago and
incorporates the FX network brand, which runs its own
library of films along with original programming such
as Justified and It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia.

“We felt that that brand carried over nicely back to
the original brand in articulating that this was going
to be a contemporary movie block as opposed to a
classic movie block,” says Chuck Saftler, executive vice
president, FX Networks and general manager of Fox
Movie Channel.

The hope is also that the
more contemporary films
will help broaden the audience
and increase awareness
of the network, which is currently
distributed in about 40
million homes.

“This was really about looking
at Fox Movie Channel as
its own property,” Saftler says.
“We really looked at this as an opportunity to expand
the channel, to make it more contemporary. We looked
at this as an opportunity
to better use our
library.”

The channel will continue to air its original programming,
composed of five- to 15-minute documentarystyle
programs such as Direct Effect and
Making a Scene that explore the moviemaking
process, at the top or the bottom
of the hour. During the 12-hour
contemporary block, these interstitials
will air along with commercials for the first time on the channel.

“Part of this was, let’s commercialize
it, let’s take some contemporary films,
let’s bring in advertising to support the
initiative, become Nielsen-rated and try
to grow the network,” Saftler says.

FX, for its part, has been on a buying
spree this summer, beefing up its library
with such acquired blockbuster films as
Hangover 2
, Super 8 and Transformers 3.
Saftler doesn’t yet know what films will
premiere when the FXM block launches
Jan. 1, but says, “I’m sure we’re going
to put something pretty significant on
to kick it off.”

In addition to better using its library,
the rebranded programming block
could help to increase Fox Movie
Channel’s distribution footprint.

“It’s certainly our hope that as we’ll be Nielsen-rated
for the first time that we’ll be able to show there’s a
demand from viewers. And hopefully with that comes
very positive results on all levels, both advertising and
affiliate sales,” Saftler says.

March