Going all HD seems to be the way forward for channels in the English entertainment genre, with FX being the latest one to join the club. The channel says it deliberately started off with older seasons of 'cult' international shows to build a loyal audience. From a handful of shows in the current line-up, it now plans to infuse 50 more shows in a phased manner.
FX's new shows include crime thrillers such as 'Luther' and 'Bosch', and reality comedies 'Last Comic Standing' and 'Last Man on Earth' series. Most of the shows come under long-term deals and, therefore, will be shown only on FX.
In mid-September, FX HD will be launched, with programming that will mirror its SD line-up. FX HD will be available across all DTH platforms and will be marketed extensively. It is aimed at catering to the growing discerning English-speaking audience, mainly in DAS 1 and DAS 2 segments, and tier I cities, specifically. Star's FX Crime was discontinued as its audience was the same, and there were programming overlaps.
On the difference between Star World and FX, Kevin Vaz, business head, English Cluster, Star India, says, "FX is an evolved slice of Star World's audience. We are looking at viewers who are extremely cued on to the international scene, while Star World has shows mostly meant for family viewing."
The network does not plan to have locally produced content on FX. "There won't be much value even if you spend a few lakh rupees on locally produced English content, as these won't get us the scale and grandeur of marquee international shows, unless it has a major pull like that of 'Koffee with Karan'," he states.
Vaz is not perturbed by platforms like Netflix, which is slated to launch in India soon. He believes that people will continue to consume content on multiple platforms, and that will only make English content more accessible and, therefore, eventually lead to growth in viewership.