News Corp.'s FX Networks is giving advertisers yet another general entertainment cable network to buy: FXX, a youth-oriented channel set to arrive on Sept. 2.
The cable programmer introduced the new channel, which has been speculated for several months, at its first formal upfront presentation in New York City on Thursday morning.
FXX will initially be available in 74 million homes, compared to more than 90 million for FX itself and 40 million for Pivot, the new channel aimed at millennials pitched Wednesday by Participant Media. FXX will initially focus on comedy more than other genres but will later expand to include original dramas that have a younger appeal, targeting the 18-to-34 demo.
Adding FXX expands the company's slate of cable networks to three, each of which will target a difference adult demographic, said John Landgraf, president and general manager of FX Networks. The new network will allow the company to deliver more impressions and greater reach without falling into the broadcast trap of becoming all things to all people, Mr. Landgraf said.
To kick off FXX, the programmer will bring comedies "The League," "Always Sunny in Philadelphia," and "Legit" over to the channel from FX, as well as the late-night show "Totally Biased with W. Kamau Bell," which will expand to five nights per week.
Ultimately, FX Networks is looking to challenge broadcast networks, siphoning off advertisers partly by competing on price. "You can reach the high-end viewer without the legacy CPMs you are forced to pay on broadcast," Mr. Landgraf said, using industry shorthand for the cost to reach a thousand viewers.
FX itself will continue to target viewers between 18 and 49 years old. It plans to increase its original dramas, following the recent introduction of the '80s spy series "The Americans," and to make its first foray into miniseries and limited series with "Fargo," based on the 1996 Coen brothers movie, next spring.
The network also said it had renewed "Justified" for its fifth season, which will begin next January. Its "American Horror Story" will start its new season in October. And the comedies "Louie," "Archer" and "Wilfred" will also return to the network.
FXM will continue to be home to acquired movies but will also begin to televise original miniseries and limited series, hoping to compete with the likes of HBO, according to Mr. Landgraf said.
FX Networks also introduced FXNow, a TV Everywhere viewing platform allowing authenticated pay-TV subscribers to watch content via an app, FXNetworks.com, pay-TV providers' own sites or video on demand. FXNow, which will debut in the fall, will offer the five most recent episodes of original series starting the day after they air. It will also include on-demand access to the FXM video on demand movie library, a rotating slate of 40 to 60 movies per month and part of an effort to compete with streaming video on demand services such as Netflix.
FXNow will disable fast-forwarding capabilities and carry a full ad load, with the opportunity to update ads expected to be available by the end of the year or early 2014.
FXNow is designed to obviate the use of DVRs and the fast-forwarding through ads that comes with it, according to Bruce Lefkowitz, exec. VP ad sales at FX Networks. "Everyone in the room needs to be concerned about the DVR," he said.
When FX debuted nearly 20 years ago it asked media buyers, "if you could buy HBO for your clients, would you?" Now it is asking, "if you could buy Amazon Prime or Netflix for your advertising clients, would you?" Mr. Landgraf said.
FX Networks also introduced a new brand campaign using the new tagline, "Fearless."