If you’re on the fence about paying an extra $6 a month to watch some TV shows without ads, 21st Century Fox would like to make a more persuasive case: It is adding a bunch of additional inventory to its FX+ service.
In narrow terms, that means that FX+ subscribers will now be able to stream some shows the service didn’t have when it launched earlier this month, including older seasons of “The Americans.”
Fox says it now has every season of 31 different original FX productions available on the service. FX+ is available to some pay TV customers — but only in addition to the pay TV packages they’re already buying.
That still doesn’t mean FX+ subscribers get everything that’s been on FX. Notably absent is “The People v. O.J. Simpson,” perhaps FX’s most popular show ever, which is currently running on Netflix.
Meanwhile some shows that will run ad-free on FX+ will also run on other platforms, at least for now: You can also watch the first four seasons of “The Americans” on Amazon’s Prime video service.
Bigger picture: Fox, like other big studios/networks, has been making noise about reclaiming its old shows from other people — namely, Netflix — and it is starting to do that: If you want to watch old Fox shows, you increasingly have to watch them on Fox properties (or Hulu, partly owned by Fox).
That’s definitely a negative for Netflix, which has to spend more money creating its own shows to replace the ones being hoovered back up by their original owners.
And it’s hard to argue that it’s a positive for viewers, who increasingly have to do more thinking about what streaming service their favorite show is on.
But it may be worth it to the Hollywood guys, if it slows down the erosion of their own value.
—By Peter Kafka, Recode.net.
CNBC’s parent NBCUniversal is an investor in Recode’s parent Vox, and the companies have a content-sharing arrangement.
Disclosure: Comcast, which owns CNBC parent NBCUniversal, is a co-owner of Hulu.