|Launched||October 31, 2006
October 31, 2010 (linear channel)
|Closed||July 30, 2014|
|Picture format||1080i (HDTV)
Fearnet was an American digital cable television network, website and video on demand service owned by Comcast. The network specialized in thriller, suspense and horror entertainment programming through a mix of acquired and original series, and feature films.
Background and platforms
Fearnet on Demand
Fearnet launched on October 31, 2006 as a video on demand service, Fearnet On Demand. It was originally operated as a joint venture between Comcast, Lions Gate Entertainment and Sony Pictures Entertainment. The on-demand service featured full-length horror, thriller and suspense films as well as shorts, trailers, interviews and behind-the-scenes featurettes. It was available to subscribers of Comcast, Cox Communications, Verizon FiOS, AT&T U-verse, Insight Communications, Bresnan Communications, Guadalupe Valley Systems, Buckeye CableSystem, Time Warner Cable, Wave Broadband, Bright House Networks and CenturyLink.
Fearnet cable channel
Fearnet launched as a linear cable channel on October 31, 2010. The network was originally scheduled to launch four weeks earlier on October 1, but the date was pushed back as Fearnet was in the midst of carriage negotiations with cable providers to carry the linear channel. The Fearnet channel is available through Comcast (in select markets), Cox Communications, Time Warner Cable, Verizon FiOS, Bright House Networks and CenturyLink. The network airs over 350 full-length feature films annually, as well as popular series (such as Tales from the Crypt and Reaper) and original content (such as Holliston) and the weekend program block called "Funhouse".
In September 2012, Fearnet became the first television network to offer Dynamic Ad Insertion (DAI), technology which decreases integration time from four weeks to as few as three days, and also allows advertisers to refresh creative mid-campaign and track impressions on a daily basis.
The Fearnet website featured thriller, suspense and horror films available for streaming (with available content updated each week), as well as other videos including movie trailers and shorts, and daily news and reviews that cover all aspects of genre entertainment. The website had over 270,000 registered users who participate in sweepstakes, chats and forums.
Leadership and ownership changes
In 2010, Peter Block (who launched the top-grossing Saw horror film franchise, and also produced several other blockbuster horror and thriller films including Hostel, Cabin Fever, Open Water and House at the End of the Street) was named president and general manager of FEARnet, replacing Diane Robina. In addition to his duties at Fearnet, Block also continues to run his production company A Bigger Boat.
On April 14, 2014, Comcast purchased Lions Gate Entertainment and Sony Pictures Entertainment's stakes in Fearnet to acquire full ownership of the channel. Comcast plans to fold Fearnet into its existing horror- and thriller-focused network Chiller (owned by the company's NBCUniversal Cable unit), although some of Fearnet's programming may be moved to Syfy.
On June 13, 2014, the channel was dropped on Cox Communications first. The channel went dark on July 30, 2014 at 11:59pm.
On April 3, 2012, Fearnet premiered its first original series, Holliston, a horror/comedy series starring real-life filmmakers Adam Green and Joe Lynch as two college graduates chasing the dream of becoming successful horror filmmakers while struggling to make ends meet through their jobs at a Boston public-access cable channel. The series was renewed for a second season which aired in 2013.
In August 2012, Fearnet debuted a two-hour program block on Saturday and Sunday mornings called "Funhouse," featuring reruns of science-fiction and horror series aimed at children including The Real Ghostbusters, Tales From the Cryptkeeper, Eerie, Indiana and Dark Oracle.
- "FEARnet Rolls Out New Programming, Sets Up Carriage Deals". TV Week. May 2011. Retrieved April 15, 2014.
- Walker, Hunter (June 21, 2010). "FearNet to Launch Cable Channel". The Wrap. Retrieved April 15, 2014.
- Barton, Steve (June 21, 2010). "FEARnet Launches Cable Channel in October". Dread Central. Retrieved May 20, 2014.
- Schley, Stewart (February 11, 2013). "It's alive! Dynamic VOD ads are up, running...and not all that scary". Zonewire. Retrieved April 15, 2014.
- Sharma, Amol; Vranica, Suzanne (May 27, 2013). "On Demand: Quick Ad Switch". The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved April 15, 2014.
- Andreeva, Nellie (April 14, 2014). "Comcast Takes Full Control Of FEARnet, To Fold It In Into Chiller & Syfy". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved April 14, 2014.
- Umstead, R. Thomas (August 8, 2011). "Fearnet Greenlights First Original Series". Broadcasting & Cable. Retrieved May 20, 2014.
- Goldberg, Lesley (April 17, 2012). "'Holliston', FEARnet's First Original Series, Renewed for Second Season". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved April 15, 2014.