Flix (TV channel)
|Launched||August 1, 1992|
|Owned by||Showtime Networks (subsidiary of Viacom, 1992–2005;
subsidiary of CBS Corporation, 2005–present)
|Picture format||480i (SDTV)|
|Slogan||Movies You Grew Up With (primary)
Cool Classics for the Movie Generation (secondary)
Spanish (via SAP audio track; some films may be broadcast in their native language and subtitled into English)
|Headquarters||New York City, New York|
The Movie Channel,
|Timeshift service||Flix East,
|DirecTV||Channel 556 (SD)
Channel 1556 (VOD)
|Dish Network||Channel 333 (SD)|
|Available on most U.S. cable systems||Consult your local cable provider for channel availability|
|Verizon FiOS||Channel 390 (east)
Channel 391 (west)
|AT&T U-verse||Channel 890 (SD)|
Flix is an American premium cable and satellite television network that is owned by the Showtime Networks subsidiary of CBS Corporation. Its programming consists solely of theatrically released feature films released from the 1970s to the present day, interspersed with some films from the 1950s and 1960s. It is the only premium television service in the United States which does not operate any multiplex channels that provide additional programming alongside the main service. Although Flix is typically offered as part of the Showtime multiplex, the channel's carriage varies depending on both the cable provider and market, therefore it may not be available alongside Showtime and The Movie Channel's multiplex services in all areas.
The network launched on August 1, 1992 as a single-channel "mini-pay" service. Flix originally featured movies from the 1960s to the 1980s, although it would gradually begin to scatter some 1990s film titles onto the network's schedule over time; however, the channel has since begun to feature some films released during the 2000s as well. At its launch, Flix had been one of the last premium channels to restrict the broadcast of R-rated films to the nighttime hours. A notable aspect of Flix during its early days was that the channel did not solely advertise the channel's own primetime lineup, but also ran a schedule of programs that were slated to air that evening on the other major U.S. premium channels (including HBO, Cinemax and Encore as well as sister networks Showtime and The Movie Channel) during breaks between daytime movies.
Before its launch, Tele-Communications, Inc. made a failed bid to acquire a 50 percent stake in Showtime from Viacom in 1989. there was some debate as to whether Viacom or TCI originally conceived the idea for Encore, a service originally similar in format to Flix, that also focused on films from the 1960s to the 1980s until a format change in 1999 in which recent films were added to that channel's schedule. Viacom executives insisted that TCI lifted part of the idea for Encore from the company's Showtime Networks division. Then-Encore president John Sie said in an 1991 interview with Multichannel News that TCI brought up the concept of the Encore network as a way to revitalize Showtime, either by launching a new tertiary service from scratch or by overhauling the format of Showtime's existing sister network The Movie Channel.
On June 14, 2005, Viacom decided to separate itself into two companies (only six years after the company's acquisition of CBS), amid stagnation of the company's stock price; both companies would be controlled by Viacom parent National Amusements. The original Viacom was renamed CBS Corporation and acquired Showtime Networks along with CBS' broadcasting assets, Paramount Television (now the separate arms CBS Television Studios for network and cable production and CBS Television Distribution for production of first-run syndicated programs and off-network series distribution), advertising firm Viacom Outdoor (renamed CBS Outdoor), Simon & Schuster and Paramount Parks, which was later sold; the new Viacom kept Paramount Pictures, the MTV Networks and BET Networks cable divisions, and Famous Music (the latter was sold off in 2007).
Flix On Demand
Flix On Demand is the channel's subscription video-on-demand service; it is available to subscribers who receive the channel along with the other Showtime multiplex channels, though a few cable systems carry it as a free service that does not require a subscription as an inducement for customers to subscribe to the full Showtime suite of channels. Launched in 2005, Flix On Demand offers classic movies released between the 1950s and the 1990s, which are divided by category based on the decade of their release: 1950s and 1960s, 1970s, 1980s and 1990s.
As of August 2013, Flix – through Showtime – maintains exclusive first-run film licensing agreements with network sister company CBS Films since 2007, The Weinstein Company since 2009 (including releases by Dimension Films), DreamWorks Studios (featuring only live-action releases through Touchstone Pictures, as part of a distribution agreement with Walt Disney Motion Pictures Group), IFC Films, Miramax Films (including releases by Dimension Films), Summit Entertainment (for films released prior to 2013), Magnolia Pictures, WWE Films, First Look Studios, THINKFilm and Anchor Bay Entertainment.
Flix also shows sub-runs – runs of films that have already received broadcast or syndicated television airings – of theatrical films from Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures (including content from subsidiaries Walt Disney Pictures, Touchstone Pictures, Hollywood Pictures, and former subsidiary and current independently operated studio Miramax), Samuel Goldwyn Films, Universal Studios (including content from subsidiary Focus Features), Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (including content from subsidiaries United Artists, Orion Pictures, and The Samuel Goldwyn Company), Paramount Pictures and Lions Gate Entertainment (sub-run rights with the latter three studios are for films released prior to 2008). Although it does not hold the pay television rights to telecast recent films from 20th Century Fox – which are held by HBO as of 2014[update] – Flix does run independent films to which that studio owns the home video rights, regardless as to if they were not released theatrically (most notably The Passion of the Christ). In 2006, Showtime Networks entered into a partial deal with Rogue Pictures to broadcast select films released by the studio (especially those originally produced for home video release). Usually films which Showtime has pay-cable rights to will also run on Flix and sister service The Movie Channel during the period of its term of license agreement.
Many lesser-known film titles (particularly those released as independent films) that have either not received a theatrical release or were released on DVD or home video are also commonly broadcast on Flix. The window between a film's initial release in theaters and its initial screening on Showtime, The Movie Channel and Flix is wider than the grace period leading to a film's initial broadcast on HBO, Cinemax or Starz. Films that Showtime has pay cable rights to will usually also run on Flix and The Movie Channel during the period of its term of licensing.
Future licensing agreements
- 1992–present: "Movies You Grew Up With"
- 2007–present: "Cool Classics for the Movie Generation"
- Showtime's Flix accents multipay subscribers; Showtime Networks Inc.'s mini-pay movie service, Multichannel News (via HighBeam Research), April 6, 1992.
- Viacom: Encore was partly our idea, Multichannel News (via HighBeam Research), March 11, 1991.
- Viacom Board Agrees to Split of Company, The New York Times, June 15, 2005.
- SpongeBob or Survivor?, CNNMoney.com, December 19, 2005.
- Flix On Demand Launch Announcement
- Flix moves into SVOD territory, Multichannel News (via HighBeam Research), April 4, 2005.
- CBS names head of movie division
- Showtime and Weinstein Co. Sign 7-Year Deal
- Deal for Showtime and Weinstein Company
- Showtime signs deal to air DreamWorks films
- Showtime Names Co-Heads Of Acquisitions
- Open Road Inks Deal to Bring Pics to Showtime