|Closed||September 12, 2006|
|Owned by||Fox Entertainment Group
|Picture format||480i (SDTV)|
|Headquarters||Los Angeles, California|
Foxnet was an American cable television network that was owned by the Fox Entertainment Group division of News Corporation. The network carried programming from Fox television network, along with syndicated programming outside of network programming time periods; the service was intended for media markets without a Fox-affiliated station, effectively making Foxnet available primarily in smaller markets.
Foxnet was launched in 1991[specify], to provide Fox network programming to areas of the United States that did not have an in-market affiliate or whose cable providers did not carry an out-of-market Fox station. At the time of the service's launch, Fox's reached only 91.75% of all homes in the country with at least one television set. At its peak, Foxnet served nearly two million viewers. During Foxnet's existence, the network never officially identified itself specifically as "Foxnet" on-air, its network identification consisted simply of the Fox logo at the time, with a voiceover of "You're watching Fox."
As Fox grew its presence to most television markets over-the-air on local full-power or low-powered stations, or as digital subchannels of stations affiliated with other broadcast networks, Foxnet's coverage had in turn shrunk to the point where very few areas of the nation had a need for it. Also, if a viewer in a Foxnet market had digital satellite service, it was possible to watch one of Fox's stations via the satellite services after receiving permission from Fox (either KTTV from Los Angeles or New York City's WNYW on DirecTV and Dish Network; or KTVU in Oakland/San Francisco or WTXF-TV in Philadelphia on Primestar, until its merger with DirecTV in 1999), and in some cases, the Fox station with rights to Fox programming in the market.
As time went on, more local or adjacent-market Fox affiliates become available over-the-air or on cable in smaller markets. Eventually, Foxnet only aired on a few small cable systems, none of which had more than 1,000 subscribers. It no longer made economic sense for the service to remain on the air. For this reason, Fox's then-owner News Corporation (whose entertainment assets were largely spun off into 21st Century Fox in 2013) made the decision to discontinue Foxnet, which officially shut down on September 12, 2006. It was originally slated to go off the air on September 1, but the shutdown was delayed to allow WABG-TV in Greenwood, Mississippi time to quickly launch a Fox affiliate on a digital subchannel. Because of Foxnet's shutdown, an estimated 13,000 cable subscribers may have lost access to Fox programming. By this time, the network's market share had increased to 98.97% of the country. Indeed, network executives had been looking forward to the day its penetration increased to the point that Foxnet would no longer be needed.
Foxnet aired Fox's primetime and children's programs, along with Fox Sports events. Dayparts without Fox programming were programmed by the network, primarily with programs that were being carried in national syndication, along with some infomercials; this relieved the cable provider of the duty of acquiring syndicated programming to fill non-network program slots. This was similar to the programming strategy of The WB 100+ Station Group, a channel owned by Time Warner that operated from 1998 to 2006 (which was succeeded by The CW Plus, once The WB and UPN were shut down and replaced by The CW in September 2006) for markets that did not have an affiliate of The WB Television Network; though unlike Foxnet, The WB 100+ was stylized (to an extent) similarly to an over-the-air broadcast station and local operators were allowed to tailor the service to their local market with their own branding, and some even carried local news or sports programming. Foxnet, meanwhile, was formatted in the manner of a traditional cable channel with no local programming content provided by its carriers.
Foxnet carried one original program, The Spud Goodman Show that aired Sunday nights at 10 p.m. ET from 1995 to 1998, following the conclusion of Fox's primetime lineup. Though Fox did not carry any national news programming of its own at the time of its launch (and only has one news program presently on its schedule in the form of the political talk show Fox News Sunday), Foxnet did carry a simulcast of sister network Fox News Channel's Fox Report in the 7 p.m. ET timeslot, after the cable news channel's launch in 1996.
- WGN America, a superstation feed of WGN-TV that broadcast programming from The WB Television Network for markets without an affiliate from 1995 to 1999
- The WB 100+ Station Group, a similar cable-only network for markets without an affiliate of The WB, that operated from 1998 to 2006
- The CW Plus, successor of The WB 100+; most of the remaining cable-only channels and some over-the-air stations that are outlets of The CW Plus formerly served as affiliates of The WB 100+ Station Group
- CTV Two Alberta, a similar cable-only affiliate of CTV Two in the Canadian province of Alberta; formerly Access
- CTV Two Atlantic, a similar cable-only affiliate of CTV Two in Atlantic Canada; formerly the Atlantic Satellite Network (ASN) and A Atlantic
- Citytv Saskatchewan, a similar cable-only affiliate of City in the Canadian province of Saskatchewan, formerly Saskatchewan Communications Network (SCN)