Universal Pictures has been one of the main suppliers of theatrical movies to FX Networks, which several years ago pulled away from off-network series, opting to spend the bulk of its acquisition budget on features instead.
The two sides’ most recent deal ran through 2019 and is not getting renewed, outgoing NBCUniversal Chairman Steve Burke said during the Q&A portion of Comcast’s investor presentation that unveiled the new Peacock streaming platform.
“We are looking to take back – we are taking back the FX window, so Peacock will have every single movie ever made by Universal,” he said. “They just won’t have them in that three-month period [while they are on HBO] and we don’t think that’s a problem. It’s never been a problem for the broadcasters.”
HBO has a deal for the so-called “Pay 1” exclusive window to Universal Pictures movies that comes right after a feature’s DVD release. FX would then get the films for a period of seven years. While the FX cable network group (FX, FXX and FXM) — now owned by Disney — won’t have access to 2020 Universal releases and beyond, it still has its existing Universal titles for years to come.
The top-grossing Universal movies of 2019, which were among the last to go to FX include Fast & Furious: Hobbs & Shaw, Jordan Peele’s Us, DreamWorls Animation’s How To Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World, The Secret Life Of Pets 2, and Blumhousel’s Glass.
Probably anticipating that it may lose some output deals as vertically integrated studios focus on feeding their own platforms, FX recently made a joint deal with Hulu for Lionsgate movies.
FX also has an output deal with Sony and has been getting films from sibling 20th Century Fox.