FX President John Landgraf discussed how the network fits into Disney’s portfolio.
FX’s focus on creating content with more adult branding than Disney’s may allow the media titan to compete more directly with global streaming services like Netflix, HBO, and Amazon, FX Networks President John Landgraf believes.
Speaking at the winter 2018 Television Critics Association press tour, Landgraf discussed why he feels FX as it exists now may have a place at Disney should the company’s merger deal with Fox go through.
“One of the reasons [Disney is] getting bigger is they want to be able to compete against global streaming services like Netflix and Amazon” Langraf said. “Without knowing anything beyond having a lovely conversation with Mr. [Bob] Iger, he seems to have wanted FX to have been a part of the larger plans, and we do something that’s unique.”
Landgraf explained mature scripted content, like that produced by FX, is a big draw for consumers, and it’s something the current Disney portfolio may lack.
“The oddity, that it’s so different from Disney’s brand is a good thing” Landgraf said, “What it is that we do doesn’t exist in that company, we bring something distinctive and unique into that world.”
When discussing potential competition with entrenched streaming services, he notes diversity of content offerings is key to developing a sustainable business model, saying “It’s a challenge staying in that upper echelon without more resources or more support.”
Looking to the merger between Disney and Fox, Landgraf does not know how FX will be integrated into the larger media structure, but when considering how the possibly expanded company will fare in the current ecosystem, he says “I am optimistic and time will tell.”
“I can look at history and I can say that I think Disney, under Bob Iger’s leadership, has been a very good steward of brands that it’s bought.” Landgraf said. “Places like Pixar and Marvel have distinctive creative cultures and they seem to have thrived under Disney’s leadership.”
Disney will reportedly buy 21st Century Fox for $52.4 billion, but the purchase had been rumored for some time. For more on the Disney-Fox merger, read what it could mean for TV. For fans of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, read up on all the Marvel characters Disney will get from the deal.
Brian Barnett is an IGN freelance writer. You can follow and chat with him on Twitter at @Ribnax.