EXCLUSIVE: What impact will today’s bumper “content partnership” between the BBC and FX Networks have on FX Originals with existing UK licensing agreements? Well, none at all. I’m hearing that all existing licensing deals remain in place and that the focus of the agreement is creating a UK home for FX programming going forward.
What that means is that FX original series such as American Horror Story, Legion, It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia, Baskets and You’re The Worst are not jumping to the BBC from their current UK homes. American Horror Story, Legion and Baskets are staying put on FOX UK; while Netflix UK retains rights to It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia. Channel 5, Comedy Central UK and Paramount Network share rights to You’re The Worst.
Atlanta is in a unique position in so far as FOX UK retains first run rights, while the BBC has repeat rights. It’s also worth noting that the agreement is only for shows that Twentieth Century Fox Television Distribution represents, and as such doesn’t come close to touching agreements for Archer, which Endemol Shine has licensed to Netflix UK, or Fargo, which Channel 4 holds UK rights to thanks to a long-standing agreement with MGM Worldwide Television Distribution.
This is not an entirely unique situation. When Sky Atlantic inked their output deal with Showtime there were a few notable shows that were not covered by the deal. Prime among them was Homeland, arguably the premium cable network’s flagship show, which stayed put on Channel 4 thanks to the fact that it was shopped internationally by Twentieth Century Fox Television Distribution rather than CBS Studios International. They also didn’t get Roadies for similar reasons.
Still the BBC/FX agreement is a big deal, especially as it gives BBC Two UK rights to the two FX shows that were prime targets for UK buyers: Sons Of Anarchy spin-off Mayans M.C. and Ryan Murphy’s LGBT themed drama Pose. No word yet on UK premiere dates for either show.