The Fox Channel, which has been operating in the UK for more than 15 years, is shutting down next month, with many of its popular shows – The Walking Dead being one of them – moving to Disney+.
Fox launched in the UK back in 2004, first as FX Channel, changing its name to Fox nine years later. When Disney bought the Fox Networks Group in 2019, they also inherited the ownership of the Fox channel in the UK.
Fox is a premium pay-TV channel, therefore it’s not available on Freeview – instead, you can get it with a subscription on Sky, NOW (formerly NOW TV), Virgin Media, TalkTalk and TVPlayer.
Some of the popular shows that aired on Fox in the UK over the years were American Horror Story, The Mentalist, Dexter, NCIS and many others, with The Walking Dead being one of its biggest hits in recent years, airing episodes shortly after their US airdate.
Today, according to Broadcast, Disney announced that Fox will shut down on June 30, and will stop broadcasting on Sky, NOW and all the others.
Many of the shows that were previously available on Fox, will move over to “Star”, the adult-oriented category of Disney+.
While the rest of the content on Disney+ was very family-friendly, the content on Star is geared towards a more mature audience.
With the launch of Star, many FX shows – which previously aired on Fox in the UK – popped up on Star, such as Atlanta, American Dad and others.
At that point, shows also started disappearing from the Fox channel, with many popular titles slowly ending their run on the channel’s on-demand version on Sky’s streaming service, NOW.
While we couldn’t get any official statements from Disney at the time – the writing was on the wall, and the closure comes as no surprise at this point.
Since the Disney+ app is available on Sky Q and NOW devices, their users will still be technically able to reach Fox’ shows on Star – but will of course need a Disney+ subscription.
A Disney spokeswoman told Broadcast: “On 30th June the FOX channel in the UK will close. Many titles will become available on Star on Disney+ and will be announced in the near future. We appreciate the support of our UK fans and can’t wait to keep sharing the best stories with you.”
The closure of Fox comes less than a year after Disney shut down “The Disney Channel”, which was another popular pay-TV channel in the UK.
Similarly, most of its content moved over to Disney+.
What Will Happen To The Walking Dead In The UK?
The next season of The Walking Dead, Season 11, is set to be the show’s last, and will launch in the US on August 22, 2021. It will then be divided into three parts, with breaks between them.
In the US, TWD airs on AMC. In the UK, new episodes of The Walking Dead aired on the Fox Channel, and were therefore available on Sky and NOW, almost concurrently with their US broadcast.Past seasons of The Walking Dead are also available elsewhere – such as on Amazon Prime Video.
Now, the series is expected to jump over to Disney+. However, other shows that are still running – such as Grey’s Anatomy – only get their past seasons on Disney+, with the newest episodes first airing on Sky and NOW.
It remains to be seen whether we’ll get weekly new episodes of The Walking Dead on Disney+ and Star.
What About NCIS?
Many have been asking about NCIS, the long-running crime drama that also aired on Fox.
The good news is that you can stream the first 15 seasons for “free”, as part of an Amazon Prime Video membership.
Seasons 16 and 17, however, are only available as a separate purchase for now. And the most recent season – 18 – isn’t available at all on Prime Video, but will probably become available in the near future.