Looking for the FOX channel on Spectrum? Here are the channel numbers for FOX in some major Spectrum markets:
Now let‘s dive deeper into the history of FOX and what makes it such a unique and influential TV network.
FOX first launched on October 9, 1986, the creation of media mogul Rupert Murdoch. At the time, CBS, NBC, and ABC were the "Big Three" networks that dominated television. FOX aimed to disrupt their oligopoly by targeting younger viewers that the traditional networks were starting to lose.
The network‘s first shows established its unconventional approach. Irreverent comedies like Married…with Children and The Tracey Ullman Show delivered adult humor unlike anything else on primetime. When The Simpsons premiered in 1989, it became FOX‘s first big hit.
According to Nielsen ratings, viewership for FOX’s first season averaged just 14% of total TV households. But by its fifth season, FOX had drawn even with CBS among the coveted 18-49 demographic. Ratings took another leap when FOX acquired rights to air NFL games in 1994. Last season, FOX averaged almost 7 million total viewers in primetime, still behind CBS, ABC and NBC but a top-5 network nevertheless.
Beyond ratings, FOX helped pioneer new concepts in TV programming. Quick cuts, edgy stories, antihero protagonists, satirical animation – all became staples of the “FOX style.” The network also took risks on innovative shows before its rivals. 24, Glee, House M.D., and American Idol were all FOX originals that redefined their genres.
Longtime CEO Rupert Murdoch and Fox Television chairmen like Barry Diller and Peter Chernin deserve credit for FOX’s success. By supporting envelope-pushing creativity and going after untapped audiences like teens and young adults, they built FOX into far more than just a fourth network.
Today, FOX continues to air signature shows like The Simpsons, Family Guy, 9-1-1, and The Masked Singer. But the network now faces much stiffer competition in a fragmented, streaming-centric TV landscape. Can FOX maintain its maverick identify in this new age? Let’s analyze the network’s current strategy and how it stacks up to rivals old and new.
FOX‘s Business Strategy: Sports, Streaming, and Doubling Down on Differences
In 2019, FOX Corporation became a standalone company after selling its film studio and entertainment assets to Disney. Under the leadership of CEO Lachlan Murdoch, FOX is now focused squarely on television. This includes:
FOX Broadcast Network – reaches ~90 million U.S. households
29 local FOX TV stations – reach ~45% of American viewers
Cable networks FS1, FOX News, FOX Business – top-rated cable channels
Unlike media giants like Disney and Netflix, FOX does not have a major streaming platform. So FOX aims to be everywhere viewers are, whether linear TV or digital.
FOX invests heavily in sports rights, including:
NFL – over $1 billion per year through 2030
MLB – deal through 2028
FIFA World Cup – over $400 million per tournament
WWE Smackdown – $1 billion deal through 2024
College football/basketball – Big Ten, Big 12, Pac-12
Sports draw big linear TV audiences and advertising dollars. But non-sports content remains vital for FOX to attract viewers year-round. FOX plans to double down on what makes it unique – programming with an edge.
FOX aims for shows that are loud, irreverent, titillating, or emotional. Not just staid crime dramas and stale sitcoms. The Masked Singer exemplifies the appeal of outlandish concepts. WWE offers melodramatic storylines. And 9-1-1 combines action and soapy characters.
This strategy contrasts with Disney’s family-friendly fare, NBC’s broad comedies and dramas, and CBS’ procedural franchises. By staying bold and unapologetic, FOX tries to fill a niche its stodgier rivals don’t.
How Does FOX Stack Up to the Competition?
To gauge FOX’s current standing, let’s compare it to both broadcast and streaming competitors.
Vs. Broadcast Networks
Compared to traditional rivals, FOX continues to trail in overall viewership. For the 2021-22 TV season, primetime averages:
CBS – 6.2 million total viewers
NBC – 5.2 million
ABC – 4 million
FOX – 3.9 million
Yet thanks to shows like The Masked Singer, FOX tied NBC for 2nd in the advertiser-coveted 18-49 demographic. This indicates FOX is keeping pace by appealing to younger viewers.
Sports are a huge advantage for FOX against its network foes. Excluding sports, FOX’s viewership would decline 25% or more. CBS, NBC and ABC have made only minor sports investments. Live events like NFL games remain DVR-proof and in-demand among audiences.
So compared to other traditional networks, FOX leverages sports and younger demographics to stay competitive for ratings and ad revenue.
Vs. Streaming Services
In 2021, streaming claimed an over 30% share of total TV viewing time. Netflix now has 220+ million worldwide subscribers, while Disney+ has amassed 130+ million subscribers in just two years.
Unlike dedicated streamers, FOX programs a broad lineup with mass appeal. Streaming allows greater niche targeting than broadcast TV. Disney+ leans into families, HBO Max into quality prestigue, and so on.
But FOX can use its scale and programming breadth to partner widely in streaming. For example:
Hulu streams next-day episodes of FOX shows
Tubi offers a FOX-branded free streaming channel
FOX Now app and FOX.com provide digital access to shows
FOX programs are licensed to Netflix, HBO Max, and other services
Rather than spend billions to build its own platform, FOX can distribute content across streamers to gain revenue and exposure. Boosting online visibility then supports FOX’s core linear TV business.
The verdict? FOX is in a more favorable position than its broadcast peers to navigate the streaming age. Sports and broadcast reach remain valuable despite cord-cutting. And FOX can leverage partnerships and digital content availability to stay relevant amidst rising digital rivals.
What‘s On Deck for FOX‘s Fall TV Lineup?
FOX‘s fall schedule offers a mix of familiar favorites, NFL football, WWE wrestling, and a handful of new shows. Here are some key programs slated for FOX this fall:
Monday Night Football – The NFL on FOX will air doubleheader games on Sundays, along with Monday night matchups like Titans vs. Bills on October 2. Football ratings dipped last season but remain strong compared to other programming.
The Simpsons – Now in its 34th season, the landmark animated sitcom continues with the voice talents of Dan Castellaneta, Julie Kavner, Nancy Cartwright, and more. A Halloween special, Treehouse of Horror XXXIII, airs October 30.
The Masked Singer – FOX‘s top reality show returns for Season 8 this fall. Nick Cannon hosts while celebrity judges like Ken Jeong, Jenny McCarthy, and Robin Thicke decipher the hidden singers. A mid-season spinoff, The Masked Dancer, is also slated for 2023.
Gordon Ramsay Shows – The multi-Michelin star chef has several FOX shows airing this fall, including Hell‘s Kitchen, MasterChef Junior, and Next Level Chef. FOX is also premiering Ramsay‘s Food Stars, a cooking competition show.
Monarch – Billed as an "epic, multi-generational musical drama," this new series stars Susan Sarandon, Trace Adkins, and Anna Friel as a first family of country music. The drama and original music seem designed to appeal to FOX‘s Middle America audience.
Accused – This anthology crime drama comes from super-producer Howard Gordon, the mind behind 24 and Homeland. Each episode opens with the defendant on trial, then flashes back to show their perspective of the crime. Michael Chiklis, Jill Hennessy, and Whitney Cummings are among the guest stars.
Krapopolis – FOX‘s newest animated series comes from Rick and Morty co-creator Dan Harmon. Set in mythical ancient Greece, the show follows a flawed family of humans, gods, and monsters trying to run one of the world‘s first cities. Krapopolis represents FOX‘s continued commitment to envelope-pushing animation.
Plus, WWE Smackdown will continue airing Friday nights on FOX this fall. So between sports, long-running staples, outlandish reality competitions, and new scripted content, FOX is set up for an eclectic 2022 programming slate true to its unique brand.
The Outlook for FOX in Today‘s TV Landscape
While no longer the scrappy upstart, FOX has evolved into a competitive fourth broadcast network that still embraces edgier programming. Investments in sports programming and partnerships with streamers will help FOX meet the challenges of an increasingly fragmented viewing audience.
FOX is also less reliant than competitors on scripted entertainment, thanks to its animation and reality strengths. This provides an advantage amidst the current writers‘ strike turmoil impacting fall lineups.
The network‘s unconventional DNA seems intact, based on provocative new shows like Monarch and Krapopolis. So while CBS, ABC, and NBC are shedding viewers, FOX looks positioned to remain a top destination for young adult audiences seeking something bold and different.
As streaming reshapes television entertainment, enduring value remains in the live event programming FOX offers viewers. NFL games on FOX will continue drawing a mass simultaneous audience. WWE wrestling‘s soap opera dramatics translate even in a digital age. And edgy animation and reality shows can generate online buzz that drives viewers back to linear FOX.
For these reasons, don‘t expect FOX‘s channel number to change on your Spectrum lineup anytime soon. While the media landscape around it transforms, FOX has all the tools needed to maintain its prime positioning for years to come.