20th Century Fox Signs Catalog TV Deal With Canadian SVOD Shomi

"American Horror Story: Freak Show"

The pact keeps FX series like 'American Horror Story' and 'Wilfred' from Netflix Canada

Upstart Canadian SVOD Shomi has kept FX and FXX series like American Horror Story and Sons of Anarchy away from Netflix Canada as part of a catalog deal inked with 20th Century Fox Television Distribution.

The Canadian supply deal is no surprise: FX Networks and Rogers Media, a major broadcaster here and a half-owner of Shomi, have a 3-year-old programming deal for 20th Century Fox series that air on FX stateside.

But the pay TV deal steering catch-up episodes of It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia, The League, The Americans and Wilfred to Shomi means Netflix, for the first time, competes for pay TV rights to popular U.S. series with homegrown SVODs in Canada.

That battle for Canadian eyeballs online comes as Netflix Canada, Shomi and a third video portal, expected soon from local telco Bell Media, brand themselves as binge-viewing destinations.

The deal also hands Shomi the exclusive streaming rights to Fox hits like Modern Family, New Girl and Sleepy Hollow so the Canadian SVOD, to launch in November, can follow Netflix and offer subscribers the most popular U.S. TV shows for repeat viewing.

"We are thrilled to support the launch of Shomi and are proud that many of our favorite Fox programs will be available to its subscribers,“ said Evan Scheffel, senior vp worldwide pay TV and SVOD at 20th Century Fox Television Distribution, in a statement.

Netflix, which launched in Canada in 2010, still has time before it fully competes with Shomi as the joint venture between Rogers Communications and Shaw Communications and will first launch in beta, and for Internet and cable TV subscribers only.