As a hardcore fan of the horror genre, it pains me to report the following news. Communications giant Comcast (who is still in the process of finalizing its purchase of Time Warner Cable) has bought out its partners Sony and Lionsgate and taken full control of digital cable network Fearnet.
Launching on Halloween 2006, Fearnet began as a strictly on-demand service, offering full length horror films for viewing through both participating cable providers and the Fearnet.com website. Unlike most channels, Fearnet provided its films uncut and completely uncensored. Unfortunately, Fearnet's reign as the only dedicated horror network on cable was short lived, as NBC Universal launched the Chiller network in early 2007.
Despite its films being edited for content, Chiller was able to steal Fearnet's thunder, and was picked up by many cable systems long before its predecessor. Still, Fearnet maintained a loyal fanbase, eventually expanding into a linear TV channel of its own in 2010. While this channel did edit its programming, all the movies it showed were still made available in their complete form on-demand, preempting any fan backlash. Fearnet even premiered 'Holliston' its first (and to date only) original series in 2012. Needless to say, life has been pretty good for Fearnet fans the last few years.
Sadly, Comcast has seen fit to end all that. Now that they own 100 percent of the channel, Comcast has announced plans to dissolve both the network and website. A good chunk of Fearnet's library will move to Chiller. Some may head to Syfy. The rest will just go back into the TV ether. 10 of Fearnet's 25 dedicated employees will remain onboard, while the rest will be let go.
No set timetable has been laid out for this transition, but it is expected to begin soon. Goodbye Fearnet, us horror lovers will miss you. It was nice to have a channel that actually stuck to its mission statement, instead of just deteriorating into nothing but Syfy original movies, reality shows about ghost hunting and reruns of 'Fear Factor.'