FearNet Flicks Are Fo' Shizzle

Horror-movie service FearNet has on-demand numbers that aren't horrific.

On Comcast, FearNet in April was the No. 1 free VOD movie channel and second among all free on-demand services in terms of views per server hour, according to Rentrak. It also was second for HD on-demand (30% of FearNet's titles are offered in high-def).

HD movies are clearly a draw, said FearNet president Diane Robina. But more than that, she claims horror is a “mainstream niche” that has wide appeal. The service has been serving about 10 million views per month and averages 50 to 54 minutes viewed per subscriber.

Robina points to the eclectic mix: FearNet's top movie the week of April 28, for example, was Snoop Dogg's Hood of Horror, which garnered 500,000 views. Yep, that's scary.

FearNet, a joint venture of Comcast, Sony Pictures Television and Lionsgate, is available to 18.9 million households through Comcast, Cox Communications, Insight Communications and Verizon FiOS TV. So far, it has failed to land a deal with Time Warner Cable.

Robina herself is not a big blood-and-guts fan — she prefers the “softer side of horror.” Her fave in the genre? Rosemary's Baby, Roman Polanski's creepy 1968 cult flick, which is the oldest movie on the VOD service. It's in there, Robina says, “because I said, 'We've gotta have that!' ”