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AXS TV
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Launched September 6, 2001
Owned by AXS TV LLC
Ryan Seacrest
(through Ryan Seacrest Media)
Anschutz Entertainment Group
Creative Artists Agency
Picture format 1080i HD
Headquarters Dallas, Texas, United States
Formerly called HDNet (2001-2012)
Sister channel(s) HDNet Movies
Website DirecTV 340
1340 VOD
Dish Network 167
Cable
Available on many cable systems AT&T U-verse 1106
Verizon FiOS 569

AXS TV (pronounced "access") is an entertainment television channel in the United States. The network is owned by a consortium consisting of AXS TV LLC (a company founded by investor Mark Cuban in 2001), Ryan Seacrest (through Ryan Seacrest Media), Anschutz Entertainment Group, and Creative Artists Agency, a move that saw the channel re-brand from HDNet on July 2, 2012.[1][2]

AXS TV's current schedule includes men's interest programming, sporting and concert events, with a future emphasis on entertainment and pop culture programming.[3]

History

Launch and availability in the United States

On September 6, 2001, HDNet was launched by Dallas Mavericks owner and billionaire Mark Cuban and Philip Garvin, owner of Colorado Studios and Mobile TV Group. In December 2001 and January 2002 HDNet aired exclusive HD coverage of the U.S. invasion of Afghanistan with former CNN correspondent Peter Arnett. In February 2002, they originated eight hours of high definition video each day from the 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City. This feed was picked up by NBC and aired in 24 hour rotation on NBC's digital television stations. The channel has since grown to be available on a number of platforms, including the DirecTV and Dish Network satellite services and the cable systems of Charter Communications, Insight Communications, Mediacom, Suddenlink Communications, Verizon FiOS and AT&T U-verse. On September 4, 2008, Cuban announced that Comcast officially made an agreement to carry both HDNet and HDNet Movies to their subscribers in various markets, and began rolling out HDNet in many major markets as of September 30, 2010. In November 2009, DirecTV became the first to introduce Video-on-demand services for HDNet and HDNet Movies.[4]

Canadian carriage

In fall 2006, Rogers Cable, Bell TV and Cogeco in Canada added HDNet to their lineups; Shaw Cable followed in April 2007. Presently, as is the case with many U.S.-based channels, HDNet does not own the Canadian rights to some of their sporting events or off-network repeats aired in the U.S. These are blacked out and replaced with additional repeats of HDNet's original programming. While referred to on the channel's website as "HDNet Canada", this is not a separate Canadian channel, but an alternate U.S.-based feed.

However, by 2010 (due in many cases to carriage disputes or few subscribers), several major television providers in Canada began to drop HDNet, including Bell TV (in October 2010), Rogers Cable (on November 1, 2011), Cogeco (on January 31, 2012), and Shaw Cable and Shaw Direct in the spring of 2012.

Carriage removals

Time Warner Cable announced on May 18, 2009 that it would drop HDNet and HDNet Movies across all cable systems effective May 31. Brighthouse Networks, an affiliate of Time Warner Cable, told its customers that Time Warner Cable canceled negotiations with HDNet and HDNet movies. According to claims made by Brighthouse representatives "HDNet wants to charge Time Warner Cable more for their programming content but Time Warner Cable does not want to pay more in order to save raising the cost of cable services to its (Brighthouse) customers". Subsequently other HD channels by lower cost providers, such as MavTV, The Outdoor Channel and The Sportsman Channel have taken the place of the HDNet networks.

HDNet and HDNet Movies saw more of a fallout in carriage in 2009. Providers who have not renewed deals to carry HDNet and HDNet movies include RCN, Mediacom and MetroCast Cablevision. In February 2011, Cox dropped both channels.

Major television providers in Canada also began to drop HDNet in 2010, including Bell TV (in October 2010), Rogers Cable (on November 1, 2011), Cogeco (on January 31, 2011), and Shaw Cable & Shaw Direct in the spring of 2012. Currently, EastLink, SaskTel & Source Cable are the only providers who still carry AXS TV in Canada.

Purchase and conversion to AXS TV

On January 18, 2012, HDNet announced a joint venture with TV/radio personality/producer Ryan Seacrest, entertainment company/promoter Anschutz Entertainment Group, and talent agency Creative Artists Agency, a deal that would see AEG, CAA, and Ryan Seacrest Media purchase a share of the network (with Cuban also retaining ownership); as a result, the network rebranded on July 2, 2012 as AXS TV, a name taken from AEG's ticket sales site AXS.[1][2][5] With the purchase and rebranding, the channel will gradually shift emphasis to a mix of entertainment news, lifestyle, pop culture, and in-concert performance events.[3]

Alongside the re-branding, Dish Network also announced that it would expand the channel's distribution to non-HD customers through a downconverted standard definition feed. The channel was moved to channel 131 in Spring 2012, allowing it to be available to at least 14 million Dish Network subscribers upon its re-launch as AXS TV. Through its relationship with AEG, AXS TV also plans to offer special promotions on concerts to Dish Network users who have subscribed to the channel.[5]

Programming

As HDNet

As HDNet, the network aired a variety of programming, all of which produced in high definition. Much of its programming was male-oriented, prominently featuring series-based programs, sports, and concert performances.

Original programming on HDNet included news programs such as the HDNet World Report and Dan Rather Reports (a weekly newsmagazine hosted by former CBS Evening News host Dan Rather),[6] coverage of Space Shuttle launches, Ultimate Trailer Show, Bikini Destinations (2003–present), Get Out!, a travel show featuring various models visiting hot spots around the world. In early 2010, it began broadcasting Girls Gone Wild Presents: Search for the Hottest Girl in America.[7] In October 2011, HDNet picked up Goodnight Burbank, the world's first scripted half-hour comedy originally created for the web starring Hayden Black, Laura Silverman & Dominic Monaghan. Its programming also included off-network reruns of series such as Smallville, Andy Richter Controls the Universe, JAG, Star Trek: Enterprise and Arrested Development.

HDNet also aired sporting events, including coverage of the National Hockey League (2001-2008) and Major League Soccer; select motor sports events, including highlights from the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series and races from regional circuits; mixed martial arts, through Cuban's HDNet Fights promotion; the weekly series Inside MMA, which featured highlights and coverage from various MMA promotions; and Indiana University's Little 500 Bicycle Race. From 2009 to 2010, HDNet also aired Ring of Honor Wrestling, the weekly program from the professional wrestling promotion Ring of Honor. Also in 2009 and 2010, HDNet was a television partner in the United Football League, with the network airing UFL games mainly on Saturday nights; the network dropped UFL coverage prior to the 2011 season.

As AXS TV

As of its July 2012 re-launch, AXS TV still airs several programs carried over from HDNet; however, the channel will gradually shift its focus towards "music, pop culture and lifestyle oriented" programming; such as concerts, entertainment, and red carpet events. Some HDNet programming will remain on AXS TV, including Dan Rather Reports, MMA events (under the AXS TV Fights banner), movies, and off-network series such as GENE SIMMONS FAMILY JEWELS[8], JAG; however, the more particularly male-oriented programming may be phased out.[9]

AXSLive was a daily entertainment show that originated from L.A. Live and aired Monday through Thursday. The show, which premiered on July 14, 2012, gained prominence and hit a stride when comedian Ryan Stout stepped in to host from Aug. 12, 2013 to Oct. 30, 2013.[3]

On April 28, 2013 it was announced that AXS TV will carry The Huffington Post's HuffPost Live programming for six hours a day starting on May 13. [10]

On October 3, 2013, AXS TV launched a new talk show -- TOM GREEN LIVE[11] -- featuring new media pioneer Tom Green interviewing a hilarious guest each week. The show brings his one-of-a-kind wit, spontaneity and irreverent attitude to AXS TV. In this series, Green presents a more serious side as he sits down and has a meaningful conversation, going one-on-one with his guest in a live setting every Thursday night. In this format, Green gets to the heart of the matter as he leaves the celebrity glitz and rehearsed interviews to the old guard. His first guest on Oct. 3, 2013 was Richard Belzer; followed by Howie Mandel on Oct. 10; Tony Hawk on Oct. 17 and Eric Andre and Henry Rollins on Oct. 24.

List of programs

Original Programming

Comedy
  • Gotham Comedy Live
  • Tom Green
Sports
Music
  • HDNet Concert Series
  • Ray Johnston Band: Road Diaries
  • World's Greatest Tribute Bands

News and Documentaries

Late Night Programming
Late Night Shows cancelled by AXS TV
  • Girls Gone Wild's Search for the Hottest Girl in America
  • Get Out!
  • Deadline!
  • Bikini Barbershop

Off-network

HDNet Movies

Main article: HDNet Movies

AXS TV's companion channel is HDNet Movies, which airs uncut, commercial free movies from all genres and eras.

References

External links