|Launched||September 6, 2001
(original launch; as HDNet)
July 2, 2012
(relaunch; as AXS TV)
|Owned by||AXS TV LLC
(through Ryan Seacrest Media)
Anschutz Entertainment Group
Creative Artists Agency
|Picture format||1080i (HDTV)|
|Formerly called||HDNet (2001–2012)|
|Sister channel(s)||HDNet Movies|
|Available on most other U.S. cable systems||Consult your local cable provider for channel availability|
AXS TV (pronounced "access") is an American digital cable and satellite television network that is owned by a consortium consisting of AXS TV LLC (a company founded by investor Mark Cuban in 2001 as HDNet, Inc.), Ryan Seacrest (through Ryan Seacrest Media), Anschutz Entertainment Group, Creative Artists Agency and CBS Corporation. Programming on the network includes music, comedy, news and martial arts programming.
Launch and availability in the United States
The network originally launched as HDNet on September 6, 2001 – designed as a high definition-exclusive service – under the ownership of HDNet, Inc., owned by Dallas Mavericks owner 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, the network originated eight daily hours of high definition content from the 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City. This feed was picked up by NBC and aired in 24-hour rotation on the digital signals of NBC's stations.
The channel gradually expanded its carriage to satellite providers DirecTV and Dish Network as well as cable providers Charter Communications, Insight Communications, Mediacom, Suddenlink Communications, Verizon FiOS and AT&T U-verse. On September 4, 2008, Cuban announced that the network reached an agreement with Comcast to carry both HDNet and HDNet Movies in various markets; the provider began to carry HDNet in many major markets on September 30, 2010. In November 2009, DirecTV became the first provider to offer video-on-demand services of HDNet and HDNet Movies.
Purchase and conversion to AXS TV
On January 18, 2012, HDNet Inc. entered into a joint venture with TV/radio personality/producer Ryan Seacrest, entertainment company/promoter Anschutz Entertainment Group and talent agency Creative Artists Agency, in which AEG, CAA and Ryan Seacrest Media would each purchase a share of the network (with Cuban also retaining ownership). The network rebranded on July 2, 2012 as AXS TV, a name taken from AEG's ticket sales website AXS. With the purchase and rebranding, the channel gradually shifted emphasis to a mix of entertainment news, lifestyle, pop culture and in-concert performance events.
Alongside the rebranding, Dish Network announced that it would expand the channel's distribution to customers who do not subscribe to an HD tier through a downconverted standard definition feed. The provider moved the network to channel 131 in the spring of 2012, increasing its carriage to at least 14 million Dish Network subscribers upon its relaunch 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. CBS Corporation acquired partial ownership in the network on February 14, 2013, when it traded programming and marketing for a minority stake in AXS TV.
As HDNet, the network aired a variety of programming – much of it being male-oriented, prominently featuring series, sports events 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 anchor Dan Rather); coverage of Space Shuttle launches; and male-oriented series such as Ultimate Trailer Show, Bikini Destinations (which ran for four seasons between 2003 and 2011) and Get Out! (a travel show featuring various models visiting hot spots around the world). In early 2010, it debuted Girls Gone Wild Presents: Search for the Hottest Girl in America. In October 2011, HDNet picked up Goodnight Burbank, the first scripted half-hour comedy originally created for the web starring Hayden Black, Laura Silverman and 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 from 2001 to 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 weekly programming from professional wrestling promotion Ring of Honor. From 2009 to 2010, HDNet also served as a television partner of the United Football League, with the network mainly airing the league's Saturday night games; the network dropped UFL coverage prior to the 2011 season.
As AXS TV
Following its July 2012 re-launch, AXS TV continued to air several programs carried over from HDNet; however, the channel began to 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; however, the more particularly male-oriented programming began to be phased out.
AXSLive was a daily entertainment show that originated from L.A. Live and aired Monday through Thursday. The program, which premiered on July 14, 2012, gained prominence and hit a stride when comedian Ryan Stout stepped in to host from August 12 to October 30, 2013.
On April 28, 2013, it was announced that AXS TV will carry the Huffington Post's web series HuffPost Live for six hours a day starting on May 13; the program has not yet aired on the network as of March 2014[update].
On October 3, 2013, AXS TV launched a new talk show called Tom Green Live in which comedian Tom Green interviews a guest each week. The series premiered on October 3, 2013 with Richard Belzer as his inaugural guest. Tom Green Live was then renewed for a second season which premiered on January 9, 2014 and on April 3, 2013 announced a third season that premiered on June 12, 2014.
On December 4, 2013, AXS TV announced a third season of the one-hour live concert series The World's Greatest Tribute Bands, hosted by Katie Daryl. The new season was broadcast live from the Whiskey A Go Go club on the Sunset Strip in Hollywood and featured bands paying tribute to a variety of acts including Prince, Garth Brooks and the Beastie Boys, as well as many classic rock favorites such as KISS and Aerosmith. The show was previously broadcast live from the Roxy Theatre and featured mostly classic rock tribute bands. On April 21, 2014, AXS TV renewed the live concert series for a fourth season set to premiere in the fall.
In April and May 2014, AXS TV broadcast select concert footage, for the first time ever on television, from the second weekend of the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival from April 18 to 20, 2014; as well as (for the second consecutive year) footage from the Stagecoach Festival, which aired from April 25 to 27, 2014 and the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival, which aired from May 1 to 4, 2014.
On April 16, 2014, AXS TV announced a new documentary series to be hosted by Dan Rather called Dan Rather Presents, which would focus on challenging issues; the program premiered on May 6, 2014 with One Way Ticket to Nowhere: America's Mental Health Crisis, an episode detailing the country's handling and medical treatment of the mentally ill.
List of AXS TV programs
- AXS TV Concerts
- The World's Greatest Tribute Bands hosted by Katie Daryl
- Your Country
- SKEE LIVE hosted by DJ Skee
- Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival
- Stagecoach Festival
- New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival
- Gotham Comedy Live
- Tom Green Live
- News and documentaries
- Dan Rather Reports
- The Big Interview with Dan Rather
- Dan Rather Presents
- Late night programming
- Gene Simmons Family Jewels
- Guitar Center Sessions
- Stephen Fry in America
- Video Killed the Radio Star (TV series)
|This section does not cite any references or sources. (July 2012)|
On May 18, 2009, Time Warner Cable announced that it would drop HDNet and HDNet Movies from its systems on May 31. Bright House Networks, an affiliate of Time Warner Cable, told its customers that Time Warner Cable broke off negotiations with HDNet and HDNet Movies on a new contract. According to claims made by Bright House 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 [Bright House] customers". Subsequently other HD channels by lower cost providers, such as MavTV, The Outdoor Channel and The Sportsman Channel took over the channel slots of the HDNet networks in various market.
HDNet and HDNet Movies saw more of a fallout in carriage in 2009. Providers that did not renew deals to carry HDNet and HDNet movies included RCN, Mediacom and MetroCast Cablevision. Cox Communications dropped both networks in February 2011.
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 and Shaw Direct in the spring of 2012. EastLink, SaskTel and Source Cable are the only providers that currently carry AXS TV in Canada.
HDNet Movies is a premium movie channel that debuted three days before AXS TV (as HDNet) on September 3, 2001. Like its parent network, it is a high-definition service; however, the network focuses on uncut, commercial-free movies features a lineup of films spanning the 1950s to the 2000s. HDNet Movies runs two programming blocks, the youth-targeted morning and afternoon, and Friday evening film block "kidScene," and the Sunday classic film block "In Retro" featuring movies from the 1950s to the 1970s. The channel also airs monthly showcases of films selected by the Library of Congress and the National Film Registry for historical and cultural preservation.
HDNet Movies is currently carried nationally on Dish Network, DirecTV, Verizon FiOS and AT&T U-verse; and regionally on cable providers such as CenturyLink, Charter Communications, Grande Communications, Service Electric, Suddenlink Communications, SureWest and Wave Broadband.
In the fall of 2006, HDNet became available in Canada on Rogers Cable, Bell TV and Cogeco Cable; Shaw Cable began carrying the network in April 2007. As is the case with many U.S.-based channels, HDNet did not own the Canadian rights to some of its sporting events or off-network repeats aired in the U.S., and as such, these programs were blacked out and replaced with additional repeats of HDNet original programs. While referenced on the channel's website as "HDNet Canada," this alternate U.S.-based feed did not operate as a separate channel. Upon the rebrand to AXS TV, the network was dropped by all of its Canadian cable and satellite carriers.
- "Ryan Seacrest Joins AEG, CAA to Relaunch Mark Cuban's HDNet". TheWrap. 2012-01-18. Retrieved 2013-12-08.
- [dead link]
- Dickson, Glen (2009-11-06). "DirecTV Adds HDNet On-Demand | Broadcasting & Cable". Broadcastingcable.com. Retrieved 2013-12-08.
- "Concerts to Be Focus in Shift From HDNet to AXS TV". The New York Times. Retrieved 2013-12-08.
- Bond, Paul (02/14/13). "CBS Takes Stake in AXS TV". The Hollywood Reporter.
- "Mark Cuban's HD Net to become AXS, but big changes will wait - Los Angeles Times". Latimes.com. 2012-06-29. Retrieved 2013-12-08.
- [dead link]
- [dead link]
- "AXS TV Acquires 'Gene Simmons Family Jewels'". Deadline.com. Retrieved 2013-12-08.
- "Ryan Seacrest Launching TV Network With Mark Cuban, AEG, CAA". The Hollywood Reporter. 2012-01-18. Retrieved 2013-12-08.
- "Deal Puts Huffington Post Channel on Cable TV". The New York Times. Retrieved 2013-12-08.
- "Tom Green To Host AXS TV Talk Show". Deadline.com. Retrieved 2013-12-08.
- "Tom Green gets second AXS TV helping". New York Post. 2013-11-21. Retrieved 2014-04-17.
- "Tom Green on His AXS TV Talk Show, Guest-Hosting Letterman, and His ‘Straight-and-Zany’ Career". Vulture. 2014-04-04. Retrieved 2014-04-17.
- "AXS TV Orders Third Season of 'The World's Greatest Tribute Bands' (Exclusive)". TheWrap. 2013-12-04. Retrieved 2013-12-08.
- "'The World's Greatest Tribute Bands' Renewed for Fourth Season by AXS TV". TV by the Numbers. 2014-04-21. Retrieved 2014-06-03.
- "Coachella Festival to Air Live on YouTube, AXS TV". Billboard. 2014-04-02. Retrieved 2014-04-17.
- "AXS TV To Provide Live Coverage Of Stagecoach Country Music Festival". Multichannel News. 2014-02-06. Retrieved 2014-04-17.
- "AXS TV adds a 4th day to Jazz Fest 2014 coverage schedule". NOLA.com. 2014-02-21. Retrieved 2014-04-17.
- "Dan Rather headed to ‘Presents’ documentary series". New York Post. 2014-04-16. Retrieved 2014-04-17.