Bravo (U.S. TV channel)
|Launched||December 1, 1980|
|Picture format||1080i (HDTV)
|Headquarters||GE Building, New York City, U.S.|
NBC Sports Network
|Dish Network||129 (HD/SD)
|C-Band - H2H/4DTV||AMC 18 - Channel 203(East)/262(West)|
|Available on many cable systems||Check local listings for channels|
|Verizon FiOS||685 (HD)
|AT&T U-verse||1181 (HD)
Bravo is an American cable television channel owned by NBCUniversal launched by Cablevision as an advertisement-free premium channel in December 1980. According to Nielsen Ratings Data, Bravo is currently available in 88 million homes.
In the early 2000s it switched from covering performing arts, drama, and indie film to being focused on pop culture like reality shows, fashion shows, makeovers, celebrities, and so forth. Bravo's programming schedule includes feature films, primarily from the Universal catalog. Bravo also airs reruns of series from parent network NBC, and produces original reality content, most popularly The Real Housewives of..., Inside the Actors Studio, and others. Bravo's corporate offices are at NBC's Rockefeller Center in New York. Andy Cohen is the Senior Vice President of Production and Programming.
Bravo launched as a commercial-free premium channel on December 1, 1980 owned by Cablevision's Rainbow Media; the channel claims to be "the first television service dedicated to film and the performing arts". Cablevision launched Bravo as a premium channel available two days a week and sharing channel space with the softcore porn channel Escapade. In 1981, Bravo had 48,000 subscribers in the U.S.; four years later there were around 350,000. A 1985 profile of Bravo in The New York Times observed that most programming consisted of international, classic, and independent film. On Bravo, celebrities such as E. G. Marshall and Roberta Peters provided opening and closing commentary to the films. Performing arts on Bravo included the show Jazz Counterpoint. During the mid-1980s, Bravo converted from a premium channel to a basic cable channel. By the mid-1990s, Bravo began adding sponsorships as PBS did and included commercial breaks by 1998. Bravo signed an underwriting deal with Texaco in 1992 and within a month broadcast the first Texaco Showcase production, a stage adaptation of Romeo and Juliet.
In the Encyclopedia of Television, Megan Mullen perceived certain Bravo programs as "considered too risky or eclectic for mainstream channels". Those programs were Karaoke and Cold Lazarus, the final serials by British playwright Dennis Potter shown by Bravo in June 1997, and Michael Moore's documentary series The Awful Truth from 1999.
Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer owned a 20% stake in the channel from 1999 to 2001. NBC bought the network in 2002 for $1.25B; it had owned a stake in it and its siblings for several years up to that point. Parent company General Electric merged NBC with Vivendi Universal Entertainment in May 2004 to form NBC Universal.
Bravo's "makeover" came in 2003 with reality series Queer Eye for the Straight Guy, which hit 3.5 million viewers. Entertainment Weekly put "Bravo reality shows" on its end-of-the-decade, "best-of" list, saying, "From Queer Eye for the Straight Guy's Fab Five to Project Runway's fierce fashionistas to the kvetching, perma-tanned Real Housewives, Bravo's quirky reality programming mixes high culture and low scruples to create deliciously addictive television."
A study released in May 2008 ranked Bravo as the most recognizable brand among gay consumers. Bravo's age demographic is people 18-54, according to the Cable Television Advertising Bureau's cable television profiles.
|This section does not cite any references or sources. (October 2009)|
Bravo utilizes block programming for both new shows and existing ones. Bravo has also had success with programming franchises. These include: Project Runway; Top Chef, The Real Housewives of..., franchises and Flipping Out. Which are all still on the air today.
NBC Olympics 
In 2004 and 2006, Bravo carried coverage of the Olympic Games during the overnights and mornings produced by NBC Sports. In 2008, the channel carried no coverage, as NBCUniversal had acquired Oxygen, allowing Bravo to continue to carry their general programming schedule during NBC coverage of the Games. In 2012, NBC Sports announced that Bravo would serve as the home of Olympic tennis with 56 hours of coverage.
Bravo HD 
Bravo HD (known on-air as HD by Bravo in line with the network's imaging campaign) is a 1080i high definition simulcast of Bravo. It launched on October 3, 2007, and DirecTV was the first provider to add it. It is also available on Dish Network, Verizon FiOS, AT&T Uverse, Cablevision, and some Comcast, Cox Communications, Time Warner Cable and Bright House Networks systems.
This is the second version of Bravo HD; the current Universal HD launched as Bravo HD+ in August 2003. Bravo HD+ had a completely different schedule than the regular Bravo and aired only HD programs. The current Bravo HD airs programs in both high definition and standard definition.
Relationship with international Bravo channels 
An Australian channel called Arena re-branded its presentation in 2008 to align with Bravo as a result of an agreement with Bravo Media. Arena uses the Bravo slogan "Watch What Happens" and has access to Bravo-produced programming.
A Canadian version of Bravo was launched in 1995 by CHUM Limited. The channel originally aired much of the same genres of programming aired by its American counterpart. However, since Bravo USA's shift towards reality programming, Bravo Canada airing more dramas, and its adoption of a new logo in 2012 with little semblance to Bravo USA's current branding, there is now essentially no connection between the two channels. The channel still airs the few arts-related series aired by Bravo USA (such as Inside the Actors Studio and Work of Art), but due to Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) regulations which require the channel to still air programming related to arts, Bravo Canada does not air the vast majority of the U.S. channel's reality series—most of them have been picked up by other Canadian specialty channels.
United Kingdom 
In the United Kingdom, a TV channel called Bravo launched in 1985 independently of the U.S. service. The British channel, which closed on January 1, 2011, focused on men's programming for most of its existence, and never carried an arts or pop-culture format, nor much, if any, of the U.S. channel's programming.
- TimeWarner Media Sales: Bravo - CableMediaSales.com Retrieved September 1, 2008.
- "A Tale of Two Networks." Entertainment Weekly #1001, July 11, 2008, pg. 42.
- "About Bravo". Bravo (U.S. TV channel). Retrieved July 14, 2010.
- Becker, Anne (October 1, 2006). "Tracking Bravo's Rise". Broadcasting & Cable. Retrieved July 14, 2010.
- Schneider, Steve (December 15, 1985). "Cable TV Notes; Bravo Thrives on Culture". The New York Times. Retrieved July 14, 2010.
- "Cable Networks". Museum of Broadcast Communications. Retrieved July 14, 2010.
- Mullen, Megan (2004) . "Bravo (U.S. cable network)". Encyclopedia of Television 1 (2nd ed.). Chicago, Illinois, United States: Fitzroy Dearborn Publishers. pp. 308–310. ISBN 1-57958-411-X. Unknown parameter
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- Romano, Allison. "NBC Puts Its Stamp on Bravo." Broadcasting and Cable. February 17, 2003.
- Geier, Thom; et al. "The 100 Greatest Movies, TV Shows, Albums, Books, Characters, Scenes, Episodes, Songs, Dresses, Music Videos, And Trends That Entertained Us Over The Past 10 Years". Entertainment Weekly (1079/1080): 74–84.
- "Bravo tops survey of gay-friendly companies." Reuters' May 13, 2008.
- "NBC Lays Out Olympic Schedule". Broadcasting Cable. Retrieved 20 May 2012.
- DIRECTV Adds Six HD Channels (The satcaster now has 36 national high-def channels.)By Swanni (Washington, D.C. (October 3, 2007)
- Engadged HD - Time Warner Cable January 2009. retrieved February 21, 2009
- A New Arena