Ha! (TV channel)

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Ha!: The TV Comedy Network
Launched April 1, 1990
Closed April 1, 1991
Owned by Viacom
Replaced by Comedy Central

Ha!: The TV Comedy Network, owned by Viacom, was one of the first American all-comedy channels available to basic cable subscribers. Launched on April 1, 1990 at 7 p.m. ET,[1] it competed with another startup comedy-oriented cable channel, HBO-owned The Comedy Channel (now Comedy Central).

Background[edit]

Unlike The Comedy Channel, which focused on stand-up comedy specials and clips of classic comedy feature films, Ha!'s programming centered largely on acquired off-network situation comedies from the 1950s to the 1970s. Some cable providers, particularly those owned by Viacom or Cablevision, carried the channel under a channel-share agreement in which it would be aired on the same channel space as fellow Viacom-owned cable network VH1; Ha! would air for half of the day, with the channel turning over to VH1 afterward.[2]

Ha! and Comedy Channel merge to create Comedy Central[edit]

In 1990, Ha! and Comedy Channel agreed to merge to create CTV: The Comedy Network, which began airing on April 1, 1991;[3] prior to the merger, both channels each had fewer than 10 million subscribers. Because of confusion and possible legal issues with the Canadian-based CTV network, the name of the network was subsequently changed to Comedy Central.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Jim Sullivan, Globe Staff. "Cable Comedy: No Laughing Matter", The Boston Globe, March 30, 1990. Retrieved March 2, 2011 from HighBeam Research.
  2. ^ Ernest Tucker. "The comedy cable clash // Who will laugh last?", Chicago Sun-Times, April 1, 1990. Retrieved March 2, 2011 from HighBeam Research.
  3. ^ 2 Comedy Channels Will Merge, The New York Times, December 19, 1990.