History (TV channel)
|Launched||January 1, 1995|
|Owned by||A+E Networks (Hearst Corporation (50%), The Walt Disney Company (50%))|
|Picture format||1080i (HDTV)
|Slogan||History. Made Every Day.|
|Headquarters||New York City, New York, United States|
|Formerly called||The History Channel (1995–2008)|
History en Español
Crime & Investigation Network
|Dish Network||120 (HD/SD)|
|DStv (South Africa)||Channel 186|
|UPC Poland||390 (HD)
|Verizon FiOS||628 (HD)
|AT&T U-verse||1256 (HD)
History (originally The History Channel from 1995 to 2008) is an American basic cable and satellite television channel that is owned by A+E Networks, a joint venture between the Hearst Corporation and the Disney–ABC Television Group division of The Walt Disney Company.
It originally broadcast documentary programs and historical fiction series. However since 2008, it has mostly broadcast a variety of reality television series such as Pawn Stars, Duck Dynasty, and other non-history related content. Additionally, the network is frequently criticized by scientists and skeptics for broadcasting pseudo-documentaries, unsubstantiated and sensational investigative programming, such as Ancient Aliens, UFO Hunters, Brad Meltzer's Decoded and the Nostradamus Effect. As of August 2013, approximately 98,226,000 American households (86.01% of households with television) receive History.
International localized versions of History are available, in various forms, in Canada, Europe, Australia, Middle East, Africa, and Latin America. The first European version was launched in Scandinavia in 1997 by Viasat which now operates their own channel, Viasat History.
History was launched on January 1, 1995 as The History Channel, its original format focused entirely on historical series and specials. The channel has consistently produced decent prime-time ratings in the U.S.
On February 16, 2008, a new logo was launched on the U.S. network as part of a major rebranding effort. While the trademark "H" was kept, the triangle shape on the left acts as a play button for animation and flyouts during commercials and shows. On March 20, 2008, as part of that same rebranding effort, The History Channel dropped "The" and "Channel" from its name to become simply "History." The History channel has a sister channel, H2. H2 has the same ownership as the History channel and runs the same types of programs. Statements made in this article would apply to both channels.
Programming on History has covered a wide range of historical periods and topics, while similar themed topics are often organized into themed weeks or daily marathons. Subjects include warfare, inventions, aviation, mechanical and civil engineering, technology, mythical creatures, monsters, UFO, conspiracy theories, aliens, religious beliefs, disaster scenarios, apocalyptic "after man" scenarios, doomsday and 2012 superstitions. Programming also includes mainstream reality television-style shows involving truck drivers, alligator hunters, pawn stores, antique and collectible "pickers", car restorers, and others. Occasionally some programs compare contemporary culture and technology with that of the past.
Criticism and evaluation
History has in the past, particularly during the 1990s, been jokingly referred to as "The Hitler Channel" for its extensive coverage of World War II. Recently, however, much of its military-themed programming has now been shifted to its sister network Military History.
The U.S.-based network has also been criticized for having "a bias towards U.S. history," although another former sister network, History International, covered more extensively history outside the U.S. In 2011, History International was rebranded as H2 and now has more to do with U.S. history.
The network was also criticized by Stanley Kutner for airing the controversial series The Men Who Killed Kennedy in 2003. Kutner was one of three historians commissioned to review the documentary, which the channel disavowed and never aired again. On the other hand, programs such as Modern Marvels have been praised for their presentation of detailed information in an entertaining format.
Some of the network's series, including Ice Road Truckers, Ax Men and Pawn Stars, garnered ratings in the U.S. while receiving criticism over the series' non-historical nature. Forbes.com contributor Brad Lockwood criticized the History Channel's addition of "programs devoted to monsters, aliens and conspiracies" and wrote that ratings trends have influenced the network to focus on entertainment rather than actual historical programming. U.S. Senator Chuck Grassley is a frequent critic of the channel and its lack of historical or educational programming, showing particular disdain for Ax Men and Pawn Stars. The History channel does not identify the difference between programming that consists of documentaries and programming that contains material that ranges from speculative to fantasy.
In his book 2012: It's Not the End of the World, Peter Lemesurier describes the channel's Nostradamus series, in which he was invited to participate, as "largely fiction" and "lurid nonsense." He also lists numerous suggestions made in its films on the alleged Mayan "end of the world" and the "rare" galactic alignment that was supposed by John Major Jenkins to accompany it in 2012, while Jenkins himself has described Decoding the Past as "45 minutes of unabashed doomsday hype and the worst kind of inane sensationalism."
In December 2011, Politifact gave the History Channel's claim that the United States Congress stayed open on Christmas Day for most of its first 67 years of existence a "pants on fire" rating, the lowest of its ratings, noting that its own research showed that both the Senate and the House had only convened once in those 67 years on a Christmas Day and adding that, since there's a 1/7 chance of Christmas falling on a Sunday (when Congress did not meet in order to attend church), the claim that they would have convened almost every Christmas is "ridiculous." The claim had first been broadcast on the History Channel program Christmas Unwrapped – The History of Christmas before being subsequently picked up by the American Civil Liberties Union's website on the "Origins of Christmas" and by the Comedy Central series The Daily Show. Daily Show host Jon Stewart responded the next day by stating it was their fault for trusting the History Channel and satirized a clip from the History Channel about UFOs and Nazis by stating, "The next thing you know we'll all find out the Nazis did not employ alien technology in their quest for world domination."
- The Unknown Hitler DVD collection, including Hitler and the Occult
- Dogfight: Season 1 DVD set
- The Great Depression DVD collection
- The History Channel: Great Battles of Rome
- The History Channel: Civil War – A Nation Divided
- The History Channel: ShootOut! – The Game
- The History Channel: Dogfights – The Game
- The History Channel: Battle for the Pacific
- History Civil War: Secret Missions
- The History Channel: Lost Worlds
- The History Channel: Battle of Britain 1940
- The History Channel: Crusades – Quest for Power
- The History Channel: Alamo – Fight for Independence
- The History Channel: Civil War – Great Battles
- The History Channel: Digging for Truth
- The History Channel: Great Battles Medieval
- The History Channel: Civil War The Battle of Bull Run Take Command: 1861
- The History Channel: American Civil War Take Command: 2nd Manassas
The History Channel (as it was then known) was not initially related to a similar Canadian service, History Television, which launched in 1999. During the Canadian channel's first several years of operation, despite sharing a similar programming focus, the channels would rarely if ever share programming. Indeed, the phrase "Not available in Canada" became a de facto slogan for the U.S. channel in its early years as a result of its use in promotional ads on American channels that were imported to Canadian pay television providers, particularly A&E.
As late as the late 2000s, flagship History (U.S.) series were slow to reach Canadian viewers (if they aired in that country at all); Ice Road Truckers debuted in 2007, but did not join the History Television schedule until early 2009. However, the relationship between the two has improved since then. On May 30, 2012, History Television's current owner Shaw Media announced that it would rebrand the channel as a Canadian version of History in the fall of 2012, through a licensing agreement with A+E Networks. History Television relaunched as History on August 12, 2012; shortly thereafter, another Shaw-owned specialty channel was relaunched as a Canadian version of H2.
The Dutch version has launched on May 1, 2007. This version is distributed by Chello Benelux (a subdivision of Chellomedia). In January 2008, History HD was launched in the Netherlands. It is available on cable providers UPC Netherlands, Telenet and Ziggo. It is also available on IPTV service KPN.
A Polish version was launched on April 9, 2008. It is available on cable providers Aster, Dialog, Toya, and UPC Polska and also through satellite television (with its HD version carried on the n platform since June 1, 2012) and an SD version on Cyfra+ since November 2, 2009).
A Scandinavian version was first launched in September 1997, broadcasting for three and later four hours a day on the analogue Viasat platform. Initially time-sharing with TV1000 Cinema, it was later moved to the Swedish TV8 channel and continued broadcasting there until November 2004. When History channel announced their own 24 hour pan-European channel, Viasat launched their own history-oriented channel, Viasat History, in the Nordic region, however with no original programming. On February 1, 2007, the History Channel returned to Sweden and also Denmark, Norway, Finland when the pan-European version was launched as a standalone channel on the Canal Digital satellite platform and later through cable operator Com hem. In 2008 history was also launched as An HD channel.
The History Channel launched on February 1, 2007, on the Canal Digital DTH satellite package for viewers in Norway, Sweden, Denmark and Finland. The channel is being launched by The History Channel UK, A&E’s joint venture with BSkyB. Although it broadcasts in English with local subtitles, the channel is scheduled separately from the UK version.
The History Channel started its operations in India in late 2003 with 21st Century Fox's STAR TV as its sales partner, managed by National Geographic until November 21, 2008. The History Channel India closed down on November 21, 2008. In 2011, History was granted permission to relaunch services in India. A joint venture of AETN and Astro All Asia Networks launched the History Channel in Singapore, Hong Kong, Thailand, the Philippines, Malaysia, Indonesia, Vietnam and Brunei in the second and third quarters of 2007 and in Taiwan and China by the end of the year. Some other Asian countries, such as Kuwait, Israel and Japan, have their own versions of the network. On September 1, 2008, History Channel Asia was officially launched in Singapore and Hong Kong followed by Japan, South Korea and the Philippines.
The Latin American version was launched in 2001. It is owned by A&E and controlled in the region by HBO Latin America Group. It airs the same programming as the U.S. version, translated to Spanish or Portuguese or in English with Spanish or Portuguese subtitles. Also, it develops some local programming in Spanish made in and for Latin American countries. All Latin American programming is under the supervision of Tom Golden, the executive producer for International Programs at A&E Television Networks, and the Discovery Channel, which uses HBO Latin America Group for Latin American broadcasts.
The History channel is part of the "DSTV" satellite TV package provided by MultiChoice.
- Seidman, Robert (August 23, 2013). "List of How Many Homes Each Cable Networks Is In - Cable Network Coverage Estimates As Of August 2013". TV by the Numbers. Zap2it. Retrieved August 26, 2013.
- Winfrey, Lee. "Golf Channel tees off Tuesday, joining History Channel as new cable fare", Knight Ridder/Tribune News Service, January 16, 1995. Retrieved February 28, 2011, from HighBeam Research.
- International Herald Tribune Television's The History Channel Drops 'The' and 'Channel' from Its Name, Keeps History March 20, 2008
- Gary Richard Edgerton; Peter C. Rollins. Television Histories: Shaping Collective Memory in the Media Age. University Press of Kentucky; 2001. ISBN 0-8131-7111-3. p. 261–.
- Schone, Mark. "All Hitler, All the Time", Salon.com, May 8, 1997).
- "Time traveler's guide to the Roman Empire". Channel4.com. Retrieved August 4, 2007. "The History Channel: The website of the American cable channel has a bias towards American history, as evidenced by Extreme History with Roger Daltrey"
- Stanley Kutner (July 4, 2004). "Why the History Channel Had to Apologize for the Documentary that Blamed LBJ for JFK's Murder". History News Network. Retrieved August 4, 2007. "The History Channel has made a start in the right direction as it has totally disavowed the program and publicly promised it never will be shown again."
- Scott Weinberg (May 29, 2007). "Modern Marvels: Technology". DVD Talk. Retrieved August 4, 2007. "If you're trying to throw your kids a little education, but in a fast-paced and colorful presentation, these "Modern Marvels" series come pretty highly recommended. Then again, I'm a mid-30s guy and I'm learning tons of new stuff from these programs."
- Lockwood, Brad. "High Ratings Aside, Where's the History on History?". Forbes. Retrieved March 21, 2012.
- Malone, Noreen (March 20, 2012). A brief history of Chuck Grassley's history with the History Channel. New York magazine. Retrieved April 2, 2012.
- For summaries and reviews, see here.
- Lemesurier, Derwen Publishing, 2011
- See his online comments on "How Not to Make a 2012 Documentary" here
- "Comic Jon Stewart says Congress met most Christmas Days in its early years". Politifact. December 11, 2011. Retrieved January 21, 2012.
- Fung, Katherine (December 13, 2011). "Jon Stewart Fires Back At Politifact Over War On Christmas". Huffington Post. Retrieved January 21, 2012.
- Stewart, Jon (December 12, 2011). "War on Christmas - Historical Fact-Checking". The Daily Show with Jon Stewart. Comedy Central. Retrieved March 24, 2013.
- The History Channel Online Store: The Unknown Hitler DVD Collection
- "Librarian and Information Science News". LIS News. Retrieved August 4, 2007. "I always wondered why the History Channel commercials said not available in Canada."
- Shaw Media and A&E to Launch Two New Specialty Channels, Broadcaster Magazine, May 30, 2012.
- Robert Briel (April 5, 2007). "History Channel comes to Benelux". Broadband TV News.
- Robert Briel (November 14, 2007). "History Channel HD to launch in Holland". Broadband TV News.
- "Indiantelevision.com's interview with NGC India managing director (South Asia) Zubin Jehanbux Gandevia". Indiantelevision.com. December 20, 2003. Retrieved October 15, 2007.
- "A&E Television Networks & Astro Form Joint Venture". April 16, 2007. Retrieved June 8, 2007.
"The History Channel Expands Through Asia". February 10, 2003. Retrieved June 16, 2007.
- History HD channel launched on SkyLife in Korea retrieved via www.medianewsline.com May 5, 2009
- History HD to launch in Japan retrieved via www.aetninternational.com September 30, 2008
- History Channel Asia HD launched on SkyCable Philippines retrieved via www.skycable.com September 6, 2009
- The History Channel HD to launch in Singapore and Hong Kong retrieved via www.aetninternational.com August 26, 2008
- History official website
- History on Facebook
- History on Google+
- History UK
- History Italy
- The History Channel Australia
- History Asia
- History India
- Canal de Historia (History Spain)
- Canal de História (History Portugal)
- The History Channel New Zealand
- History Latin America
- History Brazil
- The History Channel Around the World
- The History Channel Germany
- The History Channel International
- MediaLifeMagazine website (source of cable network ratings)