USSB was founded in 1981 by Hubbard Broadcasting founder Stanley S. Hubbard, who is widely considered to be the father of modern satellite broadcasting. Hubbard spent most of the 1980s raising awareness and money to launch a digital satellite television service. In the 1990s, he had teamed up with RCA/Thomson Consumer Electronics and Hughes Electronics Corporation to come up with a practical digital satellite service capable of 175 channels. The original name of the service was HUBTV, named after Hubbard, but was soon changed to USSB before launch. When the service launched, USSB offered a comparatively small slate of channels, but included almost all of the major American premium channels, the MTV Networks, and any channel in which Viacom had a stake at the time. Lacking any news channels, Hubbard instead used its in-house All News Channel, operated as a cooperative of Hubbard and Viacom-owned stations, as well as stations owned by other groups via the CONUS satellite network Hubbard operated. Hughes offered programming from most other cable television channels under the banner of DirecTV. DirecTV later acquired USSB.