El Rey Network
|Slogan||Ride With Us|
|Launched||December 15, 2013|
|Closed||December 31, 2020|
El Rey Network (Spanish for The King) is a media brand founded by Robert Rodriguez that launched on December 15, 2013 and is owned in a joint venture with FactoryMade Ventures. From that date until December 31, 2020, it was the name for a full-scale cable and satellite channel with distribution across many American pay television providers.
El Rey Network was one of two ethnic outlets created as part of an agreement between Comcast, NBC Universal, and the FCC as a condition for the merger between the former two broadcasters (the other network being Revolt).
The network's headquarters was in Austin, Texas, and launched as part of the digital basic service on some of Comcast's systems. Comcast announced that the network was expected to debut by January 2014. In August 2012, the network announced that its CEO was Antoinette Alfonso Zel. In May 2013, Univision announced that it was investing in El Rey.
In November 2013, it was announced that the production of From Dusk till Dawn: The Series had begun. Upon launch in the week of December 15, 2013, El Rey was also offered by cable companies Time Warner Cable, with Bright House Networks offering soon later in January 2014, and Cox Communications by February 2014.
That year, Lucha libre program Lucha Underground, featuring wrestlers from Lucha Libre AAA World Wide (AAA) and produced by Mark Burnett, premiered on October 29, 2014. The show would go on to become the network's flagship series and both it, and the corresponding promotion, received positive reception.
Dish Network would begin carrying El Rey in January 2015. The following month, El Rey was made available through cable company Suddenlink Communications in select markets. In July 2016, it was added to the Verizon Fios lineup.
Carriage decline and end of operations
On November 12, 2018, Dish Network removed the channel from their lineup. On January 23, 2020, DirecTV and AT&T U-verse both removed the network from their lineup. On March 30, 2020, Cox stopped carrying the network. In July 2020, Charter removed the channel nationwide from their lineup.
On November 6, 2020, Univision announced it had sold its stake in El Rey as it dealt with its private equity takeover.  The lack of a carriage partner led to Rodriguez announcing on December 8 the network would cease operations in its current form on December 31, 2020. He also said he would likely relaunch the network as a digital-only brand. The network faded to black without any ceremony at 2:59 a.m. Eastern, following an episode of Lucha Underground titled "Pet Cemetery".
El Rey Network aired action genre films and lifestyle programming. Annual programming included a marathon of Toho-produced Godzilla films during the Christmas & Independence Day weekends and the Thanksgiving Way of the Turkey marathon of kung fu films.
- The Director's Chair with Robert Rodriguez (2014–2020)
- Man at Arms: Art of War (2017–2020)
- Baja Desert Championship (2017–2020)
- The Chuey Martinez Show (2019–2020)
- United Tacos of America (2019–2020)
- El Rey Nation (2019–2020)
- ¡MARIA! with Maria Cardona (2020)
- Vampiro: Unleashed (2020)
- Correctamundo! (2020)
- Lucha Underground (2014–2018)
- Bushido Battleground (2017)
- Cutting Crew
- Explosion Jones, starring Michael Madsen
- From Dusk till Dawn: The Series (2014–2016)
- Matador (2014)
- Rebel Without a Crew: The Series (2018)
- Rite of Passage (2017)
Former acquired programming
- Alien Nation
- Almost Human
- Biker Mice from Mars
- Clerks: The Animated Series
- Cold Squad
- Core Culture
- Crunch Time
- Day 5
- Freddy's Nightmares
- Human Target
- I Am the Greatest: The Adventures of Muhammad Ali
- Incredible Hulk
- Knight Rider
- Mercy Point
- Miami Vice
- Mondo Animation Hour
- Night Visions
- Pros vs. Joes
- Quantum Leap
- Red vs. Blue
- Relic Hunter
- Texas Justice
- Toxic Crusaders
- Stargate Atlantis
- Stargate SG-1
- Starhunter: ReduX
- Starsky and Hutch
- The A-Team
- The Twilight Zone
- The X-Files
- Xena: Warrior Princess
- Rodman, Sarah (January 26, 2014). "New cable networks hope to blaze a trail". Boston Globe. 285 (26). pp. N1, N8 – via Newspapers.com.
- Seidman, Robert (February 22, 2015). "Distribution approximation as of March 2015". TV by the Numbers. Zap2it. Retrieved March 14, 2015.
- Avalos, Regina (December 30, 2020). "El Rey Network: Robert Rodriguez Channel to End on Thursday". TV Series Finale. Retrieved January 1, 2021.
- Dinges, Gary (June 11, 2014). "El Rey network to be based in Austin". Austin American-Statesman. 143 (321). Austin, Texas: Cox Media Group. pp. B7, B8 – via Newspapers.com. Note: the link provided is for page B7; here is the link to page B8.
- "Comcast to start new minority-owned cable channels". Sports Illustrated. February 21, 2012. Retrieved February 24, 2012.
- Molloy, Tim. "Comcast Announces New Networks With Magic Johnson, Sean Combs, Robert Rodriguez". Reuters. Retrieved February 24, 2012.
- "El Rey Network Announces Antoinette Alfonso Zel As CEO". PR Newswire. August 6, 2012. Retrieved August 24, 2013.
- "Univision Communications and El Rey Network Announce Strategic Partnership, Unveil Upcoming Scripted Series". Univision. May 14, 2013. Retrieved August 24, 2013.
- "Univision pairs with Rodriguez on El Rey network". Associated Press. May 14, 2013. Archived from the original on October 7, 2013. Retrieved August 24, 2013.
- T2's Robert Patrick & More Join 'From Dusk Till Dawn: The Series', by Craig Hunter
- de la Fuente, Anna Marie. "Univision's Fourth Quarter, Full Year Revenue Rises". Variety. Retrieved February 4, 2015.
- "Univision, Time Warner Cable strike new distribution deal". Los Angeles Times. October 9, 2013. Retrieved October 9, 2013.
- Poggi, Jeanine. "New TV Networks Scorecard: Eight Cable Channels to Watch in 2014". Advertising Age. Retrieved February 4, 2015.
- "Bright House Networks Launches Univision Deportes Network and Univision tlNovelas". Bright House Networks. Retrieved February 4, 2015.
- "DIRECTV Rumor Alert (El Rey Network launched 1/1)". satelliteguys.us.
- Caldwell, James (July 10, 2014). "AAA news: El Rey announces AAA Lucha Libre show for U.S. TV - timeslot, show title, more details". Pro Wrestling Torch. Retrieved July 10, 2014.
- "Lucha Underground promotion TV debut moved back three weeks". Wrestling Observer Newsletter. September 22, 2014. Retrieved September 23, 2014.
- "5/20 Moore's Lucha Underground Review: The Crew vs. Son of Havoc, Ivelisse, and Angelico in a Ladder Match for the Lucha Underground Trios Championship, Marty The Moth vs. Prince Puma, Daivari vs. Texano". Prowrestling.net. Retrieved November 4, 2015.
- "Lucha Underground: A new era in wrestling". ESPN. January 27, 2016. Archived from the original on September 15, 2016.
- Reynolds, Mike. "Dish Inks Distribution Deal with El Rey". MultiChannel News. NewBay Media. Retrieved January 30, 2015.
- Farrell, Mike. "Suddenlink Launches El Rey Network". Multichannel News. Retrieved February 4, 2015.
- "Univision Exits Minority Position in El Rey, Enabling El Rey to Continue as an Independently Owned Entertainment Company". Business Wire. Retrieved November 11, 2020.
- Maclean, Amy (December 8, 2020). "El Rey Contemplates Next Steps As Network to Shut Down". CableFax. Retrieved December 9, 2020.
- "Schedule for El Rey Network". El Rey Network. Archived from the original on December 31, 2020. Retrieved December 31, 2020.
- "Shows on El Rey Network".
- Two El Rey Series Stream Over to VRV
- "Man at Arms: Art of War: Season 1" Archived August 20, 2017, at the Wayback Machine. El Rey Network. Retrieved October 12, 2017.
- El Rey Network Greenlights Second Season Of ‘Man At Arms: Art Of War’
- "El Rey Network To Air Legendary "Baja Desert Championship: Baja 500" On August 6th At 5 PM ET". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved December 4, 2017.
- "El Rey Network Adds Pair of Evening Talk Shows". Multichannel.com. April 16, 2019. Retrieved May 13, 2017.
- "Martial Arts Series 'Bushido Battleground' Gets Green Light At El Rey Network". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved October 18, 2017.
- Negley, Erin (April 6, 2015). "Making the Cut". LNP. 220 (292). Lancaster, Pennsylvania: Steinman Communications – via Newspapers.com.
- Starace, Alex (Winter 2017). "Animation Creation: Octopie Network Spreads its Tentacles". International Opulence Magazine. Fort Lauderdale, Florida: Horizon Publishing. p. 99. Retrieved January 24, 2020. Note: Scroll down the target page to the digital magazine for Winter 2017/2018 and access page 99.
- "El Rey Network To Boost Original Content By 50%; 'From Dusk Till Dawn' Still In Limbo – TCA". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved December 4, 2017.
- "El Rey Network to show marathon of Muhammad Ali's 1977 animated series". The Baltimore Sun. Retrieved November 20, 2018.
- Rodriguez, Robert (March 14, 2014). "Tailor-made cable". The Morning Call (Interview) (44357). Interviewed by Meredith Blake. Allentown, Pennsylvania. Tribune Newspapers – via Newspapers.com.
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