|Launched||October 1, 1998|
|Slogan||Celebrating Man at His Best.|
|Headquarters||Los Angeles, California|
|Formerly called||Style Network (1998–2013)|
|C-Band - H2H/4DTV||AMC 18 - Channel 216|
|Available on most U.S. cable systems||Consult your local cable provider for channel availability|
|TV Everywhere||Esquire TV Now|
|PlayStation Vue||Internet Protocol television|
Esquire Network is a soon-to-be-defunct American digital cable network that is owned as a joint venture between NBCUniversal and Hearst Corporation (both owning 50%). The network airs programs aimed at a metrosexual audience centering on travel, cooking and fashion as well as non-sports related male programming.
Originating as Style Network until its relaunch on September 23, 2013, the channel is available to approximately 70.3 million pay television households (60.4% of households with television) in the United States as of February 2015. At its relaunch as Esquire Network, it was estimated that the network was available in 75 million homes, but Nielsen ratings "[were] unable to provide estimates for the number of actual viewers for those weeks because ratings were too low to meet its "minimum-reporting standard". As of December 15, 2016 when it was dropped by AT&T's pay services, it was estimated to have a 45 million home availability.
The channel was originally launched as the Style Network (although on-air promotions typically referred to it as simply "Style") on October 1, 1998, serving as a spin-off of E!. It was intended to leverage E!'s coverage of fashion and to provide an expanded venue for shows such as Fashion Emergency. The network focused on fashion, design, interior decoration and urban lifestyle-related programming. Style provided coverage of events like Fashion Week in New York City and showcased various designers. Early programming included: The Look For Less, Shabby Chic with Rachel Ashwell, Glow: The Beauty Show, Vogue Takes..., Stylemaker, Model, Runway, Dining With Style, and Homes With Style. Around 2003, the channel began airing a variety of "makeover" shows. The home makeover show Clean House lasted for ten seasons on the network; How Do I Look? lasted eight seasons.
Starting around 2008, Style shifted its focus to personality-based reality programing such as Jerseylicious, Tia & Tamera and Big Rich Texas, along with a female-focused spin-off of The Soup known as The Dish. On June 25, 2012, the Style Network was rebranded with a revised logo and a new slogan: "Work it. Love it. Style it." In 2013, the channel launched two real estate related shows: Hot Listings: Miami and Built, which featured male models remodeling houses.
Esquire Network transition
In December 2012, NBCUniversal signed a brand licensing deal with the Hearst Corporation, owner of Esquire magazine, to relaunch G4 into Esquire Network, which would air shows aimed at a metrosexual audience about travel, cooking, fashion and other male-targeted programming that is not sports related, including the addition of acquired and archived program content from the NBCUniversal library such as Party Down, Parks and Recreation and week-delayed episodes of Late Night with Jimmy Fallon.
The rebranding was scheduled to take place on April 22, 2013, but was moved to an unspecified date in the summer on April 15, 2013, as network general manager Adam Stotsky stated the rebranding was pushed back in order to have a broader slate of original series to launch with than would have been available for the April launch. In May 2013, the launch date was pushed to September 23, 2013, with its first program being an 80th anniversary special on Esquire which was rebroadcast later in primetime.
On September 9, 2013, NBCUniversal announced that it would replace Style Network with Esquire Network, leaving G4 "as is for the foreseeable future, though it's highly unlikely the company will invest in more original programming" according to The Hollywood Reporter. One of the factors was likely Style's distribution on DirecTV, giving Esquire more homes at launch with the Style channel slot than they would have had with G4 (G4 had earlier been dropped by DirecTV in 2010 due to the channel's low viewership and had never been able to come to terms on a new carriage agreement). As part of the rebranding, some of Style's existing shows such as Sex and the City reruns in overnight slots continued to air on the Esquire schedule for a short time (although some of the programs may not necessarily fit the network's shifted target demographic; the rights eventually were moved over to E! in December 2013), while others ended their run or moved to either sister networks E!, Bravo and Oxygen. However, international versions of Style Network will continue to exist for the foreseeable future, as the Esquire brand license is restricted solely to the United States. G4 permanently ceased all broadcasting operations on December 31, 2014.
Style had not made any mention of the oncoming rebranding until September 18, when a 60-second farewell clip was posted on its YouTube channel serving as a retrospective of the network's history and ending with a thanks to the channel's audience for their viewership. Other social media platforms for individual Style programs also began to mention the end of the network on that day. The last program to air on Style on September 22, 2013, was an overnight repeat of the Tia & Tamera season finale (which became its de facto series finale as Tia and Tamera Mowry opted not to continue with the series) at 2 a.m. Eastern Time, with the nightly three-hour paid programming block leading into the Esquire Network launch special after a 30-second abbreviated version of the Style farewell clip aired on the channel space. The changeover occurred on September 23, 2013 at 6 a.m. Eastern Time.
On October 1, 2016, Dish Network removed the channel from the lineup. As with their earlier dropping of Cloo, the provider justified it by stating that Esquire's schedule is made up of programming also easily found on USA Network, WGN America and Ion Television, along with streaming providers. The only notice of the dropping was through the provider's monthly billing statement. AT&T then gave notice that Esquire Network will be dropped from U-verse and DirecTV on December 15, 2016, a move that cut the network's availability by 25% and removed almost all consumer-based satellite service availability. Esquire Network is still carried nationally on the AMC 18 satellite service via the C-Band, though with drastically lower consumer viewership. Charter Communications alerted NBCUniversal that it would not be seeking continued carriage of Esquire Network in February 2017. Charter removed the channel from their lineup nationwide on April 25, 2017.
Conversion to online-only
On January 18, 2017, it was announced that the network would end all pay television distribution on June 28, 2017 at 12:00 PM and convert to an online-only model. According to the online schedule, the last program on Esquire Network before the conversion will be a marathon of Friday Night Tykes, with the last episode to be aired being the rather fittingly titled "Finish What We Started".
Esquire Network is known to air original shows such as Knife Fight, but was known to air retro television series, such as The A-Team and Miami Vice, as well as shows from its sibling networks, before being removed from Esquire Network.[when?]
Internationally, Style Network was launched in the Arab world in December 2007 on Showtime Arabia, across Southern and Western Africa during back in November 2007 on DStv, in the United Kingdom and Ireland on June 10, 2008, in Japan on World on Demand, and Australia in November 2009. The network is scheduled to launch in Poland and Romania.
Style Network continues to air in international markets, though its British/Irish version ceased operations on December 9, 2013, while its African version ceased operations on March 31, 2015, and even with its American version becoming NBCUniversal Cable's joint venture with Hearst Corporation called Esquire Network.
Esquire Network maintains its website within Esquire's domain and includes program listings, information on the channel's original programming, and select clips from its programs. The network also maintains a video on demand service, "Esquire TV Now", which requires TV Everywhere authentication through a cable, satellite or telco provider that offers the service.
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- About Esquire TV Now - Esquire Network's Official Website (accessed November 22, 2013)