IFC (American TV channel)

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LaunchedSeptember 1, 1994; 25 years ago (1994-09-01)
Owned byAMC Networks
Picture format1080i HDTV
(downscaled to letterboxed 480i for the SDTV feed)
SloganAlways on, slightly off
CountryUnited States
Broadcast areaNationwide
Formerly calledIndependent Film Channel (1994–2014)
Sister channel(s)AMC
BBC America
Sundance TV
DirecTVChannel 333
Dish NetworkChannel 133
Orby TVChannel 108
OSNChannel 211
Available on most cable providersChannel slots vary on each system
Verizon FiOSChannel 234 (SD)
Channel 734 (HD)
AT&T U-verseChannel 797 (SD)
Channel 1797 (HD)
Streaming media
IFC - Watch Now
Sling TVInternet Protocol television
PlayStation VueInternet Protocol television
YouTube TVInternet Protocol television
PhiloInternet Protocol television

IFC (formerly known as the Independent Film Channel) is an American pay television channel owned by AMC Networks. Programming on the channel includes both original and acquired series and fan favorite movies.

As of September 2018, approximately 75,295,000 American households (63% of households with television) receive IFC.[1] In March 2015, Dish Network's Sling TV announced it would soon begin making AMC channels available to cord cutters, including AMC, BBC America, IFC, Sundance TV, and WE tv.[2][3][4]


IFC logo, used from 2001 to 2010; still used on IFC Canada until its closure in 2019.

Original focus on independent films[edit]

The channel debuted on September 1, 1994, under the ownership of Rainbow Media, a subsidiary of Cablevision Systems Corporation; IFC originated as a spin-off of then-sibling channel Bravo, which focused at that time on a wider variety of programming than IFC, including arts-related programming. The Independent Film Channel originally operated as a commercial-free service, with films being shown without interruption.

In 2005, IFC opened the IFC Center, a movie theater for independent film in New York City.[5] In 2008, IFC launched its Media Lab Studios, a section of its website on which users can enter IFC-sponsored film contests, and can view others' films. Numerous contests are run simultaneously, each with a different focus and guidelines for entries, and are presented by IFC and another sponsor. Recent contest sponsors include Scion, Absolut Vodka, and Red Bull. In 2008, Rainbow Media acquired competing independent film service Sundance Channel from Robert Redford and Showtime Networks.[6]

Format change[edit]

Logo from 2010 to 2014
Logo from 2014 to 2018

By the mid-2000s, IFC began shifting away from running only independent films; original and acquired television series began to be incorporated within the channel's programming inventory. In March 2010, IFC unveiled a new slate of series in development, as well as a new slogan—"Always On. Slightly Off." These changes reflected a new scope for the channel, with a focus on "sharp, cool, and twisted" comedies such as Portlandia, Onion News Network, and The Increasingly Poor Decisions of Todd Margaret (which featured Arrested Development co-stars David Cross and Will Arnett).[7][8][9]

On December 8, 2010, IFC began airing commercials within its programming, a move that sparked controversy among its viewers.[10] Along with this, IFC began to censor its programming. Most notably, The Whitest Kids U'Know had profanity bleeped and nudity blurred. In addition, all sex scenes from movies that featured nudity were now edited out. Despite continuing to air advertisements during its programming, IFC largely reversed its censorship practices and started to air R and NC-17 rated movies and TV-MA rated series uncensored. The channel would publicly trumpet this fact in 2012 by releasing ads featuring showings of back-to-back blocks of movies like the Friday the 13th film series, highlighting the nudity and gore.[11] However, episodes of some programs rated TV-14 are still censored.[12]

On July 1, 2011, Rainbow Media was spun off from Cablevision into a separate company, which was renamed AMC Networks.[13] On January 9, 2014, it was announced that the name "Independent Film Channel" had been retired, and that the name IFC would officially have no meaning.[14]

On November 15, 2016, AMC Networks acquired a minority stake in comedy video website and film and television production company Funny or Die, with plans to integrate it with IFC.[15] On April 27, 2018, the company later acquired a majority stake in comedy venue operator Levity Live.[16]

2012 Dish Network carriage dispute[edit]

On May 4, 2012, Dish Network announced that it would no longer carry the AMC Networks family of cable channels upon the expiration of the satellite provider's distribution agreement with the company at the end of June 2012, citing that AMC Networks charged an excessive amount in retransmission consent payments from the service for their carriage and low audience viewership for the channels.[17]

AMC Networks responded to Dish Network's announcement of its pending removal of the channels as being related to a 2008 breach of contract lawsuit against Dish Network by the company's former Voom HD Networks subsidiary (under the company's previous Rainbow Media Holdings brand) (which is pending trial in the New York State Supreme Court), in which it is seeking more than $2.5 billion in damages against Dish Network for improperly terminating its carriage contract; Voom's high-definition channels were carried on the provider from May 1, 2005 until May 12, 2008 when Dish removed ten of Voom's fifteen channels from its lineup and the five remaining channels the following day. Dish Network stated that the lawsuit is unrelated to the decision to remove the AMC Networks channels and that it ended the carriage agreement on its own terms.[17]

On May 20, 2012, Dish Network removed Sundance Channel from its channel lineup. Two weeks later on June 4, 2012, Dish relocated AMC, WEtv, and IFC to higher channel positions with AMC being split into two separate standard definition and high definition channel feeds (AMC moved from channel 130 to channel 9609 for the SD feed and 9610 for the HD feed, WEtv moved from channel 128 to channel 9608 and IFC was moved from channel 393 to channel 9607); the former channel lineup spaces occupied by the three channels were respectively replaced with HDNet, Style and MoviePlex multiplex channel Indieplex. The move is believed to be in response to an ad run during a June 3 airing of an episode of Mad Men urging Dish Network customers to inform the company to keep the three AMC Networks channels on the satellite provider, with Dish Network stating that the relocated channel positions better reflect the channels' ratings.[18]

On July 1, 2012, Dish Network dropped AMC, WEtv, and IFC from the channel line-up altogether.

On July 12, 2012, AMC said in an e-mailed statement that it would stream over the Internet the season premiere of Breaking Bad to Dish customers.[19] "Dish subscribers can register online starting July 13 for the show, which airs on July 15. We want to give Dish customers an extra week to switch providers so they can enjoy the rest of the season."[20]

On October 21, 2012, AMC Networks announced a settlement was reached between them, Cablevision and Dish in which Dish was forced to pay up to $700 million in damages to Cablevision for damages from removing Voom owned channels off the Dish lineup back in 2008, and in return Dish signed a new agreement to bring the AMC Networks owned channels back on the Dish lineup with AMC returning October 21 and the rest on November 1.[21][22]


IFC's current lineup consists of original series and acquired films and shows.

Other services[edit]

High-definition feed[edit]

IFC HD is a high definition simulcast feed of IFC that broadcasts in 1080i resolution.

IFC Free[edit]

IFC operates a video on demand television service called IFC Free, which is available at no additional charge to pay-television subscribers. IFC Free offers program content consisting of independent and theatrically-released feature films and original programs, including premieres of IFC programs before their initial broadcast on the linear television channel.

IFC Films[edit]

AMC Networks operates an independent film studio, IFC Films, which launched in 2001 and produces independent films for theatrical release. IFC Films has entered into several ventures in new distribution models for video on demand (VOD) and DVDs. The company has released over 600 films.


IFC's website, ifc.com, features blogs and news about film, music, and politics in addition to content about IFC's series, documentaries, and programming. The site also features exclusive web content consisting of a variety of original web series.

Web series[edit]


International version[edit]


The Canadian version of the Independent Film Channel launched on August 15, 2001 under the ownership of Salter Street Films, under a brand licensing agreement with Rainbow Media. Alliance Atlantis acquired the channel in December 2001, through its purchase of Salter Street Films.[40] On January 18, 2008,[41] a joint venture between Canwest and Goldman Sachs Capital Partners known as CW Media,[42] acquired control of IFC through its purchase of Alliance Atlantis' broadcasting assets, which were placed in a trust in August 2007.[43]

On October 27, 2010, IFC Canada's ownership changed again through Shaw Communications' acquisition of Canwest and Goldman Sachs' interest in CW Media.[44][45] As with its U.S. namesake, the channel originally focused almost exclusively on smaller independent films. However, IFC Canada has broadened its programming focus to include more mainstream films from large production studios as the U.S. channel has done. It has also de-emphasized the use of the full Independent Film Channel name, instead using the IFC acronym, possibly due to the decrease in the number of independent films on its schedule.

As of 2014, none of IFC's original programming has aired on this channel. Rival broadcaster Bell Media currently owns exclusive rights to their shows and has aired them on their various networks, including The Movie Network and MuchMusic.[46] The channel was shut down on September 30, 2019.


  1. ^ https://awfulannouncing.com/espn/nielsen-coverage-estimates-september-espn-nbcsn-nbatv-mlbn-nfln.html
  2. ^ Newman, Jared (March 4, 2015). "Sling TV bulks up base package with AMC and IFC". TechHive.
  3. ^ Newman, Jared (January 30, 2015). "Sling TV brings back the linear video element that other cord-cutting services lack, but could use some polish and a few more features". TechHive.
  4. ^ Paul, Ian Paul (February 9, 2015). "Sling TV's web-based live television opens to all cord cutters, adds AMC to lineup".
  5. ^ Meehan, Peter (October 19, 2005). "Just Off the Aisle at the Movies". The New York Times.
  6. ^ Rainbow buys Sundance Channel Variety, May 7, 2008 JOHN DEMPSEY, DADE HAYES
  7. ^ "Rebrand 'Mad'-Ness Rampant at Rainbow Media". Broadcasting & Cable. Retrieved 2018-11-29.
  8. ^ Fowler, Matt (2010-03-23). "Arrested Development Stars Coming To IFC". IGN. Retrieved 2018-11-29.
  9. ^ "IFC cable channel's new shows include 'Whisker Wars'". OregonLive.com. Retrieved 2018-11-29.
  10. ^ Payne, Bob (December 13, 2010). "Is IFC selling out? Channel runs commercials now, irking viewers". The Seattle Times. Retrieved July 3, 2011.
  11. ^ The Many Faces of Friday the 13th's Jason Voorhees – IFC Archived December 17, 2012, at the Wayback Machine
  12. ^ "IFC Now Stands for "Interrupted Film Channel"". MovieFanFare. Archived from the original on 2016-03-04. Retrieved 2012-12-17.
  13. ^ AMC Networks Goes Public With Hot Shows, And Analysts Looking For A Sale Deadline New York July 1, 2011.
  14. ^ Team, The Deadline (2014-01-09). "TCA: IFC Officially Changes Name To IFC". Deadline. Retrieved 2018-11-29.
  15. ^ "AMC Networks Takes Minority Stake in Funny or Die, Plans Integrations With IFC". Variety.
  16. ^ "AMC Networks Buys Majority Stake in Comedy Venue Operator Levity Live". The Hollywood Reporter.
  17. ^ a b Baker, Liana B.; Adegoke, Yinka (May 4, 2012). "Corrected: DISH subscribers could lose 'Mad Men' in dispute". Reuters. Retrieved May 4, 2012.
  18. ^ Lieberman, David (June 4, 2012). "Dish Network Kicks AMC Networks Channels To Nosebleed Section of the Dial". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved October 24, 2014.
  19. ^ Blessing, Kelly (July 12, 2012). "AMC to Stream 'Breaking Bad' Premiere to Dish Customers". Bloomberg Businessweek. Retrieved July 16, 2012.
  20. ^ de Moraes, Lisa (July 12, 2012). "AMC vs. Dish, Viacom vs. DirecTV: Brawling satellite providers and cable companies take different tactics". The Washington Post. Retrieved July 16, 2012.
  21. ^ "Cablevision and AMC Networks Announce Settlement in VOOM HD Litigation With DISH Network". AMC Networks. October 21, 2012. Retrieved October 28, 2013.
  22. ^ "DISH Network and Voom Reach Settlement". Dish Network. October 21, 2012. Retrieved October 28, 2013.
  23. ^ "Cutting Ties". Ifc.com. Archived from the original on August 20, 2010. Retrieved October 20, 2010.
  24. ^ "Dead & Lonely". Ifc.com. Archived from the original on October 14, 2010. Retrieved October 20, 2010.
  25. ^ "Four Eyed Monster". Ifc.com. December 7, 2009. Archived from the original on July 18, 2009. Retrieved October 20, 2010.
  26. ^ "Funnel of Drakness". Ifc.com. Archived from the original on October 7, 2010. Retrieved October 20, 2010.
  27. ^ "Get Hit". Ifc.com. Archived from the original on October 13, 2010. Retrieved October 20, 2010.
  28. ^ "Getting Away With Murder". Ifc.com. Archived from the original on August 18, 2010. Retrieved October 20, 2010.
  29. ^ "Good Morning Internet!". Ifc.com. Archived from the original on August 20, 2010. Retrieved October 20, 2010.
  30. ^ "Lunchbox". Ifc.com. Retrieved October 20, 2010.
  31. ^ "Like So Many Things". Ifc.com. Archived from the original on December 3, 2010. Retrieved October 20, 2010.
  32. ^ "The Mary Van Note Show". Ifc.com. Archived from the original on November 18, 2010. Retrieved October 20, 2010.
  33. ^ "The Stagg Party". Ifc.com. December 7, 2009. Archived from the original on July 17, 2010. Retrieved October 20, 2010.
  34. ^ "The Unclothed Man in the 35th Century A.D." Ifc.com. Archived from the original on September 29, 2010. Retrieved October 20, 2010.
  35. ^ "Trapped in the Closet". Ifc.com. Retrieved October 20, 2010.
  36. ^ "Pushing Twilight". Ifc.com. Archived from the original on December 21, 2010. Retrieved October 20, 2010.
  37. ^ "Young American Bodies". Ifc.com. Archived from the original on August 25, 2010. Retrieved October 20, 2010.
  38. ^ "IFC News Blog". Ifc.com. Archived from the original on October 20, 2010. Retrieved October 20, 2010.
  39. ^ "IFC Now Blog". Ifc.com. Archived from the original on October 1, 2010. Retrieved October 20, 2010.
  40. ^ Decision CRTC 2001-752 CRTC 2001-12-13
  41. ^ Canwest Global receives final CRTC approval for acquisition of Alliance Atlantis CNW press release 2008-01-18
  42. ^ Goldman's happy ending at CanWest The Globe and Mail 2010-05-03
  43. ^ CanWest Completes Acquisition of Alliance Atlantis Archived April 23, 2012, at the Wayback Machine Investor Point 2007-08-15
  44. ^ Shaw Communications closes purchase of Canwest TV assets, rebrands as Shaw Media[dead link]
  45. ^ CRTC approves Shaw's purchase of the Canwest Global television properties Archived December 20, 2013, at the Wayback Machine
  46. ^ "The Movie Network Presents World-Changing IFC Comedy THE SPOILS OF BABYLON Beginning Jan. 9 at 10 p.m. ET". Bell Media. 2013-12-11. Retrieved 2014-03-12.

External links[edit]