Sundance TV

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Sundance TV
LaunchedFebruary 1, 1996 (1996-02-01)
Owned byAMC Networks
Picture format1080i HDTV
(downscaled to letterboxed 480i for the SDTV feed)
CountryUnited States
HeadquartersNew York City
Formerly calledSundance Channel (1996–2014)
Sister channel(s)AMC
BBC America
DirecTVChannel 557
Dish NetworkChannel 126
Orby TVChannel 109
Izzi Telecom (Mexico)Channel 226 (HD)
Verizon FiOSChannel 235 (SD)
Channel 735 (HD)
AT&T U-VerseChannel 798 (SD)
Channel 1798 (HD)
Streaming media
Sling TVInternet Protocol television
PlayStation VueInternet Protocol television
(requires subscription to access content)
PhiloInternet Protocol television

Sundance TV (formerly known as Sundance Channel) is an American pay television channel that is owned by AMC Networks. Originally, the channel was devoted to airing documentaries, independent feature films, short films, world cinema, and original programs, such as news about the latest developments from each year's Sundance Film Festival. In recent years, the channel has incorporated original and acquired scripted and reality series into its schedule. It became fully ad-supported in 2013, with content being edited for content soon thereafter.[1]

As of July 2015, the channel is available to approximately 60.668 million households with television (52.1% of all subscribers) in the United States.[2] 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.[3][4][5]


As Sundance Channel[edit]

As a premium movie channel (1996–2007)[edit]

After negotiations during 1994 broke down to turn Robert Redford into a partner in AMC Networks predecessor Rainbow Media's Independent Film Channel,[6] Redford launched Sundance Channel in February 1996 as a joint venture between Showtime Networks (then a division of Viacom, later owned by CBS Corporation and subsequently by ViacomCBS), NBC, and Redford (who also served as the creative director of the network).[7]

The channel was initially launched on five cable systems in New York City; Los Angeles; Alexandria, Virginia; Chamblee, Georgia; and Pensacola, Florida.[8] It originally operated mainly as a premium channel, commonly packaged with Showtime and its sister networks The Movie Channel and Flix. The channel got its name from Redford's character in Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid and, while it is an extension of Redford's non-profit Sundance Institute, the channel operates independently of both the Sundance Institute and the Sundance Film Festival.

Strictly a movie channel in its early years, Sundance Channel expanded into original programming by the early 2000s. After limited attempts at original programming – City Of Men, House of Boateng, Iconoclasts, The Al Franken Show, The First Amendment Project. The Hill, and TransGeneration – Sundance Channel expanded its programming in 2007 by ordering One Punk Under God, Sin City Law, and a prime-time environmental block called "The Green." While the first two programs lasted only one season, the environmental block lasted until 2009.

Sale to Rainbow Media (2008–12)[edit]

Sundance Channel logo 2008–2014

On May 7, 2008, the Rainbow Media subsidiary of Cablevision (owners of AMC, IFC, WE tv, and News 12 Networks, and the defunct Voom HD Networks) announced that it had purchased Sundance Channel for $496 million.[9] The acquisition of Sundance Channel by Rainbow Media was completed in June 2008.[10] On July 1, 2011, Rainbow Media was spun off from Cablevision into a separate company, which was renamed AMC Networks.[11]

Sundance saw a rapid expansion of its documentary and unscripted series slate during this period; however, very few of the shows lasted beyond their first season, with the rest being cancelled after their second. 2010 did see the channel's first miniseries, Carlos, which could be credited as the start of the future shift in programming for the channel.

2012 Dish Network carriage dispute[edit]

Expansion into original scripted programming (2012–2014)[edit]

2012 saw the premieres of two new unscripted series in the form of Get To Work and Push Girls, before the channel's second miniseries, Restless,[12] premiered in December. Restless went on to receive two Emmy Award nominations. It was also announced that Sundance had picked up its first solely owned original series, and former developmental project from sister channel AMC, Rectify, and its third miniseries Top of the Lake.

Sundance TV President Sarah Barnett at the 73rd Annual Peabody Awards with Peabody for ‘The Returned (French: Les Revenants)’

On March 4, 2013, Sundance began airing AMC's Breaking Bad, to which the channel has exclusive syndication rights, on Monday nights.[13] The seven-part miniseries Top of the Lake premiered on March 18, 2013, while gaining critical acclaim before eventually receiving eight Emmy nominations. Rectify then premiered on April 22, 2013, and was the third straight original scripted program from Sundance to receive critical praise. Continuing its push as a destination spot for series on Monday nights, the second season of Push Girls followed, before leading way to the new talk show The Writers' Room, where each episode features a behind-the-scenes look at the writing staff of a popular television series. October saw the premieres of Dream School[14] and The Returned and the channel became fully ad supported.[1]

As Sundance TV[edit]

Rebranding (2014–present)[edit]

On January 27, 2014, it was announced that the Sundance Channel would rebrand as Sundance TV on February 1, 2014 that featured a new logo.[15] 2014 featured the channel's fourth miniseries The Honourable Woman, the channel's second solely owned original scripted series The Red Road,[16] the new reality series Loredana, ESQ, and the second seasons of Rectify, The Writer's Room, and The Returned.[17] This channel also picked up the series Hap and Leonard for 6 episodes based on the series of novels by Joe R. Lansdale. On June 27, 2016, the show was renewed for a second season.[18]


Over time, Sundance Channel has expanded its international distribution in the Americas, Asia, Middle East and Europe.


  • Hispanic America – Sundance Channel was launched in September 2013. It was renamed Sundance TV in January 2016.
  • Brazil – In the second half of 2014 a Brazilian version will be released of a channel fully dubbed in Portuguese.[19]
  • Canada – On March 1, 2010, a Canadian version of Sundance Channel was launched by Toronto-based media company Corus Entertainment. AMC Networks did not own any stake in the Canadian service, but maintained a brand licensing agreement with Corus Entertainment to allow the use of the Sundance Channel brand as well as access to programming from the U.S. service.[20] The channel was closed on March 1, 2018.


Middle East[edit]

Arab World - beIN Channels Network


Africa – DStv.[23]


  • Belgium – Telenet (ended 30 September 2017)[21]
  • France – Sundance Channel launched in France in 2009 on Numericable,[24] also available on Free and carried on SFR.[21]
  • Greece – Sundance Channel launched in Greece on July 18, 2011 as a linear channel on Cosmote TV and broadcasts in HD via satellite as Sundance Channel HD. (not any more)
  • Netherlands – Film1 Sundance launched in the Netherlands in March 2012, replacing the movie channel Film1 Festival.[21] Film1 closed Film1 Sundance on 31 August 2017. Film1 wants to focus more on its video-on-demand services.[25]
  • Poland – Sundance Channel launched in Poland on April 16, 2010, on UPC Polska [21]
  • Portugal – NOS.[21]
  • Romania – Sundance Channel was launched in march 2012 with subtitles and closed on February 1, 2019.
  • Spain – Sundance Channel, previously known as Cinematk.[26]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Thielman, Sam (24 March 2013). "Sundance Channel Goes Ad-Supported Next AMC?". Ad week. Retrieved 31 January 2014.
  2. ^ "List of how many homes each cable network is in as of July 2015". TV by the Numbers. Zap2it. July 21, 2015. Retrieved July 21, 2015.
  3. ^ Newman, Jared (March 4, 2015). "Sling TV bulks up base package with AMC and IFC". TechHive.
  4. ^ 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.
  5. ^ Paul, Ian Paul (February 9, 2015). "Sling TV's web-based live television opens to all cord cutters, adds AMC to lineup".
  6. ^ Brown, Rich (January 23, 1995). "Redford, Showtime form movie channel". Broadcasting & Cable. HighBeam Research. Archived from the original on November 5, 2012. Retrieved February 28, 2011.(subscription required)
  7. ^ "Showtime Networks, Inc. – Company Profile, Information, Business Description, History, Background Information on Showtime Networks, Inc". Retrieved 2017-10-12.
  8. ^ "Sundance readying for February debut". Broadcasting & Cable. HighBeam Research. December 4, 1995. Archived from the original on November 5, 2012. Retrieved February 28, 2011.(subscription required)
  9. ^ Stelter, Brian (May 7, 2008). "Cablevision Unit Buys Sundance Channel". The New York Times. Retrieved October 8, 2012.
  10. ^ Stelter, Brian (June 18, 2008). "Cablevision Buys Sundance". The New York Times. Retrieved October 8, 2012.
  11. ^ AMC Networks Goes Public With Hot Shows, And Analysts Looking For A Sale Deadline New York July 1, 2011.
  12. ^ "'Restless,' With Charlotte Rampling, on the Sundance Channel". December 6, 2012. Retrieved July 19, 2013.
  13. ^ Goldberg, Lesley. "'Breaking Bad' Lands on Sundance Channel in Syndication Deal". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved August 20, 2013.
  14. ^ "Sundance Channel Goes Back to School on October 7 with the Premiere of "Dream School"". The Futon Critic. Retrieved August 20, 2013.
  15. ^ "Sundance Channel Rebrands As SundanceTV; Unveils New Logo". Deadline Hollywooid. January 27, 2014. Retrieved January 27, 2014.
  16. ^ Team, The Deadline (2014-01-27). "Sundance Channel Rebrands As SundanceTV; Unveils New Logo". Deadline. Retrieved 2017-10-12.
  17. ^ Andreeva, Nellie. "TCA: Sundance Channel Picks Up Season 2 Of French Drama 'The Returned', Renews 'Writers' Room'". Deadline. Retrieved January 11, 2014.
  18. ^ "Hap and Leonard: Season Two Renewal for SundanceTV Series". TV Series Finale. Retrieved 27 June 2016.
  19. ^ "In the second half of 2014 will be released a Brazilian version of the channel fully dubbed in Portuguese" (Press release).
  20. ^ "Sundance Channel Rises in Canada" (Press release). Corus Entertainment. December 8, 2009. Retrieved October 8, 2012.
  21. ^ a b c d e f g h Briel, Robert (October 7, 2010). "Sundance expands international distribution". Broadband TV News. Retrieved October 8, 2012.
  22. ^ "Sundance Channel, WE tv expand across Asia".
  23. ^ "Sundance TV launches on DStv in South Africa" (Press release). Broadboad TV News. May 23, 2017. Retrieved October 8, 2018.
  24. ^ Briel, Robert (March 25, 2009). "Sundance Channel debuts on Numericable". Broadband TV News. Retrieved October 8, 2012.
  25. ^ "Film1 Sundance stopt; Film1 focust op on demand-aanbod". 4 July 2017.
  26. ^ Dziadul, Chris (September 23, 2014). "AMC to rebrand Spanish channel". Broadband TV News. Retrieved September 8, 2017.

External links[edit]