United States Satellite Broadcasting

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United States Satellite Broadcasting Company, Inc.
Industry Direct broadcast satellite broadcasting
Fate Absorbed into DirecTV
Successor DirecTV
Founded 1981
Defunct 1999
Headquarters St. Paul, Minnesota

United States Satellite Broadcasting was a satellite television company that ran from 1981 to 1999. It was absorbed into DirecTV in 1999.


USSB was founded in 1981 by Hubbard Broadcasting President 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,[2] named after Hubbard, but was soon changed to USSB. Other key early executives were his sons Stanley E. Hubbard, II and Robert Hubbard, as well as Paul Heinersheid, and Bernard Weiss. When the service launched, USSB offered a comparatively small slate of channels, but included almost all of the major American premium channels and any channel in which Viacom had a stake at the time (which included the MTV Networks). Lacking any news channels, Hubbard instead used its in-house All News Channel, operated as a cooperative of Viacom and Hubbard-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; viewers used the same satellite equipment to access both services. On March 10, 1998, the Viacom channels (excluding the Showtime networks) moved to DirecTV while USSB added fXM and Showtime Extreme to its lineup. In mid-1999, USSB was absorbed into DirecTV.