Z Channel

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For the French-Canadian specialty channel, see Z (TV channel). For other uses, see Z Channel (disambiguation).
Z Channel
Country United States
Availability United States
Headquarters Los Angeles, California
Key people
Jerry Harvey
Launch date
Dissolved 1989
Replaced by SportsChannel Los Angeles

The Z Channel was one of the first pay television stations in the United States. Launched in 1974 from Los Angeles, California, this station was known for its devotion to the art of cinema due to the eclectic choice of films[1] by the programming chief, Jerry Harvey. It also popularized the use of letterboxing on television, as well as showing 'director's cut' versions of films (which is a term popularized after Z Channel's showing of Heaven's Gate). Z Channel's devotion to cinema and choice of rare and important films had an important influence on such directors as Robert Altman, Quentin Tarantino, and Jim Jarmusch. Z Channel was owned by Theta Cable (a division of TelePrompTer Corporation) which was acquired by Group W (Westinghouse) in 1981. Operations were located in Santa Monica, California. In 1989, Z Channel faded to black[2] and was replaced by SportsChannel Los Angeles.[3]

The channel was the subject of the 2004 documentary Z Channel: A Magnificent Obsession, which was directed by Alexandra Cassavetes, daughter of John Cassavetes.

Live wrestling events[edit]

In the late 1980s, Z Channel broadcast a number of the World Wrestling Federation's live events from the Los Angeles Sports Arena, but nowhere near as many as Madison Square Garden (MSG Network), Boston Garden (New England Sports Network) or the Philadelphia Spectrum (PRISM).


  1. ^ "Film-News and Notes." Daily News of Los Angeles October 3, 1986
  2. ^ "Z Channel Fading To Black Amid Film Industry Tributes." The Hollywood Reporter April 27, 1989
  3. ^ "Hollywood Freeway." Daily News of Los Angeles June 26, 1989

External links[edit]