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List of United States over-the-air television networks

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Title: List of United States over-the-air television networks  
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List of United States over-the-air television networks

The five major U.S. broadcast network logos

In the United States, for most of the history of broadcasting, there were only three or four major commercial national broadcast networks. From 1946 to 1956 these were ABC, CBS, NBC, and DuMont (though the Paramount Television Network had some limited success during these years). From 1956 to 1986, the national commercial networks were ABC, CBS, and NBC (with a few limited attempts to challenge them, such as National Telefilm Associates [and its NTA Film Network] and the Overmyer Network). From 1954 to 1970, National Educational Television was the national clearinghouse for public broadcasting programming; PBS succeeded it in 1970.

Today, more than 50 nationwide broadcasting networks exist. Other than the non-commercial educational (NCE) Public Broadcasting Service (PBS), which is composed of member stations, the largest broadcast television networks are the traditional Big Three television networks (ABC, CBS, and NBC). Many other large networks exist, however, notably Fox and The CW which air original programming for two hours each night instead of three like the original "Big Three" do, as well as syndication services like MyNetworkTV and ION which feature reruns of recent popular shows with little or no original programs. Fox has just about the same percentage of households reached as the Big Three, and is therefore often considered a peer to ABC, NBC, and CBS since it has also achieved equal or better ratings over the last decade. Most media outlets now include Fox in what they refer to as the "Big Four" television networks.

The transition to digital broadcasting in 2009 has allowed for television stations to offer more programming options through digital subchannels. A number of new commercial networks airing specialty programming such as movies, reruns of classic shows and lifestyle programs have been created from companies like Weigel Broadcasting, Luken Communications and the major networks. There have also been a number of new Spanish-language networks that have launched as well as some new non-commercial public television channels.

Broadcast networks in the United States can be divided into four categories:

Each network sends its signal to many local affiliate television stations across the country. These local stations then air the "network feed," and millions of households across the country tune in. In the case of the largest networks, the signal is sent to over 200 stations. In the case of the smallest networks, the signal may be sent to just a dozen or fewer stations.

There are an estimated 116.3 million television households in the United States as of the 2014-2015 TV season. [1]


  • Table of broadcast networks 1
    • Major English-language commercial networks 1.1
    • Public television networks 1.2
    • Spanish-language networks 1.3
    • Genre-based and general entertainment television networks 1.4
    • News, sports and lifestyle networks 1.5
    • Shopping networks 1.6
    • Program Guide networks 1.7
    • Religious television networks 1.8
  • English-language American commercial over-the-air television networks 2
  • Spanish-language American commercial over-the-air television networks 3
  • American non-commercial television networks 4
    • Public/cultural/educational non-commercial 4.1
    • Religious 4.2
  • Defunct American television networks 5
  • See also 6
  • Notes 7
  • External links 8

Table of broadcast networks

All of the networks listed below operate a number of terrestrial television stations. In addition, several of these networks are also aired on cable and satellite services.

Major English-language commercial networks

Television Network Founded % of U.S. households reached # of households viewable Type of Television network # of Full-Power Affiliates # of Low-Power/Class-A Affiliates & Transmitters
NBC 1946[1] 97% 112,811,000 Commercial 226 ~338
CBS 1948[1] 97% 112,811,000 Commercial 215 ~299
ABC 1948[1] 97% 112,811,000 Commercial 229 ~266
Fox 1986[2] 97% 112,811,000 Commercial 223 ~202
The CW 2006[3] 95% 110,485,000 Commercial 204 ~11

Public television networks

Television Network Founded % of U.S. households reached # of households viewable Type of Television network # of Full-Power Affiliates # of Low-Power/Class-A Affiliates & Transmitters
PBS 1969[4] 96% 111,648,000 Nonprofit 349 ~342
Create January 10, 2006 70% 81,410,000 Public TV/Instructional 214 0
World August 15, 2007 59% 68,617,000 News & Documentaries 160 0
V-me 2007 47% 54,661,000 Spanish Educational 51 1
MHz WorldView / MHz Networks 2001 31% 36,053,000 Educational/International 29 1
NHK World 18% 20,934,000 Japanese News and Information 7 0
France 24 December 6, 2006 14% 16,282,000 International News 5 4
FNX (First Nations Experience) 9% 10,467,000 Native American Programming 6 2
MiND (MiND: Media Independence) May 15, 2007 9% 10,467,000 Multicultural, educational 2 0
Classic Arts Showcase 1994 6% 6,978,000 Non-commercial performance art video clips 3 3
DW-TV (Deutsche Welle) 1953 2% 2,326,000 Multicultural 1 2
Minnesota Channel 2005 2% 2,326,000 Educational television, public affairs, ethnic and local programming 17 0

Spanish-language networks

Television Network Founded % of U.S. households reached # of households viewable Type of Television network # of Full-Power Affiliates # of Low-Power/Class-A Affiliates & Transmitters
Univision 1986[5] 55% 63,580,000 Spanish Commercial 46 13
Telemundo 1954 54% 62,424,000 Spanish Commercial 48 26
UniMás 2002 (as Telefutura) 2013 62%[6] 54,332,000 Spanish Commercial 35 10
MundoFox 2012 54%[6] 58.956,000 Spanish Commercial 25 39
LATV 2001 50%[6] 43,928,000 Bilingual(English/Spanish) Entertainment 27 16
Azteca 2001 41%[6] 45,084,000 Spanish Commercial 14 28
Estrella TV 2009 27%[6] 47,396,000 Spanish Commercial 28 19
Exitos TV 30% 34,680,000 15 0
TeLe-Romántica 2012 18% 20,808,000 3 11
CNN en Español 1997 16% 18,496,000 News 1 6
ZUUS Latino 13% 15,028,000 Music Videos 12 7
Inmigrante TV 2010 12% 13,872,000 5 1
Mega TV 2006 5% 5,780,000 3 1
Multimedios Unknown 2% 2,312,000 Spanish Commercial 6 2
Tres[7] 1998 0.7% 809,200 Spanish Music Videos 0 5
Mexicanal August 23, 2005 0.45% 520,200 Mexican Programming 0 1

Genre-based and general entertainment television networks

Television Network Founded % of U.S. households reached # of households viewable Type of Television network # of Full-Power Affiliates # of Low-Power/Class-A Affiliates & Transmitters
MyNetworkTV September 5, 2006[3] 91% 105,196,000 Commercial/Syndication service 162 ~40
Me-TV 2010 91%[6] 97,104,000 Classic TV shows 155 21
This TV 2008 85%[6] 94,792,000 Movies & TV shows 114 18
Bounce TV 2011 72%[6] 78,608,000 African-American Programming 86 8
Antenna TV 2011 70%[6] 80,920,000 Classic TV shows and movies 80 12
GetTV 2014 67% 77,921,000 Classic Movies 62 4
Ion Television August 31, 1998 (as PaxTV) 64% (OTA only) 73,984,000[8] Commercial/Syndication service 65 22
qubo 2007 65%[6] 72,828,000 Commercial (Children's) 61 [9] 4
Cozi TV 2013 50% 58,150,000 Classics/Movies/Lifestyle 40 11
Grit August 18, 2014 49% 56,987,000 Action/Westerns/Men's Interest 45 0
Escape August 18, 2014 48% 55,824,000 Suspence/Drama/Women's Interest 33 2
Movies! 2013 44%[6] 49,708,000 Feature films 32 5
Retro TV 2005 35% 40,705,000 Commercial, reruns 24 62
ZUUS Country 2009 25%[6] 35,836,000 24/7 Country Music videos 25 6
The Works 2014 21% 24,423,000 News and Entertainment 9 2
Soul of the South Network May 27, 2013 19% 22,097,000 African-American Programming 6 16
AMGTV [10] 2006 9% 28,726,530 Commercial, family 2 13
FamilyNet 1979/1988 2% 2,312,000 Classic television 1 14
Launch TV 2014 9% 10,467,000 Independent Programming 1 16
The Family Channel 2008 (as My Family TV) 2014[6] 9% 10,476,000 Classic Movies/TV 5 24
Heartland November 1, 2012 8% 9,304,000 Country Music & Lifestyle 10 18
PBJ September 2011 8% 9,304,000 Children's/Classic Cartoons 4 32
TheCoolTV 2009 6% 5,780,000 Music videos 2 3
Mi Casa Broadcasting Sept. 2014 2% 2,326,000 English-language Hispanic programming 0 5
Punch TV 2012 1.5% 1,744,500 Urban & Independent programming 0 7
Heroes & Icons September 29, 2014 4.35% 13,584,212 Classic television series and films 3 2

News, sports and lifestyle networks

Television Network Founded % of U.S. households reached # of households viewable Type of Television network # of Full-Power Affiliates # of Low-Power/Class-A Affiliates & Transmitters
Live Well Network April 27, 2009 65%[6] 73,984,000 Health/Lifestyle 64 3
Ion Life 2005 65%[6] 72,828,000 Health/Lifestyle;
Occasional movies
60 [9] 3
Tuff TV 2009 22%[6] 25,432,000 Male interest programming 3 33
WeatherNation TV 2011 18% 20,934,000 Weather 20 2
Biz Television 2009 18% 20,934,000 Business and financial information 2 10
AccuWeather Channel 2006 16% 18,608,000 Weather 26 4
America One 2003 11% 12,716,000 Commercial/Sports/Lifestyle 2 33
TouchVision September 16, 2013 8% 9,248,000 News and Information 2 3
Untamed Sports TV 2008 1% 1,156,000 Sports/Outdoors 2 2
Frost Great Outdoors 2011 0.5% 578,000 Outdoors/Shopping 0 5
Pursuit Channel 2008 0.15% 173,400 Sports and recreation 0 3

Shopping networks

Television Network Founded % of U.S. households reached # of households viewable Type of Television network # of Full-Power Affiliates # of Low-Power/Class-A Affiliates & Transmitters
QVC 1986 59% 68,204,000 Commercial/Infomercial 48 13
HSN 1985[11] 59% 68,204,000 Commercial/Infomercial 41 46
JewelryTV[12][13] 1993 15% 17,340,000 Commercial/Infomercial 4 15
Corner Store TV Unknown 7% 8.092,000 Commercial/Infomercial 0 6
ShopHQ 1991 2% 2,312,000 Commercial/Infomercial 2 0

Program Guide networks

Television Network Founded % of U.S. households reached # of households viewable Type of Television network # of Full-Power Affiliates # of Low-Power/Class-A Affiliates & Transmitters
TV Scout 2012 10% 11,590,000 EPG 0 10

Religious television networks

Television Network Founded % of U.S. households reached # of households viewable Type of Television network # of Full-Power Affiliates # of Low-Power/Class-A Affiliates & Transmitters
Daystar 1982 56% 64,736,000 Religious 23 66
enlace[14] 2006? 45% 52,020,000 Spanish-Language Religious programming 37 9
TBN 1973 44% 50,864,000 Religious 39 10
Smile of a Child TV[14] December 24, 2005 44% 50,864,000 Religious Children's TV 35 12
JUCE TV[14][15](formerly JCTV) 2003 44% 50,864,000 Religious Youth Programming/Music Videos 36 10
The Church Channel[14] 2002? 44% 50,864,000 Religious 35 9
SonLife Broadcasting Network 2010 35% 40,460,000 Religious 5 25
3ABN 1984 29% 33,524,000 Religious 2 133
3ABN Latino 2003 22% 25,432,000 Spanish Religious 0 124
Peace TV 2006 20% 23,120,000 Religious (Islamic) 0 9
Almavision 2002 18% 20,808,000 Spanish Religious 0 11
Dare to Dream Network 2010 17% 19,652,000 Religious 0 101
3ABN Proclaim! 2010 14% 16,184,000 Religious 0 109
Cornerstone Television[16] 1979[17] 14% 16,184,000 Religious 2 17
TCT 1977 6% 6,936,000 Religious 8 5
The Walk TV January 11, 2010 5% 5,780,000 Religious 3 12
CTN 1979 5% 5,780,000 Religious 11 5
God TV 1995 5% 5,780,000 Religious 2 2
WHT 1985[18] 5% 5,780,000 Religious 7 4
Tele Vida Abundante 5% 5,780,000 Spanish Religious 1 ??
EWTN 1981 2% 2,312,000 Religious (Catholic) 1 3
Hope Channel October 10, 2003 1.5% 1,734,000 Religious 0 6
The Word Network 2000 1.5% 1,734,000 Religious 2 2
La Familia Cosmovision 2002? 1% 1,156,000 Spanish Religious 0 1
TLN 1973 1% 1,156,000 Religious 1 0
Tvida Vision 2005 0.7% 809,200 Spanish Religious 0 2
The Worship Network[11] 1992 0.6% 693,600 Religious 0 1
GLC 1982 0.25% 289,000 Religious 5 0
Television Network Founded % of U.S. households reached # of households viewable Type of Television network # of Full-Power Affiliates # of Low-Power/Class-A Affiliates & Transmitters

English-language American commercial over-the-air television networks

  • ABC (originally American Broadcasting Company; originally formed from the NBC Blue Network of radio, which the U.S. Federal Communications Commission (FCC) forced NBC to sell in 1943) - The nation's third-largest commercial network, Disney-owned ABC has over 200 affiliate stations and airs original programming, sports, and news seven days a week. Almost all ABC stations air local newscasts.
  • CBS (originally Columbia Broadcasting System) - The nation's second-largest commercial network and owned by CBS Corporation, CBS has over 200 affiliate stations and airs original programming, sports and news seven days a week. Almost all CBS stations air local newscasts. For most of its existence, CBS has been the nation's most watched network.
  • NBC (originally National Broadcasting Company, and formerly the television sister of the NBC Red Network from the broadcaster's radio days) - The nation's largest, and oldest commercial network, owned by NBCUniversal, NBC has over 200 affiliate stations and airs original programming, sports and news seven days a week. Almost all NBC stations air local newscasts.
  • FOX (Fox Broadcasting Company) - The nation's fourth-largest commercial network, the 21st Century Fox-owned Fox has nearly 200 affiliate stations and airs original programming and sports seven days a week, programming two hours each night in primetime (three hours on Sundays), along with political talk program Fox News Sunday on Sunday mornings and the optional infomercial block Weekend Marketplace on Saturday mornings. Almost all Fox stations air local newscasts, with some producing newscasts in-house and others airing newscasts produced by another station in the market. Several of the network's owned-and-operated stations formed the hub of the DuMont Network, which existed from the late 1940s to the mid-1950s.
  • The CW (originally formed from The WB and UPN networks, both of which folded in September 2006 after 11 years of existence) - The nation's fifth-largest commercial network, The CW has approximately 100 affiliate stations in the top 100 television markets; it also has approximately 90 additional affiliates operated as cable-only and digital subchannel services in smaller television markets through The CW Plus. The network airs two hours of original programming in primetime and one hour in daytime on Monday through Fridays, and a five-hour children's program block called Vortexx on Saturday mornings. Unlike its four larger major network competitors, The CW does not have owned-and-operated stations in New York City, Los Angeles and Chicago, the affiliates in those markets are owned by Tribune Broadcasting; despite joint ownership by CBS Corporation and Time Warner, CBS Corporation serves as the network's de facto O&O station group (Time Warner owns one station in Atlanta through its Turner Broadcasting System subsidiary, however it does not serve as the CW affiliate for the market). Some CW affiliates air local newscasts, most of which are produced by another station in the market though ten of its affiliates (most of which are owned by Tribune Broadcasting) produce local newscasts in-house.
  • MyNetworkTV is a network owned by 21st Century Fox, which also owns FOX. It was hastily formed to provide programming for stations left empty-handed by the merger of The WB and UPN. The network launched with English-language telenovelas, but switched to a mix of low-budget programming within the first year. Currently, MyNetworkTV fills two hours of primetime Monday through Fridays with reruns of shows that originated on other broadcast and cable networks. Some MyNetworkTV affiliates air local newscasts, most of which are produced by another station in the market, though San Francisco affiliate KRON-TV is the only affiliate that produces its local news programming in-house.
  • Me-TV (Memorable Entertainment Television) is large digital network from Weigel Broadcasting that airs reruns of classic television shows. Me-TV airs mostly on digital subchannels but they also have several affiliates in which they are the stations' primary network. Currently covering about 84% of broadcast homes with over 150 affiliates Me-TV is the nations seventh-largest commercial broadcast network.
  • This TV is a large network airing mostly on digital subchannels. It was launched on November 1, 2008 by the MGM studios and Chicago based Weigel Broadcasting. This TV airs a 24/7 schedule consisting mostly of movies but also a few TV shows. Based on coverage of about 82% and over 110 affiliates, This TV is currently the eighth-largest commercial broadcast network in the United States. However the network may not have the same access to many cable and satellite systems that other broadcast networks would.
  • Ion Television is a mid-sized network, which airs off-network repeats of shows from other networks and feature films for thirteen hours every day. It is the largest English-language network to wholly handle programming responsibilities for its affiliates, though some affiliates run some locally produced public affairs and religious programming. Affiliates number around 70, though most of the stations are owned by parent company Ion Media Networks. It aired several hours weekly of original primetime programming in the past (often in co-production with NBC) and currently imports a Canadian series and occasionally features other English-language imported programming; it was known as PAX TV from 1998 to 2005, and i: Independent Television from 2005 to 2007. Ion owned and operated stations also carry the children's network Qubo and lifestyle channel Ion Life on their digital subchannels, and many of the network's owned stations also carry QVC and the Home Shopping Network on additional subchannels.
  • America One (a successor to Channel America) is a small network of about 40 affiliates. It airs general entertainment programming (wholly scheduled by the network for its affiliates) with a heavy emphasis on primetime sports programming and events.
  • FamilyNet is a former religious network launched early in the cable era which has gone through several owners, including Jerry Falwell and the Southern Baptist Convention before being acquired by the Rural Media Group, the parent of the rural-focused RFD TV in 2013. Most of the network's religious programming now airs only on Sunday mornings and it is programmed as of September 2014 as a secular classic television network which continues to hold several broadcast affiliates, though most religious-focused station groups have ended their relationship with FamilyNet.
  • Movies! is a Weigel and Fox Television Stations joint venture digital subchannel network featuring movies launched in 2013.
  • Heroes & Icons is a digital subchannel from Weigel Broadcasting which specializes in reruns of classic television series and films. Heroes & Icons, abbreviated H&I, aims to attract a generally male audience with shows from the genres of action, police, detective, western, science fiction, superhero, and war and military.

Additionally, several of the cable-oriented theme channels (e.g. music or shopping channels) have obtained broadcast clearances, usually on low-power stations, in many markets. Among these are Home Shopping Network, and ShopHQ.

  • TV Scout is a subchannel network for over the air program grid launched in July 2013 and is available on 12 subchannels as of October 2013.[19]

Several of the religious broadcasting networks have out-of-pattern clearance arrangement with their broadcast affiliates, notably FamilyNet, Trinity Broadcasting Network, Three Angels Broadcasting Network, Hope Channel and World Harvest Television. And, of course, the Public Broadcasting Service also allows its member stations to run their programs out of pattern.

Nicknames of major American networks (most established by the industry publication Daily Variety as "slanguage") are as follows:

  • ABC: "Alphabet network" or "Circle network" (its name is also the first three letters of the alphabet)
  • CBS: "Tiffany network" or "Eye network" (for the network's high-toned reputation and eye logo, respectively)
  • Fox Broadcasting Company is referred to by media and by the network itself by the all-capitalized FOX, and the legal name is only used in industry media and legal documents
  • NBC: "Peacock network" (after its multi-colored logo)
  • The CW: "Green network" (the network's launch color scheme was (and is) dominated by the color green)
  • MyNetworkTV: "Fox mini-network" (like Fox, the network was formed by News Corporation).
  • PBS: "Head Network" for their educational programming, mascot, and logo
  • UPN defunct: "Used Parts Network" for its purchase of new episodes of series formerly seen on other networks, "Shapes network" or "Disc network" (after the network's 1995-2002 and 2002-2006 logos)
  • The WB defunct: "Frog network" or the network's secondary branding "The Frog" (after the network's frog mascot)

Additionally, both The WB and UPN were referred to as weblets by Variety because of their smaller audiences and fewer programs. CW and MyNet have more often been called netlets, which has the same definition.

Spanish-language American commercial over-the-air television networks

  • Univisión is the nation's largest commercial Spanish-language network owned by Univision Communications, Recent ratings have made Univision, the fifth-largest commercial network against English Networks Raitings. Univision has over 120 affiliate stations including over 35 full-power stations; many Univision owned-and-operated and airs original programming, as well as imported programming from Mexico and Venezuela seven days a week. Many areas of the country without access to a Univision station can receive the network's national feed via cable and satellite. Formed in 1986 following the sale of predecessor Spanish International Network (SIN) to Hallmark from Mexico's Televisa due to federal laws against foreign ownership of American television networks. Most Univision stations air local newscasts.
  • Telemundo is the nation's second-largest commercial Spanish-language network operated by NBC Universal, Telemundo has over 100 affiliate stations including 18 full-power stations and airs original programming seven days a week. A big amount of its programming is recorded in Miami where the station is headquartered. In addition, Telemundo operates in Mexico and Puerto Rico (where it was founded in 1954). Most Telemundo stations air local newscasts, as well as imported programming from Colombia and to a lesser extent Brazil.
  • UniMás, known as Telefutura from its founding in January 2002 until January 2013, is the third-largest commercial Spanish-language network, owned by Univision Communications, UniMás has nearly 45 affiliate stations including 35 full-power stations and airs original and imported programming seven days a week.
  • MundoFox is the nation's fourth-largest commercial Spanish-language network operated as a joint venture between News Corporation subsidiary Fox International Channels and Colombian broadcaster RCN Televisión. MundoFox has over 60 affiliate stations, consisting of mostly low-power stations with some full-power affiliates, and some carriage as a simulcast subchannel by Fox and MyNetworkTV O&O's in major markets due to said low-power and cable carriage limitations. Original and imported programming airs seven days a week, with some of the imported programs distributed by RCN and NTN24. Launched in August 2012, some MundoFox stations air local newscasts, with many others planning to produce local news programming within a year of the network's launch.
  • Estrella TV is the fifth-largest commercial Spanish-language network, owned by Liberman Broadcasting, Estrella TV has nearly 35 affiliate stations, most of which are owned by Liberman or carry the network as a subchannel-only affiliation, along with cable carriage nationally via some cable providers. The network airs original and imported programming seven days a week for 18 hours each weekday and 11 hours per day on weekends.
  • Azteca América is the nation's sixth-largest commercial Spanish-language network, Azteca America has nearly 90 affiliate stations including 8 full-power stations and airs original and imported programming seven days a week. Azteca America is an off-shoot of Mexico's Azteca and is owned by Azteca International Corporation, though much of the American network's programming airs at different times.
  • Exitos TV is a small Spanish-language subchannel network broadcasting on 15 of Telemundo owned and operated TV station's subchannel[20][21] televising telenovelas.

Additionally, Televisa, which distributes programming to Univision in the United States, operates in Mexico, but their networks (Canal de las Estrellas, Canal 5, and Galavisión) have certain stations which can be seen in areas of the U.S. along and near the Mexican border, and likewise with the American networks in border cities towards Mexico.

Some Mexican border stations (such as Tijuana's XETV-TV) are affiliates of American networks and target their American border city more than their Mexican metropolitan area, broadcasting in English or Spanish, depending on network.

All Spanish-language broadcast networks operate a national feed carried on cable and satellite systems where an affiliate is not present. Univision has a larger cable-only distribution than the other commercial Spanish-language networks and therefore may be carried in more homes than the amount listed in the above table. Spanish-language independent stations also exist, though they are mainly limited to large markets.

The Spanish-language networks have a smaller amount of affiliates than "The Big Three" English-language networks (NBC, ABC and CBS) and PBS, though they still occupy a large share of the country and with a growing Latino population, the number of Spanish-language network affiliates in the United States has increased.

Unlike the English-language broadcast networks, Univision, Telemundo, Azteca America and UniMás do not rely on their affiliate stations to program the majority of the broadcast day as the networks themselves are wholly responsible for handling programming for its affiliates. However, affiliates are allowed to break away from the network feed to offer some locally produced programming (mainly consisting of local newscasts or lifestyle programming).

American non-commercial television networks

Public/cultural/educational non-commercial

  • Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) - The largest public broadcasting network, somewhat decentralized, in the U.S. PBS also has had 24-hour/7-day program feeds that some broadcast (both analog and digital) stations subscribe, for some or all of their dayparts: PBS Satellite Service (which has Eastern and Pacific Time feeds, and was originally conceived as a cable channel for areas not served by PBS stations), PBS YOU or "Your Own University" (devoted largely to adult education, crafts, and public-affairs programming, which ceased operations at the end of January 2006), PBS Kids Channel (devoted to PBS's very popular children's programming; discontinued in favor of a commercial-partnership service called PBS Kids Sprout on October 1, 2005 and briefly meant to be succeeded by a new service PBS Kids Go!, in October 2006).
  • NYCTV - The broadcasting service of the City of New York, offering original Emmy-award winning programming and available nationally on PBS stations. Not a network, but a provider of programming to several New York services beyond the home station, WNYE-TV.
  • The Annenberg Channel (formerly Annenberg/CPB Channel) - Originally a national educational access network for public broadcasters and schools, it was available on some cable and satellite packages; it's now an online stream service that is offered to broadcast stations and cable systems for carriage; many of the broadcast affiliates played its programming in overnights and in "fringe" slots; some continue to do so. It shared some programming with PBS YOU and various university and college stations around the country, and the defunct Research Channel.
  • Deutsche Welle (DW TV) A German non-commercial television service which provides some English-language news programming to public broadcasting stations, and whose programming feed can be seen on a small number of independent public-broadcasting stations for part of their broadcast day.
  • Create (sometimes given as Create!), a 24-7 digital-signal network run by syndicator American Public Television in partnership with WGBH, WNET, WLIW, NETA, and PBS, offering crafts and travel programming in part to fill the void left by the shuttering of PBS YOU. The network began transmission in January, 2006, primarily with a number of digital broadcast stations around the U.S.
  • World Channel (sometimes referred to, informally, as "PBS World"), a 24-7 digital-signal network run by syndicator American Public Television in partnership with WGBH, WNET and WLIW and PBS, offering documentaries and news programming primarily.


Defunct American television networks

  • American Independent Network - Commercial network, predecessor to UATV; operated from the mid-1990s to December 3, 2001
  • America's Store - Shopping network that spun off of Home Shopping Network; operated from 1988 to April 3, 2007.
  • AZN Television - Formerly branded as International Channel with a mix of international programming before the rise of digital cable and satellite services allowed carriage of many foreign networks; the AZN iteration offered programming aimed at English-speaking Asian-Americans; operated from 1996 to April 9, 2008.
  • Badger Television Network - Short-lived television network consisting of three stations in Wisconsin; operated from January to August 1958.
  • The Box (originally Video Jukebox Network) - Music video network with a viewer request format that operated from 1985 to 2001; was bought out by Viacom/CBS and became part of MTV2. All of MTV2's still-extant broadcast affiliates come from The Box.
  • Channel America - First commercial network intentionally made up of low-power stations, a model for Pax and AIN/UATV, and the predecessor of America One; operated from 1988 to 1995.
  • CV Network (Formally CaribeVisión) Spanish-language network that operated from 2007 - July 31, 2012 closed prior to the launch of MundoFox.
  • DuMont Television Network - Commercial network, operated from 1946 to 1956; most of its owned-and-operated stations are now operated by News Corporation as part of the Fox Television Stations group.[2]
  • Hispanic Television Network - Family-oriented Spanish-language network, operated from 2000 to July 10, 2003.
  • Hughes Television Network (HTN; originally Sports Network Incorporated) - Sports-based network later owned by businessman Howard Hughes; operated from 1956 to the 1970s.
  • LAT TV - Spanish-language network offering family-oriented and educational programming, operated from May 19, 2006 to May 20, 2008.
  • MGM Family Network - commercial network, started in 1973
  • Más Música - Spanish-language music video network, predecessor of Tr3s; operated from 1998 to January 2006.
  • Mizlou Television Network - An occasional over-the-air broadcast network and sports syndicator; operated from 1961 to 1991.
  • Mobil Showcase Network - an occasional over-the-air broadcast network
  • MTV2 - Became an over-the-air network on January 1, 2001 when it took over The Box, but slowly dropped affiliates over the years as existing contracts expired.
  • National Educational Television (NET) - Educational network operated from 1952 to 1970, predecessor to PBS.
  • NBC Weather Plus - National digital multicast weather network owned by NBCUniversal; operated from November 15, 2004 to December 31, 2008; some affiliates replaced the service with an automated local weather channel under the name NBC Plus.
  • Network One (N1) - A small independent network, similar to PAX/i and America One; operated from the mid-1990s to November 13, 1997.
  • Overmyer Network (ON; launched as the United Network, not to be confused with UPN) - Short-lived commercial network, operated from May 1 to June 1, 1967; .
  • Paramount Television Network - Commercial network, operated from 1949 to 1953.
  • PBS Kids - Operated from 1999 to 2005; some of its functions are being taken up by successor PBS Kids Sprout, a commercial cable venture, while some individual PBS member stations and networks program 24/7 kids schedule subchannels independently. A new successor service, PBS Kids Go!, was promised for October 2006, but never launched. The PBS Kids name remains as a block branding for PBS children's content.
  • PBS YOU - Operated from the late 1990s to 2006; "Your Own University," this service offered a mix of crafts, college-credit and Standard Deviants instructional programs, and news, commentary, and documentary programming. Many of its affiliates joined Create, a similar if more craft- and travel-focused service administered by American Public Television, as YOU went dark in early 2006.
  • PTL Satellite Network - Evangelical Christian network known for broadcasting the PTL Club hosted by Jim and Tammy Faye Bakker. Collapsed in the wake of a sex and embezzlement scandal that resulted in Jim Bakker being sentenced to prison; operated from 1977 to 1987.
  • Prime Time Entertainment Network - Netlet run by WB syndication arm and station consortium with key station group, United Television; operated from 1993 to 1997, most of its affiliates would join The WB and UPN.
  • Retro Jams - Operated from 2007 to 2008; carried by some Equity Media Holdings LPTV stations, most replaced it with Retro Television Network; format did reappear in 2009 after EBC ended dealings with RTN.
  • SFM Holiday Network - Limited-run network that specialized in Christmas specials.
  • Shop at Home Network - Shopping network; operated from 1987 to 2008
  • SOI TV was a small Spanish-language network started by a Venzezualan banker who was a political prisoner of Chavez he was granted U.S. asylum. The network used interactive broadcast technologies allowing real time response by viewers regarding its television content via Twitter and Facebook. SOI was launched in March 2012 with a $20 million investment. In December, La Familia cable network agreed to carry SOI programming.[22] NBCUniversal owned Telemundo stations carried SOI on a subchannel until January 2013.[23]
  • Spanish International Network (SIN) - Spanish-language commercial network, operated from 1961 to 1986; predecessor to Univisión
  • The Tube Music Network - Digital-only music video network. Operated from 2004 to October 2007, folded due to financial difficulties.
  • ThinkBright - New York Public broadcasting
  • TuVisión - Spanish-language commercial network, operated from 2007 to 2009.
  • TVS Television Network - Sports programming syndicator; peak years were in the 1960s and 1970s. Limited programming continued from then onward until the company ceased operations in 2012.
  • UPN (formerly initialism for "United Paramount Network") - Operated from January 16, 1995 to September 15, 2006, merged with WB to make The CW.
  • Universal Sports (formerly World Championship Sports Network) - Operated from 2005 to December 31, 2011; offered Olympic-style sports programming that aired on as many as 56 digital subchannels including all NBC owned-and-operated stations. Network transitioned into a cable and satellite-only channel on January 1, 2012.
  • Urban America Television (UATV) - A successor to the American Independent Network; a small network with 60 affiliate stations, UATV aired original programming mixed with older films, rather similarly to America One; Operated from December 3, 2001 to May 1, 2006.
  • Variety Television Network - Short-lived digital multicast network affiliated with stations owned by parent Newport Television; operated from 2007 to January 2009.
  • The WB Television Network - Operated from January 11, 1995 to September 17, 2006, merged with UPN to make The CW.

See also


  1. ^ a b c Although ABC, NBC, and CBS were founded prior to 1946, those companies did not begin continuous over the air TV broadcasting until 1946 (NBC) and 1948 (ABC and CBS).
  2. ^ a b DuMont's relationship with the Fox network via Metromedia is disputed, with Fox being either a modern re-incarnation, or at least a linear descendant of the DuMont Television Network (via former DuMont subsidiary Metromedia)
  3. ^ a b On January 24, 2006, CBS and Time Warner announced the merger of The WB and UPN, forming one larger network, The CW in late 2006. See The CW for more information. The CW and MyNetworkTV are also carried on cable-only channels and digital subchannels of many currently operating television stations of several different affiliations, ranging from current WB and Fox affiliates, to even NBC and CBS affiliates. The WB and UPN shut down on September 18, 2006 to merge into The CW. MyNetwork TV was created by the Fox Broadcasting Company to give programming to several Fox-owned UPN affiliates, upon the shutdown of UPN.
  4. ^ Although PBS was initially established in 1969, it assumed full-time broadcasts on October 5, 1970 to replace its predecessor, National Educational Television (NET).
  5. ^ Date at which the Spanish International Network (founded in 1962) was reorganized and became Univision.
  6. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p "The Top 25 Digital Broadcast Networks". (NewsCheckMedia). June 17, 2014. Retrieved July 10, 2014. 
  7. ^ Mas Musica TV was purchased by Viacom in January of 2006. It merged with MTV en Español to form MTV Tr3s on Sept. 25, 2006.
  8. ^
  9. ^ a b These channels are available over the air on digital channels or digital subchannels only.
  10. ^ "Stations for Network - AMG TV". RabbitEars.Info. SatalliteGuys. Retrieved 17 September 2014. 
  11. ^ a b Network founded by Lowell "Bud" Paxson
  12. ^ Jewelry Television has around 3 direct affiliates. Most other stations carrying its programming are indirectly affiliated with the network through Shop at Home.
  13. ^ Shop at Home only broadcasts programming overnights, and thus full affiliates of the network carry Jewelry Television during the day.
  14. ^ a b c d These networks are carried only on the digital subchannels of local TBN affiliates, and are owned by TBN.
  15. ^ JCTV is carried on some analogue and digital television stations, digital subchannels of local Trinity Broadcast Network affiliates, and cable/satellite providers, while Smile of a Child and TBN Enlace USA are carried only on local TBN affiliates. All four networks are owned by TBN.
  16. ^ Cornerstone Television isn't considered a network in the traditional definition of a TV network, rather it is a distributor of in-house produced programming. Although the main station, WPCB-TV is on many owned and operated translators, its Full Power and LPTV "affiliates" typically air one or two Cornerstone Television produced programs per week scheduled at different times than the main Corerstone station and do not identify themselves as "Cornerstone Television" affiliates.
  17. ^ Although Cornerstone Television was founded in 1970, the network did not begin even limited broadcasts until 1979.
  18. ^ Date at which WHTV acquired two additional stations. World Harvest Television is a product of LeSea Broadcasting.
  19. ^ Dodson, Andrew. (October 25, 2013) TV Scout Brings Program Grid To Over-The-Air TV. TV News Check. Accessed on November 22, 2013.
  20. ^ Exitos is NBCUniversal Largest Subchannel Network. Subchannel Report. Across Platforms.
  21. ^ Insalaco, Michael. 22 Spanish Networks Are On Full-Power Subchannels ( Report data). Subchannel Report. Across Platforms.
  22. ^ Kokernak, Michael. La Familia cable network to nest SOI TV programming.
  23. ^ SOI TV. Programming Reports. Comcast.

External links

  • Hispanic networks
    • Mi Casa Broadcasting
    • Exitos TV at
  • Genre-based and general entertainment television networks
    • Punch TV

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