It wasn’t too long ago, that sports consumption was reduced to live events and broadcast television. When ESPN came along, claiming to air 24/7 sports coverage, few thought the network would succeed . The channel then became a major force in the spread of cable television. If only they could get back to showing sports and not 700 opinion shows…
There were music videos prior to MTV, but the network started a cultural revolution by airing them round the clock. Further, they made music videos an art form. MTV very much embodied cool, as it gave us constant access to our favorite musicians. Over the years, the network has expanded quite a bit, into original programming and movies.
Few today remember that there was a time before 24-hour news. You might argue that we’d be better off to go back to that time, but nonetheless, you can’t deny the impact of CNN. The network became Ted Turner’s masterpiece (even in its current condition) and revolutionized how we saw the world.
With the advent of cable, it seemed somewhat unlikely that people would pay extra for additional channels. That’s why a channel like HBO would have to bring the goods from the start. Behind first run showings of major movies, HBO did exactly that. Later on, the network set the gold standard for high quality original programming.
Prior to the explosion of cable, network TV was the be all and end all of the medium. It would take something truly special to boost the idea of cable television. That’s when Ted Turner and others came up with the concept of the “superstation.” The first of these was TBS, which took regionalized programming and put it on the national stage.
Who would have thought that an entire network could succeed on the backs of children’s programming and classic TV reruns. That’s exactly what Nickelodeon did, and the network quickly became one of the most watched on cable TV. It also spurred on a number of similar networks that banked on the same principles.
To truly challenge NBC, CBS, and ABC on the TV dial, you’d need someone with some serious guts…and cash. Enter: Rupert Murdoch. The business mogul decided that he wanted to freshen up the broadcast scene by bringing in a younger, hipper station. The results have been mixed, but this has laid the ground for others in the future.
The medium of television has always been one to entertain, but also with the ability to educate. No channel has done this quite as well as Discovery Channel. The network offered us incredible visuals to back up their remarkable facts and information. They also gave us “Shark Week,” which has truly become a television institution.
People today may see A&E as a second-tier cable network. Sure, the flagship channel itself is not as good as it used to be. But, A&E is also responsible for Lifetime and History channels. Thus, the group of networks form a significant force in the television industry and showed that diversity in product is important as one cruises the dial.
Disney Channel started out of as a premium channel, with results relatively mixed. Unfortuantely for Disney, they were unable to churn out enough orginal programming to justify the additional fees. Once the change to basic cable, Disney Channel really started to take off.