|Launched||February 1, 1996|
|Owned by||AMC Networks|
|Picture format||1080i HDTV|
(downscaled to letterboxed 480i for the SDTV feed)
|Headquarters||New York City|
|Formerly called||Sundance Channel (1996-2014)|
|Dish Network||Channel 126|
|Orby TV||Channel 109|
|Izzi Telecom (Mexico)||Channel 226 (HD)|
|Verizon FiOS||Channel 235 (SD)|
Channel 735 (HD)
|AT&T U-Verse||Channel 798 (SD)|
Channel 1798 (HD)
|Sling TV||Internet Protocol television|
|PlayStation Vue||Internet Protocol television|
(requires subscription to access content)
|Philo||Internet 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.
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. 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.
After negotiations during 1994 broke down to turn Robert Redford into a partner in AMC Networks predecessor Rainbow Media's Independent Film Channel, 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).
The channel was initially launched on five cable systems in New York City; Los Angeles; Alexandria, Virginia; Chamblee, Georgia; and Pensacola, Florida. 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.
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. The acquisition of Sundance Channel by Rainbow Media was completed in June 2008. On July 1, 2011, Rainbow Media was spun off from Cablevision into a separate company, which was renamed AMC Networks.
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 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, 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.
On March 4, 2013, Sundance began airing AMC's Breaking Bad, to which the channel has exclusive syndication rights, on Monday nights. 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 and The Returned and the channel became fully ad supported.
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. 2014 featured the channel's fourth miniseries The Honourable Woman, the channel's second solely owned original scripted series The Red Road, the new reality series Loredana, ESQ, and the second seasons of Rectify, The Writer's Room, and The Returned. 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.
Over time, Sundance Channel has expanded its international distribution in the Americas, Asia, Middle East and Europe.
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