Sundance TV (formerly known as Sundance Channel) is an American pay television
channel owned by AMC Networks
that launched on February 1, 1996. The channel is named after Robert 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 Institute and the Sundance Film Festival
Originally, Sundance was devoted to airing documentaries
, independent feature films
, short film
s, world cinema
, and coverage on the latest developments from each year's Sundance Film Festival
. The channel has since incorporated both original and acquired programming and became fully ad-supported in 2013, with programming being edited for content soon thereafter.
As of July 2015, the channel was available to approximately 60.668 million households with television (52.1% of all subscribers) in the United States.
As Sundance Channel (1996–2014)
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
), 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
On May 7, 2008, the Rainbow Media
subsidiary of Cablevision
, owners of rival network IFC
, 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
Since the sale, Sundance would expand into original programming. 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
'', and its third miniseries ''Top of the Lake
''. Much like AMC, the channel's original programming garnered critical acclaim.
On March 4, 2013, Sundance began airing AMC's ''Breaking Bad
'', to which the channel has exclusive syndication rights, on Monday nights.
In October of that year, the channel became fully ad supported.
As Sundance TV (2014–present)
On January 27, 2014, it was announced that the Sundance Channel would rebrand as Sundance TV on February 1, 2014.
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''.
Over time, Sundance Channel has expanded its international distribution in the Americas, Asia, Middle East and Europe.
* Hispanic America – Sundance Channel was launched in September 2013. It was renamed Sundance TV in January 2016. The channel was closed on April 30, 2020.
* Brazil – In the second half of 2014 a Brazilian version will be released of a channel fully dubbed in Portuguese.
* Canada – On March 1, 2010, a Canadian version of Sundance Channel
was launched by Toronto
-based media company Corus Entertainment
. AMC Networks did not own any stake in the Canadian service, but maintained a brand licensing
agreement with Corus Entertainment to allow the use of the Sundance Channel brand as well as access to programming from the U.S. service. The channel was closed on March 1, 2018.
* Malaysia – Astro B.yond
ceased broadcasting on July 1, 2016
*Singapore – SingTel
's Singtel TV
ceased broadcasting on March 11, 2017
* South East Asia, South Korea – Sundance Channel launched in 2013 on KT
Arab World - beIN Channels Network
Africa – DStv
(until 31 May 2020). The channel launched on dstv in Africa on 1 June 2017. On 20 May 2020, It was announced that the channel will cease transmission in Africa at 23:59 on 31 May 2020 along with SABC's retro rerun channel, SABC Encore
* Belgium – Telenet
(ended 30 September 2017)
* France (and Belgium, Switzerland)
– Sundance Channel launched in France in September 2009 on Numericable
, also available on Free
. It closed on 8 February 2020.
* Greece – Sundance Channel launched in Greece on July 18, 2011 as a linear channel on Cosmote TV
and broadcasts in HD via satellite as Sundance Channel HD. (not any more)
* Netherlands – Film1 Sundance
launched in the Netherlands in March 2012, replacing the movie channel Film1 Festival
closed Film1 Sundance on 31 August 2017. Film1 wants to focus more on its video-on-demand services.
* Poland – Sundance Channel launched in Poland on April 16, 2010, on UPC Polska
* Portugal – NOS
, ended on 31 March 2019 and replaced by Sundance TV on Demand.
* Romania – Sundance Channel was launched in March 2012 with subtitles and closed on February 1, 2019.
* Spain – Sundance Channel, launched on 1 June 2011 on Movistar TV. On 1 October 2014, it was launched on other TV providers replacing Cinematk.
Category:English-language television stations in the United States
Category:Television channels and stations established in 1996
Category:Television networks in the United States
Category:Former Viacom subsidiaries
Category:Former CBS Corporation subsidiaries
Category:Former General Electric subsidiaries
Category:Former Vivendi subsidiaries