Created By: CaptainAmazing on June 2, 2016 Last Edited By: CaptainAmazing on November 9, 2017
Troped

Network Death

When a TV channel ceases to exist entirely

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Network Death is Exactly What It Says on the Tin. It's when a TV channel ceases to exist. Usually this is either caused by financial troubles forcing it to go off the air or extreme cases of Network Decay and/or Executive Meddling leading to it being "rebranded" as as an entirely different channel.

Occasionally two weaker networks are merged into one. And of course, there are many new channels, especially in the modern digital cable/satellite world, that never get very far off the ground. But at the end of the day, almost all Network Deaths are caused in some sense by a lack of money and/or ratings.

Of course, this is almost certain death for any show being carried on that network (making them Screwed by the Network in an unusual sense), but some manage to make a last-second Channel Hop.

This trope is related to, but not exactly the same as, Network Decay. As noted above, Network Decay can lead to Network Death, but the channel *must* be given a different name and focus, keeping only its slot on the cable listings.


Examples

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     Short-Lived Broadcast Networks 
  • DuMont was one of the first broadcast networks in existence, but struggled for its entire life before dying off in 1956.
  • BBC3, which itself replaced BBC Choice, failed to survive a spending review forced by an unsympathetic British government restricting BBC funding. Despite campaigns and an outcry, the youth-orientated BBC channel (which most viewers over about 25 only watched for imported American shows like Family Guy and American Dad!) ceased to be a broadcast TV channel in February 2016. It lives on as an Internet-only channel.
    • BBC4 also replaced BBC Knowledge.
  • PTEN died in 1997, after only four years on the air, mostly due to owner conflicts and affiliate issues.
  • ITV Play didn't survive the phone-in quiz scandal and closed down in 2007.
  • Banahaw Broadcasting Corporation was a Philippine broadcasting channel from 1972 to 1986 when ABS-CBN was shut down under the Marcos administration. The former was in turn shut down when the latter was relaunched in 1986.

     Rebranded Broadcast Networks 
  • National Educational Television (NET) was a forerunner to PBS from 1954-1970.
  • The WB and UPN were merged into The CW in 2006 with many of the leftover affiliates joining MyNetworkTV
  • PAX became "i" and then ION.
  • QTV was an offshoot channel of GMA Network, whose viewership was aimed towards women. As Network Decay stepped in, it was shut down in 2011, and was replaced by GMA News TV

     Short-Lived Mainstream Cable/Satellite Networks 
  • Three of British Satellite Broadcasting's five networks did not survive the merger with Sky Broadcasting.
  • Newsworld International was bought by Al Gore to start Current TV, which struggled until it was sold to Al Jazeera to form Al Jazeera America, which folded in 2016.
  • Satellite News Channel (SNC) was launched in 1982 by ABC and Westinghouse as a competitor to CNN, with a format of a quick rundown of the news every 18 minutes. What is now CNN's HLN was preemptively launched as a competitor to SNC before SNC even came on the air. SNC failed to get enough cable carriers and was bought out by CNN and taken off the air after about 16 months of operation.
    • ABC attempted another news channel, ABC News Now, starting in 2004. It was carried both as a digital subchannel to ABC affiliates and as a cable channel. In 2009 the digital subchannel was replaced with the Live Well Network and the cable channel was replaced with a joint venture with Univision called Fusion in 2013.
  • French travel-themed network Odyssey became Stylia in 2010 and then went off the air in 2014.
  • Studio 23 was a channel owned by ABS-CBN, where much of the programs were young adult oriented. It ceased operations in 2014 due to declining viewership, and it was replaced by a sports-oriented channel also run by ABS-CBN.

     Rebranded Mainstream Cable/Satellite Networks 
  • Nickelodeon's spinoff "Nick Gas" was a sports-and-gaming-show based channel that aired reruns of series such as Nick Arcade, Double Dare, and Legends of the Hidden Temple. On December 31st, 2007 it was combined with TeenNick (then known as "The N").
  • Solar Entertainment has its share of rebranding their channels catered by genre and demographic. First, Solar USA, which programmed crime dramas, suspense, and action, was split in 2005 into the comedy-oriented Jack TV, and the action-oriented C/S, which is now CT in 2015

     Rebranded Niche Cable/Satellite Networks 
  • TechTV was purchased by Comcast and merged into G4TV before most of the Tech TV elements disappeared from the merged network.
  • G4TV itself was going to be replaced by the Esquire Network in fall 2013, before additional last-second Executive Meddling lead to the Style Network getting replaced instead. This left G4 as a "zombie network" of nothing but reruns, syndicated shows, and ads until the end of 2014, with the syndicated shows not even airing in the last few months.
  • The aforementioned Style Network was replaced by the Esquire Network in 2013.
  • Argentinian Locomotion was a channel that transmitted diverse adult animations including anime, even with and exclusive dubbing for previously untranslated series like Cowboy Bebop and Neon Genesis Evangelion. It was bought by Sony and became Animax Latin America in 2005. This channel itself got a total rebrand into Sony Spin in 2011
  • SOAP Net was a Niche Network for 24/7 soap opera viewing experience. Due to the decline of soap opera viewership, the channel ended its run with General Hospital as the last program shown before the strike of New Years 2014, when it was replaced by Disney Junior.
  • Fox Sports World Became Fox Soccer Channel in 2005, then simply Fox Soccer in 2011, before losing the rights to Premiere League games to NBC in 2013 and getting relaunched as FXX.
  • The Philippine edition of MTV had its share of rebrandings due to competition with local music video channel Myx. Originally it was named MTV Philippines from 1992 to 2010, then MTV Pinoy in 2014-2016, then MT Vph since 2016.

     Short-Lived Niche Cable/Satellite Networks 
  • Discovery Kids was bought by Hasbro and became The Hub in April 2009. Hasbro and Discovery Communications ended up co-owning it due to changes in staffing and it namechanged again to DiscoveryFamily in 2014. The programming remained largely unchanged since it was mostly Hasbro property cartoons and family-friendly Discovery shows. The most recent rebranding has resulted in some original content and a lot of reruns from Animal Planet and TLC.
  • The Japanese Nickelodeon channel went off the air on September 30, 2007.
  • JET TV or Japan Entertainment Television had a Filipino station that usually aired drama (mostly dubbed in English) from 2008 before it went off the air for undisclosed reasons.
  • CBS Cable launched in 1981 with a focus on the arts and folded after only 14 months due to being a niche channel when cable was too small for such a thing, as well as overlaps in programming with a much more widely available PBS.
Community Feedback Replies: 38
  • June 2, 2016
    CaptainAmazing
    Creator here. This is my first attempt at a TLP. Thoughts?

    There are plenty of other examples out there. Post enough and I'll sort them by type of network.

    A few examples currently listed under Network Decay would get reorganized into this.
  • June 3, 2016
    AgProv
    BBC3 failed to survive a spending review forced by an unsympathetic British gov't restricting BBC funding. Despite campaigns and an outcry, the youth-orientated BBC channel (which most viewers over about 25 only watched for imported American shows like Family Guy and American Dad) ceased to be a broadcast TV channel in February 2016. It lives on as an Internet-only channel.

    • Similarly, BBC Radio Seven was scaled back and lost most of its identity as a seperate entity. It lives on as Radio Four Extra, an adjunct to the main Radio Four talk radio station.
  • June 3, 2016
    AgProv
    you might also usefully consider the de-regionalisation of commercial TV in the UK. ITV began as an overlapping and loosely connected network of regional TV stations, each with its own uniquely different local identity, sharing some common programming and making shows both for local screening and for sharing on the national network. But since the advent of a centralised ITV network, the former regional channels have either died or atrophied into a hollow ghost of what they were. Granada, for instance, was once a powerhouse in broadcasting, making TV shows in Manchester and Liverpool, creating a potential rival to London's cultural domanance. It is now just a tiny rump which provides only local news and weather bulletins. The major TV studios it had in Manchester are now empty and derelict. Evey other former ITV region can tell pretty much the same story: basically at least sixteen TV stations bit the dust when the ITV-1 monolith was created.
  • June 3, 2016
    Arivne
    Of course this will be added to Trivia when it's launched, right? :)
  • June 3, 2016
    JujuP
    • French travel-thÃ$mes network Odyssée stopped operation in 2016.
  • June 3, 2016
    JujuP
    • French travel-thÃ$mes network Odyssée stopped operation in 2016.
  • June 3, 2016
    JujuP
    • French travel-thÃ$mes network Odyssée stopped operation in 2016.
  • June 3, 2016
    JujuP
    • French travel-thÃ$mes network Odyssée stopped operation in 2016.
  • June 3, 2016
    JujuP
    • French travel-thÃ$mes network Odyssée stopped operation in 2016.
  • June 3, 2016
    CaptainAmazing
    Added suggested BBC 3 example and some related ones that I found.. Added suggested Odyssey example but went with Wikipedia's description of what happened to it. Decided the de-regionalization of ITV was more of a Network Decay sort of thing.

    Does this belong under Trivia? I really don't know. I guess it should be under whatever Network Decay is, which I can't seem to figure out. That said, I do see a few other semi-related things under Trivia.

    Next steps will be to start categorizing the examples and continue to add new suggested and other examples. TNN and Soapnet would be obvious ones.
  • March 20, 2017
    alnair20aug93
  • February 5, 2017
    Pichu-kun
  • February 7, 2017
    Basara-kun
    • Argentinian Locomotion was a channel that transmitted diverse adult animations as well some anime, even with own and exclusive dubbing for then untranslated series like Cowboy Bebop and Neon Genesis Evangelion. Then was bought by Sony to install Animax in Latin America and the channel was shutdown in August 2005.
  • March 20, 2017
    alnair20aug93
    Bump.
  • May 17, 2017
    Pichu-kun
    • Chiller is an American network themed around horror films. Starting in 2016, several companies began dropping the channel due to it being too niche.
  • May 17, 2017
    BOFH
    ITV Play didn't survive the phone-in quiz scandal and closed down in 2007.
  • July 19, 2017
    CaptainAmazing
    Finally got back to this and am please at how well it's done. Getting ready to launch.

    We're getting enough items that the channels will probably need to be sorted. There's also enormous lists of defunct networks on That Other Wiki done by country that we haven't even begun tapping into. I also just discovered that there's a lot of items under the "Total Abandonment" section of Network Decay that should probably be re-sorted into this page once it launches.

    The question is how the channels should be sorted. Options include:

    • Sorting by country could be an option for the distant future, but right now the items are about 60% from the US and 30% from the UK, so that wouldn't be sorting much at all at this point.

    • The Network Decay page does it by degree/type of shift, which makes sense and could work here as "Cause of Death" (Extreme Network Decay, New channels that failed to catch on, Merged into other channels, etc,) Network Decay then sub-divides it by corporate owner, and "Others" with the others done by country.

    • An obvious choice would just be to sort by what kind of network it was (broadcast, basic cable, Niche Network, etc.). However, I feel like it might be hard to differentiate between what is and isn't a niche channel without putting almost every cable channel in existence into the "Niche" category.

    Anyone have any thoughts on this?
  • July 20, 2017
    alnair20aug93
    All I can say so far is the double spacing. But other than that, and the sorting, it can work. Now, for my country's examples, I could only think of two channels that were shut down such as BBC 2, which replaced ABS-CBN from 1972 to 1986, and Studio 23, and some channels being rebranded such as QTV becoming GMA News TV, Solar TV becoming Jack TV.
  • July 20, 2017
    alnair20aug93
    Also, lest I forget, In 2014, The Hub, home to My Little Pony Friendship Is Magic, was shut down and became Discover Family.
  • August 2, 2017
    Pichu-kun
    Who's in charge?
  • August 2, 2017
    ANTMuddle
    This has also happened In Universe. It was part of the Humiliation Conga endured by R.J. Fletcher at the end of UHF.
  • August 7, 2017
    alnair20aug93
    Bump.
  • October 4, 2017
    alnair20aug93
    Bump.
  • October 6, 2017
    Skylite
    • Discovery Kids was bought by Hasbro and became the Hub in April 2009. Hasbro and Discovery Communications ended up co-owning it due to changes in staffing and it namechanged again to Discovery Family in 2014. The programming remained largely unchanged since it was mostly Hasbro property cartoons and family-friendly Discovery shows. The most recent revbranding has resulted in some original content and a lot of reruns from Animal Planet and TLC.
  • October 9, 2017
    alnair20aug93
    Is the OP still around? His last edit for this draft was from three months ago. If this hasn't been edited for more than two months, this draft is automatically Up For Grabs.
  • October 20, 2017
    CaptainAmazing
    I'm back. I've been very busy with work. What needs to be done other than the double spacing and the sorting? Also, how do I fix the double-spacing? Do you just mean remove the spaces in between the examples?
  • October 20, 2017
    CaptainAmazing
    Went to another page and it looks like removing the spaces in between the examples in indeed what you mean.
  • October 20, 2017
    CaptainAmazing
    Sorting them is proving tricky because there's SOOO much overlap between types. Basically there are these types of networks/causes of death to consider when sorting:

    1. Short-lived fledgling network that never truly got off the ground vs. network that lasted at least 10 years

    2. Network that was simply allowed to die vs. one that was rebranded something else entirely.

    3. Network that failed vs. one that was doing okay and was rebranded anyway.

    4. Network only available on cable/satellite vs. broadcast one. Broadcast is a MUCH bigger undertaking. A cable/sat network isn't necessarily a huge operation while the latter tries to cover its entire country via affiliate stations in every single market.

    5. Network that tried to gain mainstream appeal vs. one that just wanted to be a Niche Network.

    6. Freak "Other" things that would probably be in a category by themselves, like UPN and The WB merging into CW or BBC 3 dying mainly due to getting its funding pulled.

    7. Sorting networks that rebranded multiple times into the different categories that the different networks fit into vs. keeping them together for clarity's sake.

    8. What country its in.

    As you can imagine from that, tons of overlap between some categories and zero overlap between others make sorting really difficult. All of the networks allowed to totally die (as opposed to being rebranded) were fledgling networks that never fully took off. Half of networks that were rebranded had it happen because they were failing, half of them were not. All of the Niche Networks were on cable. There are only one or two examples of an attempted mainstream network rebranding as a niche one and vice-versa.

    Then there's smaller things like constituting what constitutes a Niche Network or what networks fall on what side of #3.

    For right now I'm just ignoring #3 and #8 and will just try to make everything in #6 fit into the other categories. For #7 I'm just going to leave them in their old categories. Mostly due to overlap, I'm putting the short-lived networks that were allowed to die into one category for now.

    I could really see expanding #4 into cable vs. main-channel broadcast vs. digital subchannel broadcast once its been launched and we have more subchannel entries.

    Thoughts on sorting would be appreciated. Also see my earlier post on basic ideas for sorting.
  • October 21, 2017
    alnair20aug93
    I think The Hub that eventually became Discovery Family was a short-lived niche network that ran for 5 years. Also, make another folder named "Unstorted" if one is unsure on which.

    To sort out my examples from local television in my country:

    Short-Lived Broadcast Networks
    • Banahaw Broadcasting Corporation was a Philippine broadcasting channel from 1972 to 1986 when ABS-CBN was shut down under the Marcos administration. The former was in turn shut down when the latter was relaunched in 1986.

    Rebranded Major Broadcast Networks
    • QTV was an offshoot channel of GMA Network, whose viewership was aimed towards women. As Network Decay stepped in, it was shut down in 2011, and was replaced by GMA News TV

    Short-Lived Mainstream Cable/Satellite Networks
    • Studio 23 was a channel owned by ABS-CBN, where much of the programs were young adult oriented. It ceased operations in 2014 due to declining viewership, and it was replaced by a sports-oriented channel also run by ABS-CBN.

    Rebranded Mainstream Cable/Satellite Networks
    • Solar Entertainment has its share of rebranding their channels catered by genre and demographic. First, Solar USA, which programmed crime dramas, suspense, and action, was split in 2005 into the comedy-oriented Jack TV, and the action-oriented C/S, which is now CT in 2015

    Rebranded Niche Cable/Satellite Networks
    • The Philippine edition of Creator/MTV had its share of rebrandings due to competition with local music video channel Myx. Originally it was named MTV Philippines from 1992 to 2010, then MTV Pinoy in 2014-2016, then MTVph since 2016.

    EDIT 2017-10-21: Fixed my examples to AC format
  • October 20, 2017
    Ominae
    Not sure on this one, I remember seeing this on Philippine TV before it went off the air. Not sure if Sky Cable or JET TV execs gave a reason.

    • JET TV or Japan Entertainment Television had a Filipino station that usually airs drama (most of them dubbed in English) before it went off the air.
  • October 20, 2017
    CaptainAmazing
    alnair20aug93: Those folders aren't opening for me.
  • October 20, 2017
    CaptainAmazing
    At this point, should I just go ahead and hit "Launch" and let other people add whatever they want? There's just about infinity things that can be added, including stuff that will have to be moved over from Network Decay.
  • October 21, 2017
    alnair20aug93
    ^ Fixed it by turning it to AC format.
  • October 28, 2017
    Ominae
    Added more details on JET TV's Filipino presence.
  • November 6, 2017
    CaptainAmazing
    Added in the new Fillipino examples.

    Rather than try to add every single example anyone can think of (and there are a LOT that will need to be migrated from the Network Decay page), I'm just going to hit Launch and let the community (myself included), sort the rest of them out once I have the time and energy to crosswick everything.
  • November 6, 2017
    SquirrelGuy
    CBS started an arsty cable channel back in 1981 called, of all things, "CBS Cable". It folded about a year later.
  • November 7, 2017
    alnair20aug93
    ^^ Salamat po.
  • November 9, 2017
    CaptainAmazing
    As you can see, it's been launched now. Please use the page's Discussion page to discuss it further.
http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/discussion.php?id=b00th1vrm6k6tskl1ealk1oh