cable channel began as WTCG, (for T
roup), an independent station owned by Ted Turner. It then changed its call sign to WTBS (for T
ystem) as its U.S. cable coverage increased. Now known as TBS, and separate from the Atlanta station note
it and the other Turner properties currently belong to Time Warner (also the owner of Warner Bros.
Its secret weapon was "Turner Time", scheduling programs 5 minutes after the top of the half/hour in order to make sure viewers would miss the beginnings of other channels' fare and thus be resigned to stay with TBS for another show.
Back in the 1990s, most TV watchers referred to TBS as "The Beastmaster Station"
because of its frequent showing
of the film The Beastmaster
. The channel was "tha Mothership" of WCW
and its antecedent promotions (GCW, CWG, Mid-Atlantic/Jim Crockett) from basically the national launch until the premiere of Monday Nitro
in 1995. Afterwards, Thunder
, the much-loathed B-show, aired on TBS.
TBS was also known for many years (1973 to 2007, to be more precise) as the TV home of the Atlanta Braves
. Famously, at one point Ted Turner tried to get pitcher Andy Messersmith (who wore #17) to wear the name "CHANNEL" on the back of his jersey (CHANNEL 17, get it?) The league immediately put the kibosh on that. However, the national broadcasts on TBS helped the Braves build a considerable nationwide fan base, so much so that the franchise was nicknamed "America's Team".
In June 2004, in response to sibling TNT's post-2001 focus on dramatic programming (and possibly Time Warner's divestiture of its stake in Comedy Central
to Viacom the previous year), it decided to situate itself into the genre of comedy, after years of not having a genre (the comedy focus is a little looser than TNT's on drama, though, as evidenced by the movies it tends to run). To that end, on April 12, 2010, Conan O'Brien
announced a five-year deal with TBS to do an 11 PM talk show
Not to be confused with Tokyo Broadcasting System
, which is known for airing many anime