Network Death

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Network Death is 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 a completely 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 effectively Screwed by the Network unless rights were sold to another network, but some of these shows manage to make a last-second Channel Hop.

This trope is related to, but not 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.
  • Paramount attempted the Paramount Television Network about the same time, but due to being in the awkward position of being both part-owner and competitor with DuMont and competition with ABC, lasted just about as long as DuMont and was arguably even less successful.
  • 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, which in turn also fell victim to decay.
  • 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.

     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.
  • CNN itself has had its fair share of failed spinoff networks, including:
    • CNN Sports Illustrated or CNNSI, their answer to ESPN's SportsCenter, which had the misfortune of coming into being around the same time as ESPNEWS (which was created as a Take That! move by ESPN against their competition). After years of struggling for an audience and cable coverage, it went off the air in 2002.
    • CNN+, a Spanish channel for Spain which went off the air in 2010.
    • CNN Italia, the Italian version of CNN. It went off the air in 2003.
    • CNNfn, their answer to CNBC. It too struggled with audience and cable coverage, and went off the air in 2004.
    • CNN Checkout Channel, a version of the Airport Network, targeted at grocery stores; it wasn't successful and was only in operation from 1991 to 1993.
  • French travel-themed network Odyssey became Stylia in 2010 and then went off the air in 2014.

     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
  • Trio began as a channel for airing CBC's fine arts programming in the US, then later changed owners a few times before becoming a sister station of Bravo and then becoming a mainstream "pop culture network" that was taken off of TV and replaced with mystery-focused Sleuth. Which became Cloo, which drifted back into mainstream programming again before folding completely in 2017.

     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 its death at 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
  • SOAPNet 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.
  • The Outdoor Life Network became Versus in 2006, which itself became NBC Sports Network in 2012 and then shortened to NBCSN.
  • 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 MTVph since 2016.
  • Country music/culture-focused The Nashville Network (TNN) came on the air in 1983, became the more generalized "The National Network," in 2000 ("The New TNN") and then became the male-focused SpikeTV in 2003. It will undergo yet another rebranding into Paramount Network in early 2018.
  • Speed, formerly Speed Channel, formerly Speedvision, was completely changed into Fox Sports 1 in 2013.
  • The Funimation Channel, focusing on running both anime and Japanese live-action movies owned by the companynote , ran from 2005 to 2015. In 2015, the station was rebranded as Toku; with this rebrand, all Funimation programming was removed and replaced with content from Media Blasters.

     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 Discovery Family 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 aforementioned Esquire Network that replaced the Style Network itself went off the air in June 2017 with a promise to switch to an online model that has yet to show signs of appearing.
  • 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.
  • Chiller is an American network themed around horror films. Starting in 2016, several companies began dropping the channel due to it being too niche.
  • Pivot, a variety channel aimed at young adults, broadcast from August 2013 to October 2016, with their final programming being five consecutive showings of the movie Good Night, and Good Luck..

     Failed Streaming Channels 
  • Seeso was NBC's short-lived attempt at a comedy-focused streaming platform. It launched in 2016 and lasted less than two years.
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