The network first launched on September 6, 2001 as HDNet and was notably the first television network in the United States to air exclusively in high definition, hence the network's name. Among the network's earlier programming was Ring of Honor's first weekly television series, note as well as coverage of the United States 2002 Invasion of Iraq. In 2003, HDNet would launch a sister network in HDNet Movies.
In 2012, HDNet would enter the joint-venture with AEG, Creative Arts Academy, and Ryan Seacrest Media, with all three buying stakes in the network. Subsequently, HDNet would rebrand as AXS TV in July 2012, owing to the fact that most other cable and satellite networks already had launched an HD feed by this time. Since the relaunch, AXS would expand its programming scope to include more pop culture, lifestyle, and entertainment shows, in addition to more live events and sports. In the case of sports, AXS is one of the U.S affiliates of the Ultimate Fighting Championship, and the current home for New Japan Pro-Wrestling programing dubbed with English commentary.