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Network Finale

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At least Death was nice enough to ring the doorbell.
“This has been KSWD Los Angeles. This is the Sound, and this dream will self-destruct in three, two...”
— Final words on 100.3 KSWD, now K-LOVE

The end of your network has arrived. Network Death is imminent. Some networks have just a brief or abrupt sign-off with little to no fanfare, but some do go the extra mile to pay tribute to their history before turning off the transmitter for good. They likely will also decide to herald the arrival of a replacement moments after.

This is the trope for when networks decide to go out with a real tribute to themselves, or at least a carefully-chosen final program.

See Grand Finale for when this happens for an individual franchise.



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     Broadcast TV Channels 
  • British movie channel Carlton Cinema folded with the rest of the short-lived ITV Digital operation in 2003: its closedown included a montage of film scenes set to Alice Faye's "You'll Never Know" from the 1943 film Hello, Frisco, Hello.
  • During the transition to digital television in the UK, Northern Ireland was the final region to perform the analogue shutdown. BBC One Northern Ireland's final sign-off culminated with the blue and yellow mirror globe ident from the 70's, followed by a scene of a control room with a plush of Digit Al (the mascot used in campaigns informing viewers of the transition) on top of a screen with said mirror globe, and the monitors behind it showing a series of classic BBC One idents from each subsequent era (beginning with the Computer Originated World) and an obituary for Ceefax (which also shut down due to the transition), followed by the then-current BBC logo on a black screen. BBC Two Northern Ireland had a similar sign-off done over the classic BBC 2 animated stripes of the early 80's, which animated off-screen in reverse.
  • While not a sign-off, BBC Three's final ident starts out normal, with the two announcers stating that this was their last continuity announcement, and said that they'd see the viewer tomorrow on the BBC iPlayer for the opening of their new online home. Then, James Corden himself introduced the final airing of his Gavin & Stacey, live from his The Late Late Show set, and wished the channel good luck before it moved online.
  • Australia's Seven Network had some unique sign-offs for its analogue switchoffs too, with Sydney featuring a reprisal of the station's former sign-off sequence (including a music video to Tommy Leonetti's "My City of Sydney", followed by an animation of a kangaroo turning the "ATN Channel 7" logo into a bed for her joey before pulling down a shade, revealing the word "Goodbye"note ), Melbourne featuring a montage of the programs produced at the station (with the conclusion set to its classic "Hello Melbourne" jingle from the mid-1980's, followed by an old clip of a newscaster telling viewers that the station would be signing off, then a clock animation, and lastly, an old station identification card set to testcard tone before the juice is permanently cut), and Brisbane featuring a quick montage of clips and classic Seven Network idents before ending on an old testcard.
  • Certain U.S. network stations pulled out the stops for their analog shutdowns. KDKA in Pittsburgh dusted off the old "High Flight" video they used to show when signing off for the night, followed by a unique national anthem montage showing their old in-house programming, moving backwards from the then-present to the station's early days. KADN in Lafayette did something similar, showing some old bumpers followed by their old national anthem video. Other stations also dusted off their old sign-offs one last time for the occasion.
    • This blog found video of seemingly every analog signoff in the US, as well as a few in Japan and Australia. Some went out with anchors counting down live, some used an old sign-off, some created a farewell montage, some botched it, and some simply cut to black.
  • The last night of The WB (before its merger with UPN to form The CW) featured a "Night of Favorites and Farewells" — with airings of the pilot episodes of Felicity, Angel, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, and Dawson's Creek, peppered with flashbacks of the network's history (and promos for the DVD sets and the cable channels showing off-network reruns of said series), concluding with a final montage which ended with a shadowed Michigan J. Frog (the network's former mascot, who had been retired a few years before) bowing to the audience as their curtain fell. WPIX, the network's New York City station, followed it up with a montage of their past logos (with music from that era accompanying each one) before officially rebranding as CW 11 for the 10 o'clock news.
  • When the Brazilian MTV shut down as a terrestrial broadcast channel in 2013 (before changing to satellite/cable channel), they aired O Ultimo Programa do Mundo ("The Last Program in the World"). The last two VJs who talked before a montage were also the first two in the initial broadcast in 1990.
  • In 2014, the Israeli government approved the closure of its state broadcaster, the Israel Broadcasting Authority (IBA), which would be reformed as the Israeli Public Broadcasting Corporation. It was originally scheduled to launch in 2016, but ran into issues between members of the government, as well as the European Broadcasting Union over parts of its structure (including a plan for news and public affairs programmes to be assigned to a separate broadcaster). The launch was later set for 15 May 2017.
    • On 9 May 2017, the IBA told its employees that its main newscast, Mabat LaHadashot, would end after that night's broadcast — only two hours before they went to air. The atmosphere during the resulting program was devastating, to the point that several of the reporters ended up crying during the broadcast.
    • The IBA's Channel 33 shut down at that time, but Channel 1 carried on with regular programming (besides news) through 14 May, with a skeleton staff of 20 employees to televise the 2017 Eurovision Song Contest — which went out on TV with no commentary. Before delivering the result of the Israeli's jury vote, spokesperson Ofer Nachshon acknowledged the closure on-air and bid the IBA farewell.
    • After Eurovision, Channel 1 broadcast a music video recalling some of the most important moments of the channel, sung by Marina Maximilian Blumin. The song is called The ballad about Hedva and Shlomik (הבלדה על חדווה ושלומיק). Finally, the IBA broadcast the final part of the newscast ''Mabat LaHadashot'', with the entire staff tearfully singing the national anthem of Israel ''(Hatikvah)''. The IBPC's new channels, Kan 11 (Hebrew) and Makan 33 (Arabic), launched the following Monday.
    • As a side note, the IPBC became responsible for Israel's Eurovision entries beginning in 2018. In their very first Eurovision as Israel's delegation, Netta's song "Toy" would win the contest.
  • Southern Television (a broadcasting license holder for ITV in the South and South-East of England), before changing over to TVS, aired a final program (And It's Goodbye From Us) on New Year's Day 1982 and ended with a special version of its logo spinning into the night sky, complete with a deep echo of its signature acoustic guitar jingle.
  • WKBS-TV, an independent station in Philadelphia, signed off for good in 1983, airing a montage of the station's workers waving goodbye themed to Simon & Garfunkel's "The Sound of Silence".
  • The Philippines' ABC followed a similar formula to The WB upon its closure on August 8, 2008. At the end of their final program Sentro, Martin Andanar said this:
    "Philippines and our viewers in Mabuhay Channel, thank you for watching. This is not goodbye, this is hello to a great bold way of delivering the news. It's more to what's happening in this country than what we are used to hearing in the news. As we know it, nagbabago ang kwento ng Pilipinas at nagbago na rin ang pananaw ng mga Pilipino. Magkita-kita na lang po tayo sa Lunes 10:30, pag nagsimula na ang mas masaya at mas makakatotohanang gabi sa ating lahat. In behalf of the gallant men and women of ABC News, I'm Martin Andanar, and that was ABC."
    • After the program, the montage of their previous programs is played, set to Leona Lewis' "Footprints in the Sand" before Michael Knight says "Thank you for watching. This is ABC5, signing off", before heading to the countdown of its successor TV 5.
  • Due to the Russian invasion of Ukraine, the Russian news network TV Rain decided not to take censorship from the Kremlin, instead choosing to end its final broadcast by playing the ballet ''Swan Lake'' after its staff stormed off the set in a huff.

     Cable/Satellite TV Channels 
  • The original G4TV ended its original run with a game of Pong that slowly shrunk and filled with a grey color, followed by a sound clip of a Comic-Con attendee shouting "I'M AT COMIC-CON!!!" (a possible allusion to G4 dying and going to "nerd heaven") as the dot shut off like an analog TV alongside Donkey Kong's death bloops from the Atari 2600 and the Game Boy start-up chime.
  • Fox Soccer shut down with a clip of soccer footage being interrupted by that one It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia scene where a couch gives birth to Frank Reynolds, hailing the official launch of its replacement, the comedy-oriented FX spin-off FXX.
  • Likewise Speed Channel ended with former NASCAR play-by-play announcer Mike Joy making a statement marking the channel's end by announcing it was "time to switch off the ignition and turn in the keys", then reassuring the viewers that much of its live programming including NASCAR would still be seen on the channel's successor, Fox Sports 1.
    So now, it's goodnight and farewell to America's motorsports authority, SPEED.
  • Film Zone, belonging to FOX Latin America (before being bought by Disney) underwent some changes in its programming after the changes of its parent company LAPTV. Among these was the elimination of the soft porn that were shown at night, in addition to new graphics. Despite this, Film Zone was one of the most-watched and loved channels. In 2017, FOX Latin America made the biggest change of all: introducing the FXM brand to the Latin market. This meant Film Zone had to close to make way for the new channel. FOX Latin America, in order to put an end to the channel, decided to launch some promos with the Film Zone logo in mourning and giving some references to some of the films that were shown on the channel. On September 18, 2017, after showing its last film with the Film Zone brand, Richard Gere's The Double, the Film Zone logo mourned his loss, saying that he felt like Truman in ''The Truman Show'', and quoting said character's catchphrase. Finally, a tombstone appears with the start and end dates of the channel with an epitaph that says: "good stories never die".
  • Fine Living Network ended to make way for Cooking Channel on May 31, 2010. To mark the transition, the network played an ident where The Grim Reaper arrives at a house, presumably the address of Fine Living Network, and rings the doorbell, implying the network is literally dead.
  • The final day of UK Jetix's programming ended with a montage of some of the shows that had been displayed on the channel, before cutting to Jetix's mascot, Jay, lying asleep in a lawnchair, finally able to rest now that Jetix was finished. The channel then switched over to Disney XD (though Jay snoring was briefly heard for a moment longer over XD's first bumper due to an audio glitch).
  • Disney XD Australia ended with a back-to-back airing of the entire High School Musical trilogy.
  • Disney XD Japan, unlike its other iterations, managed to cease operations in style. After airing their final program of Pickle and Peanut (their signature show), they capped things off with their last XD podcast followed by:
    11年半ありがとうございました! (Thank you for eleven-and-a-half years!)
  • Also in Japan, the Disney-owned satellite channel Dlife was shut down on March 31, 2020. After the broadcast of the series Criminal Minds, the last ten minutes consisted of a marquee naming each and every one of the series and films the channel showed for eight years, finally thanking and saying goodbye to their viewers. The signal was officially shut down an hour later.
  • Disney Channel Asia apparently created a quick advert showcasing how their franchises affect the lives around. Multiple fans here are convinced that this is their goodbye advert, noting the somber music and performance here.
  • Toonami, a former block on Cartoon Network, aired its final bumper before signing off in 2008 (Toonami returned in 2012 on Adult Swim):
    TOM 4.0: Well, this is the end, beautiful friends. After more than 11 years, this is Toonami's final broadcast. It's been a lot of fun, and we'd like to thank each and every one of you who made this journey with us. Toonami wouldn't have been anything without you. Hopefully, we've left you with some good memories. So, until we meet again, stay gold. Bang.
  • Downplayed with Chiller ending its final broadcast day with an airing of The Babadook and then a simple message of "Thank you for watching Chiller. Good night!"
  • The CBC's Newsworld International stopped broadcasting in 2005, ending with a special farewell message from their Toronto offices before switching to Current TV.
    • The final item to air on Current TV before its end in 2013 was a short documentary titled "Jumper," which was also the first thing to air upon Current's launch on August 1, 2005, thus "bookending" the network.
    • Current was replaced with Al Jazeera America, which itself ended on April 12, 2016, with a three-hour retrospective film named "Your Stories" that played twice back-to-back as the final programs. Antonio Mora and Richelle Carey, who were the first anchors on the air when the network launched, were the last two to appear when it went off the air.
  • Activism-oriented Pivot ended with five consecutive showings of the movie Good Night, and Good Luck.. This may have been a tribute to predecessor Documentary Channel, which ended with an airing of Edward R. Murrow's famous "Wires and Lights in a Box" speech, ending with those exact words, before transitioning to Pivot.
  • CNN has had plans since the beginning to only go off the air if the world ends, and they have the footage in their system ready to play in case that should ever happen. In another case of Bookends, it's footage of the mixed-military band that played the American National Anthem when they first signed on playing "Nearer My God to Thee." The copy of it linked here was leaked by a former intern in 2015.
    • Gremlins 2: The New Batch: In a reference to the rumored existence of this tape, when Clamp learns that he will have to shut down his automated skyscraper, which includes a cable network, he reveals that he had a tape prepared, one that would be a final farewell to their audience. He never thought it would ever be used.
  • On December 15, 2020, WarnerMedia shut down its premium movie channels in India, HBO India, HBO HD India, and Warner Brothers India. During the days leading up to the closure, all channels ran a notice celebrating the channels' 20 years on the air and rolling credits to thank the channels' staff. Both HBO and WB ran "Best Of" marathons, and shortly before the shutdown, HBO aired a montage of movie clips while thanking the viewer for loving the network.
  • The final night of broadcasting for attempted CNN rival Satellite News Channel saw the anchormen say goodbye and giving the channel's life story as the network drew to a close, alongside a repeating message reading "THE SATELLITE NEWS CHANNEL WILL CEASE OPERATIONS TODAY AT 3 PM" occurring frequently. There were even credits rolled with the names of everyone who worked at the network in alphabetical order.
  • HERO TV (Philippines) signed off with a glimpse of a worker's desk, when the screen turned on loading something (later revealed to be the digital platform of the same name). Then, this text followed:
    Sa loob ng 12- na taon, kami ay inyong sinamahan at sinuportahan upang maipahatid sa inyo ang mga Pinakamalulupet na Filipino-dubbed anime na ating nakagisnan at nakalakihan. Ito ay lubos naming ikinagagalak at habang-buhay naming dadalhin ito sa aming alaala. Aming lubos na ikanalulungkot na kami ay mamamaalam na. Maraming, maraming salamat sa inyong lahat.
    (For 12 years, you have tuned in and supported us to deliver you the most awesome Filipino-dubbed animes we've grown to know and love. We'll cherish them immensely and remember them forever in our memories. We deeply regret to announce our [channel's] closure. Thank you so much to all of you.)
  • 2nd Avenue follows this by airing their farewell promo with the indicated date of closure. Eventually, when it signs off for RJTV, its successor, it's in the middle of Million Matchmakers II.
  • Boomerang Latin America became Cartoonito on December 1, 2021. Before the channel became Cartoonito, it was acknowledged by the network, thanking them for everything before Cartoonito came.
  • Children's television channel TiiN, owned by Televisa Network, ceased operations on July 15, 2019, with the last chapter of the telenovela ''Atrévete a Soñar''. When the channel had started on September 5, 2011, the channel began with the first chapter of the same series. This coincidence bookended the network as a result.
  • On February 1, 2022, as part of Disney's plan to pull the plug on its international channels, all of Star Premium's channels went off the air with a special advert. After their respective programs, they aired a special countdown to its end. One last message appeared when that time ran out, thanking its viewers for 25 years on the air, before ending with a message that read "Gracias por 25 Años!"
  • Though unintentional, Boomerang Russia ceased broadcasting abruptly while airing an episode of Mr Bean: The Animated Series, at the time the blue car crashed down the subway. One YouTube viewer thought it to be symbolism on the channel itself, and stated the following:
    YouTube comment: might as well think that the blue car was the way that the channel was airing since when it crashed... BOOM! channel closed temporarily.
  • When the original incarnation of the German edition of Nickelodeon closed down due to competition from Der Kinderkanal (now Ki KA), they had Nick Club share their memories on Nick, then sing a song about having to say goodbye. This was followed by an announcer stating that even though they were closing, they hoped the Nicktoons and other Nickelodeon programs would find new homes on TV, and thanked the viewers for watching for those three years. Nickelodeon would return to Germany in the mid-2000's, and it's stayed on the air since.

     Radio Stations 
  • In 2019, New York City adult contemporary station WPLJ was sold to a Christian radio network and ended a 71-year run as a commercial station. Their final days on-air in May 2019 were met with much fanfare, including a promotion in which the station would play songs from 1971 (the station's first year under the WPLJ calls) to the present to "clean out" its music library, while there were also on-air reunions of past personalities, and a final toast to the station at around 7:00 p.m. on May 30, after which the station flipped to the K-Love network.
  • In 2018, longtime Chicago album-rock station WLUP-FM ("The Loop") was also sold to the K-Love network. On March 10 of that year, The Loop created a special playlist for its final hour; this included a couple of classic rock staples ("Stairway to Heaven", "Freebird") and some aptly titled songs ("The Final Countdown", "It's the End of the World As We Know It (And I Feel Fine)", "For Whom the Bell Tolls"). The last block of songs were an obvious Take That! to the new format, starting with "Number of the Beast" and "Shout at the Devil" before bringing everything to a close with "Highway to Hell" (it's worth noting that longtime station DJ Steve Dahl, when asked about the sale, openly suggested that that last song be the station's final one.)
  • The Format Change Archive is a site dedicated entirely to recordings of radio station format changes.
  • There are a few songs commonly used for the last play of a dying station, depending on its format. These include, but are not limited to: Boyz II Men's "End Of The Road" (Urban), Garth Brooks's "The Dance" (Country), Semisonic's "Closing Time" or R.E.M.'s "It's the End of the World As We Know It (And I Feel Fine)" (Alternative), Metallica's "Fade to Black" (Rock), and *NSYNC's “Bye Bye Bye” (Top 40/Hot AC). And if it fits well enough, there's always the song it started out with.
  • Radio Disney rarely, if ever, played any song more than a few months old. This was until it was announced to be closing down in early 2021. After the deejays were retired on New Year's Eve, Radio Disney played a shuffled selection of hits from across its 24-year history. Their last terrestrial radio station in Los Angeles, which had been playing their Country station since 2017, also flipped back to the pop feed for the final weeks. Radio Disney was finally silenced without fanfare on April 14th, 2021, the last song allegedly being Natasha Bedingfield's "Unwritten,"note  after which AM 1110 switched to a "burner" simulcast of sister station KSPN's sports talk format.
  • While Israeli Broadcasting Authority's TV channel shut down was very sad, the shut down of its radio station was not. 88FM, the only radio station that was active during the shut down (again, due to Eurovision), shut down the following day. Their last show was Progressive and Other Animals, a radio show that presented rock music, hosted by Boaz Cohen. During the show, all the radio staff was present that day, singing and dancing. Their last song was Pink Floyd's "Shine On You Crazy Diamond", with all the staff singing along.
  • On WCBS-FM New York City's last day of its traditional oldies/greatest hits format, the changeover wasn't communicated to the staff until a little over an hour until it happened. Bill Brown ended his show with Fontella Bass' "Rescue Me", hinting at the change, before a medley of songs related to change began (with "Hit The Road Jack" having "Jack" removed as the station was switching to Jack FM), ending with Frank Sinatra's "Summer Wind". Two years (and a trip to the bottom of the NYC Arbitrons) later, Jack FM would end on the station with a special final bumper, with "Jack" receiving a call letting him know he was done at the station, stopping the call for a moment to give one final liner as "Jack FM" before playing Journey's "Don't Stop Believing", stopping at the exact point it stopped on the finale of The Sopranos. The CBS-FM classic hits era would then begin with the resumption of "Summer Wind".
  • 97.1 FM in Los Angeles would have two notable flips for their execution:
    • The first came in February 2009, when as KLSX-FM, they were ready to drop their longtime FM talk radio format after 15 years; their final show would ultimately be the final terrestrial show for longtime CBS Radio show host Tom Leykis; after reminiscing on his career the whole afternoon, he ended his show and the format with his slogan "Blow me up, Tom!" followed by an explosion sound effect; the audience could be heard applauding for Leykis for some moment longer, before fading out. After a brief stunt montage of pop music snippets, they then launched a Top 40 format as KAMP-FM, "AMP Radio".
    • After carrying the format for 12 years (the last 8 months as KNOU, "97.1 Now!") the station, in December of 2021, abruptly announced the format would sign off within just 2 hours in favor of a simulcast of news station KNX 1070. The last hour in particular was full of hints at the end of the format, but the very last song in particular, "Sunflower" by Post Malone and Swae Lee, was abruptly cut off by the launch of the simulcast. The last lyric it was on was "Then you're left in the dust"- a particular bit of irony as the song was known for its use in Spider-Man: Into The Spider-Verse, but of all moments it ends on a spot that could be linked to Spider-Man as well... in one of the worse ways possible. (Even more coincidental, the movie's sequel had its name and teaser trailer announced the day prior.)
  • In 2010, after 23 years of being the Philippines' premier rock station and serving as a launchpad for Filipino rock bands wanting to become successful, NU 107 announced that the station would reformat to a more contemporary station called Win Radio due to a lack of advertiser support and a declining listening audience. Its final day on air was met with support from longtime listeners, who gathered outside the station's studio in solidarity. Various Filipino bands even played some of NU 107's last songs live. After one last sign-off message, NU 107 would end its last day of broadcasting with The Eraserheads' "Ang Huling El Bimbo", with the supporters outside singing along. Win Radio started the next day. However, four years later, Win Radio themselves would switch frequencies, leading to the rise of Wish 107.5, which became popular thanks to its presence on social media and the use of a roving radio bus.