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Network Decay / Total Abandonment

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The channel, with the exception of perhaps a few shows, has long abandoned its original concept.

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    MTV Networks / Paramount Examples 
"Wow, that was a real moment. That's weird for MTV."
Joel McHale: Hey, ya know what else is weird for MTV? Showing a music video.

One of the most documented cases is that of MTV (originally standing for "Music Television"), which began in 1981 as an all-Music Video station. Today, MTV primarily deals in youth-targeting non-music programming; teen dramas, talk shows, and reality shows being the most prominent. In the past, they've also aired series such as American Gladiators; sibling Viacom shows like South Park and SpongeBob SquarePants; and even Anime in the mid-2000's, such as Heat Guy J, at a time when American teens were beginning to discover the medium.

  • The decay began in 1987 with Remote Control (which did feature music videos frequently, via an "MTV" category in the main game and the music video-centric endgame) and continued in throughout the 1990s with The Real World and Beavis and Butt-Head (the latter of which featured music videos, albeit with MST3K-style commentary by the title characters), two of the most popular programs in the network's history. The MTV executives saw this and started commissioning more non-music shows, until music had been pushed into the late night/early morning and the after-school Total Request Live (TRL) block. At one point, they even ran commercials with the tagline "MTV: We Don't Play Music." In 2010, the "Music Television" branding was dropped to reflect this. To be completely fair to the network, the growing popularity of watching videos on YouTube was making MTV less relevant by the day, but the fact that they did nothing to combat it is very alarming.
    • Beavis and Butt-Head could be an indicator of how MTV slowly decayed. It started off as about two minutes of animation and the rest was music videos. Then, the animations got longer as the videos became much more expensive to license. Near the end of the original run, they had nothing in between animations. A short-lived relaunch in 2011 was closer to the earlier days, albeit with MTV shows as well as videos.
    • Before Beavis, others have complained that MTV began to slip when it debuted Yo! MTV Raps. MTV would expand to air shows about other genres types of music, programs about metal music being some of the more notable. The main issue was that viewers would rather watch music videos then watch people talking about the music.
    • As of 2019, MTV seems to be on auto-pilot, airing Ridiculousness nearly all day, everyday. If Ridiculousness is not airing, it'll usually be a block of 2-4 movies, or Catfish: The TV Show. Sometimes, one of their other reality shows will show up, but usually only when there's new episodes. It's not uncommon to see the the aforementioned internet video show airing a seemingly-endless marathon for numerous days straight. They rebooted their famous Unplugged show, including a highly popular episode with BTS, as well as a nearly all day flashback marathon in June 2020 that consisted almost entirely of actual music videos and shows but in general, there's almost no music on there anymore. Case in point, their hour-long Saturday morning show Fresh Out Playlist is exactly all the regularly scheduled music that plays in a week on MTV. A shining example of how far the network has fallen is with how it celebrated its 40th anniversary on August 1, 2021: an all-day Ridiculousness marathon.
    • In some European countries, MTV still primarily shows music videos. American reality TV isn't nearly as popular outside America. That also used to be true for Latin American MTV, but it eventually followed the steps of the U.S. channel.
    • In the United Kingdom, MTV UK was rebranded as MTV One, and later simply MTV. The channel adopted the same anything-but-music format as its American counterpart, even acquiring non-MTV-produced shows such as Pretty Little Liars and Blue Mountain State. note  MTV UK's genre channels have their own programming related to the music they play, such as interviews. These have been cut back in favor of playing more music videos, leading to an ironic instance of MTV being criticized for playing too many videos. In 2011, MTV UK moved to the entertainment channels on Sky's EPG and launched a new channel, MTV Music, to fill in the missing gap.
    • The French and Walloon (southern Belgium) MTV used to be an English-language channel (weirdly enough). They added subtitles and later dubbing to some of their shows (mostly animated shows and live broadcasts) before adding original French-language shows. This only made sense, considering the market, and they still aired plenty of music videos. However, like its foreign equivalents, it drifted toward reality shows (both original French shows and imported ones). It still airs some music (predominantly hip hop), but late at night.
    • At one time, there were three music channels in The Netherlands — MTV, The Music Factory (TMF), and The Box. MTV followed the all too familiar pattern with programming first shifting into the mainly R&B/Hip Hop/Rap genre, eventually phasing out to reality TV (although nothing Dutch; just stuff from the U.S.). TMF, the first true Dutch music channel, was soon bought out by MTV's parent company and changed from a channel with VJ's and live shows to an SMS-your-thoughts channel in addition to a radical music style change.
    • The Italian MTV is also taking this route. During late 1990s up to mid-2000s, most of the schedule was composed of blocks of music videos and the occasional anime or South Park episode. Now it airs at least five or six episodes of American reality shows every day.
    • In Australia, pay-TV company Foxtel, who has channel numbers ordered by categories, acknowledged this in November 2009, when they moved MTV from channel 808 (8xx being Music Channels) to 124 (1xx being General Entertainment Channels).
    • New Zealand had C4, which was essentially MTV, up until the first quarter of 2011 when the channel as it was being renamed to 'Four' and another channel being set up to play music videos full-on (now called C4 in the old channel's stead). It was replaced by The Edge TV on 27 June 2014 while Four was replaced by a local feed of Bravo two years later (see below).
    • MTV Canada began as a channel known as talktv, which aired talk shows (mostly reran from sister broadcast network CTV, but including live shows such as The Chatroom as well). In 2006, the channel re-launched as MTV, but had to get creative to work around requirements for Canadian content, and the genres of programming it was required to air (it could definitely not air music programming due to then-CRTC rules, which prohibited direct competition with channels such as MuchMusic), leading it to be skewed more towards talk and lifestyle programming, and aired MTV's current reality programming. As the CRTC eased its rules in the mid-2010s and Bell cut back on original studio programming on its specialty channels, most of its lineup is now primarily scripted reruns.
    • In the 90s and early 2000s, MTV Brazil started moving towards variety shows (some had relation to music, such as a soccer tournament between musicians and a movie show that showed videos for songs popularized in soundtracks). Then in 2006 they decided to pull the plug on their TRL equivalent, marking the point where the decay became irreversible - even if music countdowns and such are still featured (though not as popular\prominent as the comedy and tween-focused shows). Then in 2013 the "original" MTV, with the broadcast signal and owned by a media conglomerate under the license of Viacom, was closed and the new cable channel under Viacom command is still barely about music.
    • MTV Russia's CEO Nikolay Kartoziya, after years of decay the same as American MTV, eventually decided to call it quits and launched a brand new channel - Pyatnica! (literally "Friday!"), which carry over non-music lineup from its local MTV feed in addition to original programming. Viacom relaunched MTV Russia as a satellite channel shortly afterward. (Interestingly, MTV Russia's main competitor, Muz-TV, did the same thing a couple of years earlier. Muz-TV's own case of decay is covered on Temporary Shifts subpage.)
  • MTV2 started out as an actual music channel and, for a while after buying out the competing Box music network, became a true haven for music fans with its innovative and bizarre themed video blocks. After introducing the "two-headed dog" logo, MTV2 more or less became "MTV with hip-hop and rock videos" (or, more simply, MTV, too). Even then, hip-hop became the dominant genre on the channel; the indie rock-centric Subterranean, was pushed into the unsatisfactory timeslot of 1:00 AM on Friday mornings before being canned in 2011.
    • After launching Guy Code in 2011 and reviving Wild 'N Out, MTV2 began producing more guy-centric programming to match the predominately female-oriented shows on its parent network. They've even aired the Marvel Anime anthology while G4 was winding down. After three seasons, Wild 'N Out gained enough momentum to return to MTV proper for its eighth season. Soon after that, however, Viacom's 2017 restructuring plan went into effect. With all the focus on the flagship network, including a revival of TRL, MTV2 began to regress yet again. The network scrapped its remaining original programming, and eventually stopped airing its early morning music videos blocks, leaving it with nothing but 90's sitcoms and other rerun fare.
    • MTV2 Europe didn't stop playing music videos, but abandoned its mission to play obscure music (120 Minutes being a casualty of this). It was an unpredictable channel that could play any genre the other channels weren't playing, commercial-free all day, starting out as "M2" in 1998. Then commercial interests came calling, and the alternative music ended: Zane Lowe stopped hosting Gonzo for good, MTV2 became MTV Two and focused on playing well-known guitar pop bands.
      • Its name was changed to "MTV Rocks" in 2010. Its evening schedule consisted of two hours of "Kasabian vs. The Killers vs. Kings Of Leon", bands that were all promoted in 2002-04 by MTV2 before they were famous — but crucially they weren't the only thing it played.
    • The Canadian MTV2, which was originally the Canadian MTV (long story short, there was lots of reshuffling), downgraded to playing almost nothing but The Challenge: Free Agents and Comedy Now!
  • Tr3s is a Spanish-language MTV channel that was formerly MTV's regular schedule with Gratuitous Spanish and subtitles. However, many viewers have wised up to their own local favorite networks being on cable and satellite under 'Latino tiers', along with YouTube and radio blurring the lines between English and Spanish music. Currently, the network is a little-watched automated playlist of music videos waiting for Viacom to notice it and have the plug pulled.
  • MTV's subscription channels have followed a similar pattern, with the metal-centric MTVX being replaced by the rap-centric MTV Jams. Same with VH-1 Soul (CMT Pure was more a natural name change from the awkward VH1 Country). MTV Hits became NickMusic in October 2016, a Viacom-owned sister channel that plays hit music geared towards young teens. It also features Nickelodeon characters in the breaks between videos and even plays videos from stars of the network's shows. As with Tr3s though, it drifted towards some out-of-demographic music, for several reasons, such as most of the good artists in teen music being a part of Disney Channel (and Nick not wanting to promote those artists over their few breakouts), natural aging of teen artists towards risqué content, and YouTube making it utterly pointless to wait for a favorite artist's video being carried in crummy standard definition with a bunch of ad banners around the screen.
  • VH1 was launched to stave off competition from Ted Turner's Cable Music Channel (which shut down before VH-1 launched; the latter took over the former's channel space) and originally targeted the demographic that had grown out of MTV with videos by "adult contemporary" artists (Phil Collins, et al.). From there it added shows themed around music from the 1960s and '70s, plus some stand-up comedy programs to vary the lineup, and by the end of The '90s it found a niche in music-related films (Footloose, The Wall, etc.) and documentary and trivia shows like Behind the Music and Pop-Up Video. Starting at the Turn of the Millennium, however, it slowly turned into a channel mainly dedicated to airing shows mocking the pop culture of prior decades by getting washed-up D-list celebrities of said eras and young comedians to comment on items from the pop culture of those prior decades. From there it moved to D-list celebrity shows and only showed music videos for a few hours in the mornings. Its decay came full circle when, in November 2015, VH-1 shunted its video blocks in favor of sitcom reruns. It has since dropped most of the D-list celebrity shows in favor of reality shows, most notably RuPaul's Drag Race. And then in the 2020s, even THESE shows were gone, with most of them having migrated to the channel's healthier (by comparison) sister network MTV. In 2023, as part of their company-wide restructuring, Paramount announced consideration of selling their BET and VH 1 networks to other suitors; time will tell what happens.
    • VH-1 Classic may have anticipated this, launching as a station devoted purely to music and 1970s-'90s music videos and occasional music movies. It briefly decayed when it started airing VH-1 shows in the off-hours, but reversed it with music festivals like Download and well-received talk shows like That Metal Show. While some movies had tenuous music connections, it dropped Married... with Children reruns in favor of Saturday Night Live (which has musical guests who sometimes double as hosts) and the channel's meat and potatoes remained as long video blocks and vintage concerts/concert films and documentaries. It found a niche in Hard Rock and Heavy Metal-related programs and was the only MTV channel to acknowledge the original's 30th anniversary in 2011, via a whole weekend of classic segments and promos.
      • Exactly five years later, it was completely overhauled into MTV Classic, which features music videos from the 1980s, '90s and early 2000s as well as concert shows such as Unplugged on the one hand, and reruns of original shows from The '90s and the Turn of the Millennium on the other. Unfortunately, the newly-minted channel garnered abysmal ratings compared to its previous format (as low as only 35,000 regular viewers according to That Other Wiki). As a result, MTV Classic has since become yet another video-only channel starting in January 2017, and its ratings have predictably continued to dwindle. On the plus side, at least it's doing what regular MTV hardly ever does, show music videos.
  • The Nashville Network, a country-music-and-culture-oriented channel, was taken off-course after Viacom's acquisition of Westinghouse/CBS. The company decided, despite having been co-owned even before the merger, that TNN was redundant to its sister: the more music-oriented Country Music Television. TNN began to morph into a genreless entertainment channel known as The National Network (otherwise later known as "The New TNN", even after it ceased to be "new"), with a focus on off-network reruns in an attempt to compete with the USA Network. TNN would become the male-centric SpikeTV in 2003, and after fifteen years, the network was relaunched once more as Paramount Network. See the "Slipped" section for more on how all that worked out.
  • Ironically, CMT also drifted towards programming with little if any connection to country music. In something of a double decay, CMT in 2007 began drifting away from that, showing reruns of shows such as Hogan Knows Best and Nanny 911 and movies with little-to-no relation to country music. Even Time Warner Cable noticed, suing Viacom for not airing a network consisting of mainly country programming. Viacom responded with corporate buzz speak about how country fans prefer "a greater variety of programming" with "the same types of values and stories embodied by country music".
    • CMT would slide back though. In addition to still showing more videos than any other basic-cable music channel at the time, CMT found something of a niche with Deep South-flavored programming — The Dukes of Hazzard reruns and a country-specific reboot of The Singing Bee, to name a few examples. Meanwhile, sister channel CMT Pure Country (originally VH-1 Country and renamed CMT Music in 2016) is still entirely video-focused, even showing videos from the '80s and '90s.
    • CMT went as far as bringing back Nashville for two more seasons after it was canceled by ABC. But sadly, that was as far as they got before the network was left out of Viacom's 2017 turnaround plan. Through CMT still produces programs related to country music and related lifestyle fare, its acquired slate would devolve into generic sitcoms and movies, while its music video blocks were cut back to accommodate this shift. Among the movies they've shown ever since, one wonders why exactly Kung Fu Panda would be relevant towards a country/Southern-themed network.
    • CMT Canada started as NCN (New Country Network), which was originally intended to be a Canadian expy of CMT before re-branding as its official Canadian version.note  Even as MuchMusic was beginning to dramatically cut its music programming, it was still maintaining a good amount of music content in its lineup, with daytime devoted to music videos, as well as the weekly top 20 countdown, and occasional original concert specials. However, much like its U.S. counterpart, it soon began to chip away at its music programming. Unlike its American counterpart, CMT Canada's original programming was generic family-targeting fare that had nothing to do with Canadian country music. The evening lineup would also eventually become unrelated sitcoms and reality shows. While shows like The Dukes of Hazzard and Reba could get by on the fact that they can be tied to the overall country music culture (and the latter starred a country singer, to begin with), other shows don't have the excuse. Extreme Makeover: Home Edition was even airing on CMT at the time its Canadian counterpart started airing it.
      • After Shaw Media was subsumed into Corus in 2016, CMT began to throw in TruTV, HGTV, and DIY Network shows in primetime. On the bright side, soon after it premiered in the U.S, CMT Canada also began airing Nashville's fifth reruns; new episodes were airing on W Network.
      • In late-August 2017, CMT abruptly dropped all of its country music video programming for the new season. The network's schedule is now dominated by sitcom repeats, with a Labor Day weekend filled almost entirely with a marathon of Will & Grace, on top of numerous programs already seen on Corus' sibling networks (including M*A*S*H, a mainstay of sister channel History Canada. note ). Unsurprisingly, the Canadian country music industry, as well as fans, are NOT taking this well, especially after what happened to other music networks in the country. In the interest of deregulation, the CRTC has been in the process of removing much of the genre restriction and programming rules that kept Canadian specialty channels from going off the rails like this and replacing them with generic terms that apply to all channels instead. The CRTC did keep a license condition requiring Corus to use a percentage of CMT's revenue to fund Canadian country music videos but amended it to no longer require that they be for country songs. There are absolutely no country music-themed programs, nor any music-themed programs in general, and one channel guide describes the channel as a home to light-hearted movies and sitcoms.
  • BET Her (formerly Centric; before that, BET J) was originally called BET on Jazz and focused on, believe it or not, jazz. Concerts, videos, wonderful old Panoram films, occasional spoken-word programs, and nothing else, 24/7. The revamped version is mostly talk shows and general-interest programming aimed at a relatively mature African-American audience; the little music they play is Caribbean or soul. Part of the reason for the revamp is so that BET could itself continue its own decay (see Major Shifts That Fit) and focus more on the youth audience.
  • The TV Guide Channel, formerly the Prevue Guide/Prevue Channel. Originally, it was a nice little channel that gave the local TV listings and the weather, along with unobtrusive text ads, using Teletext-style graphics set to music from a local radio station. In the late 80s, it added Muzak and dedicated half of the screen to trailers with the rare show (or whatever the cable company wanted to advertise), typically running from an Amiga computer. By 1993, they'd also expanded to a pay-per-view centric sibling called Sneak Prevue. It was later bought by TV Guide, which mutated it into the channel it is today. When TV Guide took over, the listings were further pushed down the screen so as to make more room to show talking heads blabbing about reality shows, awards ceremonies, and whatever Britney did. When Lionsgate acquired the network in 2009, the listings were removed altogether when contractually possible, prompting a few cable companies to drop the channel; although this has since been reversed. Eventually, the tabloid shows went away due to budget cuts, and it became a Lionsgate TV rerun farm. It could be argued that this change was made to compete with Internet channel listings and the electronic program guide features available with satellite and digital cable packages (which allow viewers to scroll through the listings at will and select channels from the menu), including ones developed by the same people in charge of Prevue/TV Guide (irony much?); the HD version of the network has no listings whatsoever.
    • In 2013, CBS bought a stake in the channel, which rebranded as "TVGN" on an interim basis (TVG, a horse racing network, was formerly TV Guide Network's sister network, so there was good reason for it to get a better name to avert confusion). CBS moved Big Brother After Dark to the network from Showtime 2 at the start of the 2013 season to give TVGN a boost, and it also grabbed same-day The Young and the Restless episodes from the dying SoapNet, as well as The Bold and the Beautiful. In January 2015, TVGN re-launched as Pop TV, which started out focused on pop culture-related programs, but with the success of Schitt's Creek and the 2020 pickup of the present-day ''One Day at a Time'', looks to be making a name for itself, especially after CBS bought the entire network from Lionsgate in 2019.
  • The Nicktoons channel was originally created as a network to show all Nicktoons in the past 11 years, plus some original programming exclusive to the network. However, around the late 2000's/early 2010's, Nicktoons slowly started airing live-action shows that already air on the main channel and or TeenNicknote . By the 2010s, it quickly became little more than a dumping ground for shows no longer wanted on the main network because they didn't immediately pull in the same ratings as SpongeBob SquarePants.
  • TeenNick, which took its name from the TEENick block, was intended to broadcast reruns of live-action Nick shows (mainly the ones that originated on the TEENick block) as well as original shows like The Nightlife and TeenNick Top 10. It also became widely known for the NickRewind block debuting in 2011, serving as a showcase for classic Nickelodeon series. However, as its original content drew in less and less ratings (mainly due to the network continually screwing them over), TeenNick phased them out, with the network slowly becoming little more than "Nick Rewind surrounded by endless reruns of Nick kidcoms", alongside the occasional rerun or simulcast of new, non-live-action Nickelodeon series. It's gotten to the point where more than a few have speculated that Nick Rewind is the only reason the network exists, seeing as it didn't gain an HD version until 2016, which even then is limited to just IPTV providers and some internet services. With NickRewind's eventual closure in 2022 (see below), the future of the channel seems to be destined for endless marathons and reruns of Nickelodeon's sitcoms; the channel infamously spent August and September endlessly airing Henry Danger, despite its creator coming under heavy scrutiny at the time.
    • Even NickRewind eventually succumbed to decay. The block used to shift around several older Nick programs, both live-action and animated. After a while, however, they became narrowly focused on the Nicktoons, and even then had a limited supply of cartoons they aired regularlynote . Any live-action show that wasn't Kenan & Kel or All That basically wouldn't show up on television unless it was a special event, and even those shows (especially All That, probably why they changed the name from The 90s Are All That) received less and less airtime over the years. This was justifiable in that most of these were the most popular shows among the block's target demographic (especially the Nicktoons) and the block had a limited amount of airspace, but many fans wanted to see other shows on the block as well. In June 2019, the block was reduced to two hours starting at 4 A.M. with the rest of the time dedicated to teen-oriented programming from MTV and AwesomenessTV. This was later pushed back to give the block a 1 A.M. starting time, but this was still a downgrade from the block's previous starting times, which were usually midnight or earlier. While they got somewhat back on track around 2021, they began including mid-2000s Nick shows also considered nostalgic by that point, though this was often done to hype up the block's online services and Paramount+ and was mostly relegated to to weekends — the weekdays continued to only rotate the same five Nicktoons. With a majority of the block's shows available on DVD, and nearly all of them (as well as the NickRewind branding) showing up on the then newly-launched Paramount+, many felt that NickRewind's days were numbered... something that'd come to a head on January 31, 2022, when the block quietly bowed down with an iCarly marathon.
  • CBS Media Venturesnote  launched the over-the-air multicast network Dabl in 2019 (shortly before parent company National Amusements completed the re-merger of Viacom and CBS Corporation) with a lifestyle and reality programming format aimed at women (featuring series like Martha Stewart Living, Jamie's 30-Minute Meals, Undercover Boss and 60 Minute Makeover and even same-season reruns of The Drew Barrymore Show). In December 2023, ironically as reports that the company was considering selling its BET Media Group division resurfaced, Dabl was relaunched as a comedy network aimed at Black audiences featuring an initial slate of Paramount-distributed 1990s and 2000s sitcoms (most of which originally aired on the now-defunct UPN, itself known for being a haven for Black sitcoms as other major networks stopped catering to the demographic) like Girlfriends, One on One, The Game, Sister, Sister and Moesha. Paramount retained ownership of and distribution rights to the network and supplied programming, but handed over operational duties to Weigel Broadcasting (owner of rerun-focused networks like MeTV, Heroes & Icons and Start TV).note 

    Fox Sports Examples 
A major restructuring of Fox's cable division in Fall 2013—itself the result of the breakup of News Corporation, which was renamed 21st Century Fox (now Fox Corporation) while the publishing businesses were spun out to the newly-formed News Corp.—lead to the decay, relaunch, and replacement of several networks:

  • Speed was formerly known as Speedvision, and aired a much wider variety of programming back in the day, including documentaries and series about classic cars, automakers and racing teams, occasional Barret-Jackson auctions, coverage of various professional racing leagues (including Formula One, along with the SCCA World Challenge, which it even sponsored for a period), and others. In 2001, Fox bought a majority stake in Speedvision. Under Fox ownership, it was re-launched as Speed, but in reality, it had slowly morphed into what was effectively the NASCAR Network (Fox had later acquired the association's new unified television contract for the first half of the season in the Winston Cup and Busch Series, and then bought out ESPN's rights to the Truck Series). By the late 2000s, it had wiped out all of its automotive programming in favor of endless tuner reality competitions, and reruns of Pimp My Ride among other low-bar shows. By 2011, about 75% of Speed's lineup was devoted to NASCAR-related programming, including qualifying, practice sessions, and the full Truck Series season. They still aired other series (most notably the Rolex Sports Car Series and American Le Mans Series, which merged in 2014 to form the Tudor United SportsCar Championship), but they were often punted into obscure time slots or as counter-programming for NASCAR broadcasts on other networks. They even aired luge and bobsled events as filler over the winter months, but there was some NASCAR Character Overlap thanks to Geoff Bodine (who also builds bobsleds).

    In late 2012, signs began pointing towards total abandonment: they lost Formula One to NBC Sports Network (who later lost it to ESPN), and rumors began swirling that Fox was planning to re-launch Speed as a mainstream sports network, which was something that Fox, surprisingly, didn't have yet. note  On March 5, 2013, Fox officially unveiled Fox Sports 1, set for a launch on August 17, 2013, but not before Speed signed off at 6 A.M. with a sobering farewell speech. FS1 continues to air NASCAR programming, having added Xfinity Series and Cup Series races for the first half of the season beginning in 2015, as well as all Truck Series races (except the Truck Series race at Talladega in October, which is usually aired on the main Fox network). Prior to this, only the All-Star Race and Duels in Daytona were on Speed; FX had aired races under the 2001-06 TV deal, and all Sprint Cup races aired on Fox for the time being).
    • But for extra Total Abandonment points, Fox Sports 1 canceled Speed Center and the long-running Wind Tunnel with Dave Despain, both of which still contained some coverage of non-NASCAR racing series. Ironically, NASCAR Race Hub was initially moved from 6 pm to either 4:30 or noon depending on the day of the week (and sometimes a third separate timeslot, which made DVRs a must for anyone who wanted to watch during this period) and shrunk to a half-hour, while NASCAR Raceday, the pre-pre-race show that dates all the way back to 2001 and is now on its second Channel Hop (the first being to Speed from Fox Sports Net), was also cut in half, to one hour - but still kept in its traditional 10am Sunday start time (excluding night races), to the confusion of many. However, within one month Race Hub was back to one hour, and within nine months was firmly planted at 5 pm,note  while Raceday regained its second hour during Summer 2014 (although it shed said hour again at the beginning of 2015, excluding the Daytona 500). One major cause seems to be the lack of rating life for anything except motorsportsnote , UFC and Major League Baseball, the only things consistently able to draw above 100,000 viewers. The four highest-rated programs in FS1's first year were the three non-points NASCAR Sprint Cup races and an impromptu broadcast of the rain-delayed Bristol race (approximately tripling the usual MLB ratings).
    • In Canada and several other international North American markets, FS1 did not replace Speed. It would be impossible to get FS1 approved in Canada as major conglomerates don't take kindly to foreign networks trying to tread on the turf of established equivalents, plus, the rights to the remainder of its properties are held by said conglomerates. Thus, Speed was silently replaced by an international version that airs FS1 and FS2's motorsports events but is otherwise an automated zombie loop of old Speed reality shows. This feed was re-branded as Fox Sports Racing on February 20, 2015, but with no changes to its programming. A number of major Canadian providers began to drop the network in 2015 (though the rebranding also coincided with its return to Rogers Cable as a "new" network).
  • Fuel TV was known as one of the lowest-viewed channels on cable television because of their heavy reliance on extreme sports, like surfing and skateboarding, which are usually best experienced outside. They stuck to their mission even with the low ratings and limited distribution, and even their few original comedy shows were based around extreme sports.

    In 2012 the network became the official cable home of the Ultimate Fighting Championship. Mixed martial arts were considered to be a niche extreme sport at the time, and the sport's rise helped draw Fuel out of the Nielsen basement. The UFC and Speed reality shows would take over as contracts with Fuel TV's program providers ran out. Fuel was eventually re-branded as Fox Sports 2, following the relaunch of Speed. The UFC moved to Fox Sports 1, and Fox Sports 2 was expected to air sports events that don't quite fit on FS1.
    • These events would include rugby, Australian rules football and, ironically enough, some of the remaining non-NASCAR racing series from Speed, such as Lucas Oil Off-Road and the Rolex Sports Car Series. Interestingly, Fox Sports decided to re-up for a five year deal with the United Sports Car Championship, a merger between the Rolex cars and the American Le Mans Series set to launch in 2014.
  • Fox Soccer started as Fox Sports World, which aired a variety of sports from around the world, including motorsports (remember, this was before they bought Speed), rugby, cricket, etc. Then, it eroded into just soccer, prompting the rebranding. However, with the death of Setanta Sports due to the Irish debt crisis, FSC started up a Spin-Off network called Fox Soccer Plus, and added rugby, cricket, and eventually (after a stint on ESPN) Aussie football to that network's schedule, which quelled this for a time.

    This would not last either, as shortly after they lost the rights to the airing English Premier League to NBC (taking much of its soccer programming with it), Fox announced that in March 2013, it would be launching a new spinoff of FX known as FXX. Without a doubt, it replaced Fox Soccer, while the remaining soccer programming moved to Fox Sports 1 & 2 depending on prominence. Fox Soccer Plus remains on the air though, airing soccer that isn't prominent to air on the new Fox Sports channels (rumors have swirled that it'll be rebranded as Fox Sports 3). Fox Soccer News, the soccer news show that the Canadian channel Sportsnet produced for the network got replaced with an in-house soccer show on FS1 after its launch which few of FSC's viewers believed would last a few months (while Sportsnet re-launched the program as Soccer Central with its own branding); they were proven right as it went on a never-to-return hiatus once the NFL playoffs began and when FS1 and FS2 got the rights to the video simulcast of Mike Francesa's afternoon radio show (formerly on the nationally-limited YES Network, which Fox bought a majority-stake in back in 2012)).

    FXX's launch featured a final Fox Sports 1 promo, followed by footage of a soccer game being interrupted by that scene from It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia where a couch gives birth to Frank Reynolds. It Makes Sense in Context. Ironically, soccer would briefly return to the network on July 15, 2017, when the United States' last group stage match in the CONCACAF Gold Cup was relegated to the network due to conflicts with Fox and FS1. While it could have theoretically been put on FS2, it is not available in as many households as FXX or FS1, and Fox likely did not want to put a U.S. men's national team match on a lesser-viewed channel designed primarily for niche events and lower-tier overflow. This ended up being the only sports event telecast on the network post-Fox Soccer, as Disney (parent of Fox Sports rival ESPN) bought 21st Century Fox and took all of its non-broadcasting/sports/news assets, including FX Networks, with it.

    NBCUniversal / Comcast Examples 
  • Bravo originally focused on independent cinema and the arts; for example, it was the U.S. outlet for Cirque du Soleil specials/shows for years. They also featured what they termed "TV too good for TV": reruns of past artsy cult-favorite shows like Twin Peaks and Max Headroom shown unedited and free of commercial interruption. Original owners Rainbow Media (also the owner of AMC and IFC, which is a spin-off of Bravo) sold the channel to minority partner NBC in 2002, who originally intended to retool it into a non-genre entertainment channel, not unlike TBS, TNT, and eventual corporate sibling USA Network. Around 2004, it began a switch over to a pop-culture/occupational reality show format in the wake of hits like Queer Eye for the Straight Guy, with occasional stragglers like Inside the Actors' Studio still inexplicably present (though in 2019, it moved to Ovation, and James Lipton would retire before his death in March 2020). They've also shown Law & Order: Criminal Intent and House reruns, which are contrary to their reality programming, and built a whole franchise out of The Real Housewives in The New '10s.
    • The Canadian version of Bravo was also oriented towards arts and culture-related programming, and also aired independently produced short films from Canadian artists financed through the channel's Bravo!Fact fund. By the late 2000s, it began to shift away from the arts and culture programming (besides Inside the Actors' Studio), but unlike its American counterpart, it decided to turn into a drama-oriented entertainment channel. Bravo would pick up top-rated series such as Mad Men, pad its schedule with re-runs of CTV and CHUM dramas, and acquire the obligatory syndicated crime drama (Criminal Minds, in this case). This shift was even more pronounced under its current owners at Bell Media, who would later introduce an entirely new logo for the channel. In 2018, Bell Media announced they would do away with the Bravo name entirely and relaunch the channel as CTV Drama. They even air critically acclaimed shows such as The Handmaid's Tale (based on a novel by Canadian author Margaret Atwood) and Killing Eve, which are otherwise not available in Canada by normal means.
  • E! Entertainment Television originally showed movie previews, soap opera and talk show recap programs, and many making-of documentaries and specials that covered everything from theater to animation, serving as a sort of MTV for movie and TV buffs. It eventually became all about celebrity news (i.e. gossip) and True Hollywood Stories. Then it started airing all sorts of non-celebrity-related reality programs. With shows like The Girls Next Door, Keeping Up With the Kardashians (and its many spinoffs) and two shows by bawdy comic Chelsea Handlernote , it comes as no surprise that in some commercials (and even The Soup) E! openly acknowledges itself as a guilty pleasure channel.
    • The Canadian version of E! plays constant reruns of the CSI: Miami, Bones, and other related shows in addition to CTV talk shows and a few other CanCon shows such as Flashpoint, but it's safe to say that there's not very much difference between the American and Canadian channels, notwithstanding that its original name was Star!, including the exclamation point.
  • E!'s sister network, Style Network, launched as a network which stuck on two popular things in E!'s late-1990s scheduling — their fashion and design coverage — and when it launched it showed mostly runway shows and interior design programs designed to show off the current "styles" of a time period. This decayed into very generic reality programming (in order to not outshine sister network Oxygen) and Sex and the City reruns. In fall of 2013, it was abruptly replaced with the metrosexual-themed Esquire Network, a fate that was supposed to fall on G4TV.
    • Surprisingly, Style Network's Australian counterpart outlived its parent by over six years before the plug was pulled. It abruptly ceased broadcasting on 17 December 2019, after losing carriage on Foxtel, when the company changed around their lineup and UNI decided to consolidate programming on several networks, also ending operations of sister networks 13th Street and Syfy at the end of 2019.
  • G4, a television network that initially focused on videogames and geek culture. Despite featuring a slew of shows that are well-thought-of today, the network struggled from the beginning, with the ratings that were brought in failing to please the network executives. This wasn't helped by the fact that few networks wanted to carry G4 apart from their owner, Comcast. To solve the problem Comcast used its deep pockets to buy out independent channel Tech TV, a popular computer enthusiast network with better ratings and merged them into one channel, G4TechTV. This is where many would cite as when the roots of decay took hold, as the "merger" itself resulted in the jettison of almost all of the existing TechTV staff and programs in the process. The new name itself only lasted a year before the channel dropped all pretense and reverted to the G4TV name.

    The decay only grew from there, as G4 then underwent a retool into a "geeky" male-oriented channel under then-new president Neal Tiles. G4TV's lineup was a cross between male-targeting shows (COPS, Japanese game shows such as Ninja Warrior and Unbeatable Banzuke) and sci-fi/fantasy/comic-book-related shows Star Trek, Lost, and Heroes, yet actual programs related to both channel's original formats (video games and technology) were drawn down. At this point, the only shows left on the network that were relevant to either channel's former demographics were X-Play and Attack of the Show!, both of which dated back to TechTV. Outside of these shows, and to put in perspective of how little anyone else thought of G4 as the years went by, the premiere of Proving Ground got 31,000 viewers, while the UFC passed by the opportunity to own G4 for their own network for a deal with Fox..

    DirecTV found so little to value in the network that they dropped it, which they almost never do in comparison with Dish Network. With the departure of network veterans and hosts of the few remaining gaming and technology shows, Adam Sessler (co-host of X-Play) and Kevin Pierera (host of Attack of the Show!), and the subsequent cancellation of both ''X-Play'' and ''Attack Of The Show'' by the end of 2012, the channel's death was seemingly imminent.

    Plans were made to re-launch G4 as Esquire Network, but on September 9, 2013, NBC changed their minds and announced it would replace Style Network instead. The reason? Style was carried on more cable systems than G4, most critically DirecTV. G4, meanwhile, was pulled from Comcast's own cable lineup in January 2014; every other remaining major provider removed it about the same time. The end finally came at 11:59 PM Eastern time on December 31, 2014, when AT&T U-verse and the few remaining small cable providers that still had G4 dropped the network, almost a full two years from when it was originally supposed to end. The story found a happy ending in July 2020, when it was announced the network would be relaunched as a digital streaming network in 2021, only for it to shut down again in 2022.
    • As an epilogue: In December 2016, Esquire ended up losing the DirecTV carriage anyways (as well as virtually every other cable provider besides FiOS); this was as a direct result of Esquire Network's own decay. Esquire's initial lineup of "upscale" reality programming plus G4 holdovers brought in such little viewership that, in a desperate attempt to gain traction, the network degraded into yet another dumping ground for crime drama repeats and documentaries. Esquire Network fell victim to the new common reasoning for dropping repeat-heavy channels: that the repeats on that channel are also on Netflix, Hulu, and an assortment of other networks (in Esquire's case, it's sibling networks), making it pointless to keep. In 2017, Comcast finally threw their hands up in the air and discontinued Esquire Network, with plans to shift its content to an online-exclusive model. This eventually turned out to be NBC and Hearst letting viewers down easy; as of 2018, Esquire's 'video' channel basically is the same 'behind the scenes' videos of magazine shoots and food videos most magazines of its ilk have.
    • Surprisingly, G4's Canadian counterpart outlived its parent by over three years before the plug was pulled. It too slipped so far that the CRTC informed its owner, Rogers, that the network was deviating too heavily from its purpose, which was to air technology-related programming. Rogers tried to have the nature of service changed, citing that most people now get their technology news from digital outlets, all while drifting between [adult swim] shows and OLN repeats. The network lost X-Play and Attack of the Show from the G4 mothership and had not produced any tech-centric content of its own since 2006. the only original programs aired by G4 Canada were EP Daily (formerly The Electric Playground) and its Spin-Off Reviews on the Run (two long-running, Canadian-produced video gaming/entertainment shows that channel hopped to Citytv and G4 from A-Channel and Space). Not to mention, it was still re-running episodes of Call for Help and The Lab with Leo LaPorte that talked about Windows XP and the original iPod as "current technology", with most tips and calls being only pertinent to a grandmother that refuses to switch out the Dell Dimension she bought in 2003.

      Aside from those, the channel fulfilled its "technology" mandate by airing old History Channel shows about military technology (Tactical to Practical and Man, Moment, Machine), and the British programs Bang Goes The Theory and Rude Tube (the latter is sort of of a Transatlantic Equivalent of the aforementioned Web Soup). Then EP Daily and Reviews on the Run got canceled as they shifted entirely to digital, and the network largely became a dumping ground for City and OLN reruns (as well as, ironically, the aforementioned Campus PD). Despite the fact that the CRTC was mass-deregulating channels and could have, theoretically, broken away from the tech mandate once and for all, Rogers decided to pull the plug on August 31, 2017.
  • NBCSN, formerly Versus and originally the Outdoor Life Network (licensed from a magazine of the same name), originally focused on outdoorsy stuff like hunting and fishing. Then their annual coverage of the Tour de France became popular, due to Lance Armstrong's utter dominance at the Tour. They then acquired the rights to the NHL which, unless they were playing a hockey game outside, didn't fit the channel's format. Around the same time, they started to focus on extreme sports and college sports (although stuck with only covering lower-tier games from conferences in the western half of the country despite being based out of Philadelphia - because the Worldwide Leader got almost everything else - and out of New England prior to that), resulting in a name change to "Versus". In 2012, following Comcast's purchase of NBC and the subsumption of Versus and sister network Golf Channel into the NBC Sports division, Versus was rebranded as the NBC Sports Network (later shortened to NBCSN) to become a 24-hour cable extension of NBC Sports, and perhaps to directly compete with ESPN. Low-brow programming such as Groin Attack clip shows and Sports Soup was abandoned the moment NBC took over.

    The rebranding does have positive aspects. Once neglected and obscure sports like hockey and mixed martial arts have received much better exposure and viewership, since they aired on the network, with the UFC being able to get a lucrative deal with Fox as a result. NBC's handling of Soccer, and especially the English Premier League, received universal praise, while its acquisition of Formula One kept the better parts of Fox's coverage (including their commentators). NBCSN has also been used to broadcast a larger amount of live Olympic coverage; considering NBC's previous tendencies to broadcast events Live but Delayed, fans had approval for the decision. It may even be a case of NBC's sports coverage Growing the Beard as a whole. Back when the main network was the only place NBC put its sports broadcasts, they were infamous for giving little to no promotion for sports that weren't the Olympics or the NFL - in other words, they wouldn't promote the sports that really needed it - and overloading those broadcasts with too many commercial breaksnote 
    • The network still devotes a good portion of its channel space for outdoor programming; much of the outdoor programming on weekdays is brokered (meaning the producer pays NBCSN for the time and they get revenue, whether 8 or 80,000 viewers watch). This still snarls the channel's attempts to get studio programming off the ground; it may have been a big culprit in the demise of the network's attempt at an early-morning highlight show, "The 'Lights". NBCSN is in no hurry to remove the programming in bulk unless each individual show somehow runs into some kind of political buzzsaw or another, since they don't have to program that time slot. In any case, even if an NBCSN outdoor show gets cancelled, other outdoor networks now exist with much better quality controls than they had even five years ago, and the only issue is finding where your favorite hunting show hopped to.
    • Eventually, with the continued trend of cord-cutting hitting sports networks hard, NBC failing to expand its sports portfolio beyond NASCAR, EPL and the NHL, and the launch of Peacock resulting in some events being redirected from NBCSN to there, NBC gave up and announced that the sports network would cease operations at the end of 2021, moving most of its sports programming to Peacock and fellow cable outlet USA Network.note  This could be seen as a positive for that network, as USA was known for airing a lot more sports back in the '80s and '90s as a variety network in the vein of TBS and TNT; by the time NBC announced NBCSN's closure, WWE Raw and WWE NXT were their only regular sports-related programs, with the rest of the schedule being endless Law & Order: Special Victims Unit and Chicago P.D. reruns (which one could easily watch on other nets) as well as low-brow reality television programs, a far cry from the network's days airing now-classic dramedy series like Monk, Psych and Burn Notice. Curiously, NBC opted out of a contract extension with the NHL, despite being a ratings staple for the network for almost two decades, and the rights ended up getting split between ESPN and Turner Sports.note  Had NBC chose to keep the network on after that loss, NASCAR and EPL would've been the only noteworthy sports NBCSN would air, which would've caused cable providers and advertisers to bail (something NBC would really have liked to avoid after the aforementioned G4 and Esquire Network debacles).
  • Oxygen was once the anti-Lifetime, airing shows revolving around making women better, Xena: Warrior Princess and Roseanne reruns, and programming about yoga and improving yourself, along with women's sports. By the time NBC bought the channel in 2007, the original partners had long left, and the new management decided programming which exploited women such as the Bad Girls Club (which itself has long abandoned any attempts at reforming their subjects), Snapped (profiles about women killers which edge uncomfortably close to idolization) and multiple shows revolving around Tori Spelling's love life would do better. Some argue that the decay began as early as 2004 when, for around a year, Oxygen devoted late nights to the next rung below softcore porn (and Bowdlerised Canadian softcore porn) and a QVC-like block devoted to sex toys.
    • Between the shuttering of Cloo, Style Network being replaced with the Esquire Network, and NBCU putting all their focus on E! and Bravo, Oxygen would slowly narrow its focus towards crime programming which, to be fair, is very popular with female viewers. Owing to the ratings gained from their weekend true crime block (and endless reruns of ''Snapped'', which ended up surpassing Bad Girls Club to become Oxygen's longest-running series), NBCUniversal announced that Oxygen was becoming a true-crime channel in summer 2017, with a revival of TNT's Cold Justice being among the first programs under the new format. On one hand, Oxygen has become yet another crime drama repeat network, making the same mistake as Esquire Network by running shows that, on top of being available online and/or physically in some form, are staples of USA Network and other channels' lineups. On the other hand, the reviled Bad Girls Club has been in limbo because of the format change, and Oxygen was more widely carried than Cloo.
  • Cloo (known prior to 2011 as Sleuth) supposedly should have been devoted fully to crime drama reruns from the deep reservoir of Universal's vaults, but by the end was more known as the "USA Network Annex". Its programming consisted of programs already rerunning or original series from USA Network, with the only Universal shows seen being the ubiquitous SVU and Criminal Intent; those Universal crime drama reruns are seen on Cozi TV these days. In the summer of 2016, the head of NBC's cable division effectively gave the network its death sentence, as 'skinny bundles' came into vogue and rerun-only networks became verboten with the new age of Internet television providers who aren't willing to carry them. Dish Network and many other providers were dropping the network over the years, because its rerun-centric nature made it pointless when its programming can already be seen on other networks and online. Thus, Cloo ended their run quietly on February 1, 2017.
  • Syfy UK shows some heavily-promoted proper science fiction series, but mostly they construct their schedule from a mix of documentaries on the supernatural/occult/alien abduction, kung fu movies, MMA, action series (such as Human Target), frequent Buffy the Vampire Slayer reruns, disaster movies, monster movies, sword-and-sandal flicks, medieval adventure movies (First Knight and Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves?), all kinds of fantasy, and quirky dramas like Eli Stone. They also followed the American network's trend with the 2011 announcement that they will be showing the MMA promotion BAMMA for an year.
  • Originally created to air USA and Bravo's programming in HD before mainstream networks got 24/7 HD simulcast networks, Universal HD ultimately found itself wandering in the wilderness. Outside of airing Saturday night encores of WWE's weekly shows, remastered HD versions of Charlie's Angels and T.J. Hooker, and plenty of HD Universal Studios films, the network seemed to be the home of the worst network drama flops of the 2000s, which can count their episodes in the single to ten digits, by virtue of them solely being HD and cheap to buy because of their lack of success. As of June 2012, it had a habit of over airing episodes of the long-canceled (and failed in syndication) The Unit that went beyond Adored by the Network. Since the late-2015 shutdown of the Universal Sports channel (it was owned by InterMedia Partners, but NBC had a minority stake) and NBC Sports' assumption of its programming rights, the channel began to squeeze in sports broadcasts (mainly Olympic sports that are otherwise niche to the U.S. audience) as overflow for NBCSN into its daily marathons of House and White Collar. It turned out to be a hint towards the network's fate: on July 14, 2017, Universal HD was shut down in preparation for the launch of its replacement, Olympic Channel, the next day.
  • When U.S. television changed over to digital broadcasting, several NBC affiliates used a subchannel for NBC's "Nonstop" (e.g., "NBC Philadelphia Nonstop") brand. The programming consisted of news, public affairs, lifestyle and entertainment shows, much of it locally produced. As of December 20, 2012, it has become "Cozi TV", and now features such oldies as The Lone Ranger, Make Room for Daddy and The Real McCoys, many of which are sourced from the NBC Universal Television Distribution library. Some stations do produce a "(Insert city/region name here) Nightly News" broadcast at 7pm, and were kept from Nonstop to Cozi.
  • Chiller, a niche cable network dedicated to horror, didn't really decay... and yet the sad reality was that Netflix, Hulu and Amazon (and their more liberal content standards) pretty much made the 'horror movies with DRTV commercials in-between' model unsustainable. After absorbing FearNet it seemed to take the "auto-pilot" mode of decay, where little new stuff was made exclusively for the channel, and it became a neglected channel. The Babadook had the last scream on the network a minute before the end of 2017, as the last film aired on the network.
  • LX launched in September 2019 as a digital news service intended to reach Gen Z and millennial audiences (originally available on the web and social media platforms like YouTube). A related national linear/streaming channel launched on digital subchannels of local TV stations and FASTnote  platorms in May 2020, featuring daily live morning and evening news blocks (produced at NBC-owned KXAS-TV/Dallas-Fort Worth, which were eventually joined in 2022 by an afternoon news block featuring stories sourced from NBC's owned-and-operated stations) as well as other news, entertainment and lifestyle shows sourced from various NBC stations, co-owned lifestyle production unit LXTV Productions, and other providers including Jukin Media and Tastemade. Only a couple of months after the company announced it would "wind down" the network's operations, in August 2023, NBCUniversal changed course and opted instead to drop just the network's news content (making NBC News Now the company's only linear streaming news service) and relaunched it as the lifestyle-focused NBC LX Home, filling out the schedule with additional lifestyle, food and travel programs from LXTV's production library. Ironically, the shift to lifestyle content—occurring amid a broader lifestyle programming realignment on OTA multicast throughout 2023 into the start of 2024 (noted in the Dabl rebrand under Paramount/Viacom abandonment examples)—brought things full-circle as the linear LX network traces its roots to a lifestyle channel first launched exclusively on the NBC O&Os in 2009 that acted as a home for LXTV-produced content.

    Disney Examples 
  • Pat Robertson launched the CBN Satellite Service, a cable arm of his ministry, the Christian Broadcasting Network, in 1977. It gradually began to add more and more sitcom reruns, general entertainment, game shows, and other non-religious programming to its lineup throughout The '80s in a bid to make it onto basic cable lineups outside of the Bible Belt. As the ratio of religious to non-religious programming shifted, it became the CBN Family Channel, then the Family Channel, before being bought out by Fox and Saban Entertainment in 1997— rebranded to Fox Family Channel the year after— to serve as a cable sibling to Fox Kids. Fox Family floundered for a bunch of reasons and was sold, along with Fox Kids and Saban, to Disney in 2001, which wanted to rename the channel to "XYZ" to remarket it to a different audience by repurposing ABC shows. However, due to cable company contracts, they did not do so, instead of renaming it to ABC Family.

    Despite the network still retaining the family name, the station's shift to shows like Greek, Make It or Break It, Kyle XY, and The Secret Life of the American Teenager following Disney's acquisition was an indicator that ABC Family wasn't really all that family-oriented anymore. Outside of its weekend movie blocks, it transformed into a basic cable version of the former WB network. When you actually air a movie called Satan's School for Girls and a show like Slacker Cats on a channel with the word "family" in it, you are very much "a different kind of family"!note 

    A grand irony to all of this is that Pat Robertson was one of the Moral Guardians who objected to the Harry Potter series, yet the network was a long-time owner of the US broadcasting rights to the Harry Potter films and aired Potter marathons constantly until losing the rights to NBC. The 700 Club (required in the original contract with Pat Robertson) and a Sunday morning/late night Infomercial block filled with megachurch pastors were the only things left hinting at ABC Family's roots as a religious channel, and even then they were buried at 11:00 PM with a content warning containing an unequivocal "does not reflect the views of ABC Family" due to Robertson's laundry list of controversial statements and positions.note  They weren't even mentioned at all on the channel's website; you'll have to go to the CBN website for that. The only reason the network retained the religious programming block is that they were contractually obligated to - during the original sale of the network, a clause was put into the sale contract requiring not only that the CBN programming block be retained permanently, but that putting the same clause protecting the CBN block would need to be included in any future sales or transfers of the network.
    • The network eventually rebranded itself as Freeform in 2016, with a new focus on Millennials. Management also clarified that a commonly-heard rumor that the network was contractually forbidden from removing the word "Family" from its name without major repercussions was just an urban legend. As for the religious programming, it still remains on the network, but with the added ignominy of Freeform airing it at an even later timeslot.note 

      At this point though, the Freeform scheduling and promotions department has pretty much lost their last care about the 700 Club. Disclaimers before and after the show have taken a sarcastic tone, and now remind viewers that Pat Robertson had zero control of Freeform's app, VOD and Hulu platforms, and they don't mind if you go there to get your fix of The Bold Type during that time period, while "The Old Type" Pat went on about whatever he was angry about on a given night.
    • This sometimes happens with the themed programming blocks on the network, too, as they sometimes air movies that aren't related to the theme of those blocks. For instance, in 2021, the 31 Nights Of Halloween block showed Mrs. Doubtfire and Shrek, and the 25 Days of Christmas block, at one point during its' run, was fond of showing Harry Potter films, which only have brief Christmas scenes in them.
  • The Disney Channel originally had a lineup of Walt-era Disney movies, cartoons, and TV shows, combined with original documentaries about the company's various projects, a lot of interesting imported shows (especially from Canada), and such programming for adults as A Prairie Home Companion. As it lost ground to Nickelodeon in The '90s, and as Disney itself began to expand from a studio into a multimedia company, the channel started to focus more and more on kids. note  It shoved most of the vintage programs aside, interspersing about three hours of cartoons at 1:00 AM with hours and hours of tween-centered programs up to an including Boy Band concerts. The channel abandoned Vault Disney, The Ink and Paint Club, and other broadcasts of classic Disney media in favor of tween/teen shows featuring an actor/(idol) singer/songwriter/dancer, starting with the Hannah Montana and High School Musical franchises and Boy Band the Jonas Brothers. This focus seemed to rule The Walt Disney Company as a whole through the mid-to-late 2000s, aside from their acquisition of Pixar in 2006. Starting with the release of the 2D-animated feature The Princess and the Frog in 2009, everything in the company returned to their studio roots, but Disney's branded cable networks still cater exclusively to tweens and preschoolers.
  • Toon Disney started out as the Alternate Company Equivalent to Cartoon Network, airing animated shows from the Disney archive (and some that they had acquired, mostly from DiC Entertainment) and classic Disney shorts. It would end up becoming an arch-rival to Cartoon Network's Boomerang upon its launch in 2000. A couple of years later, Toon Disney underwent a major revamp, opting to air original, modern programming rather than endless repeats of older shows. All of the classic Disney shorts, as well as a majority of the DiC shows (including Adventures of Sonic the Hedgehog, which was a notable staple on Toon Disney since its 1998 launch), were dropped from the channel and shows that were originally on the One Saturday Morning block took their place. A year later, they started airing a growing number of non-Disney cartoons (including some from their arch-rival, Warner Bros.), and introduced Jetix, a block which featured shows like Power Rangers, Digimon, The Tick, and Jackie Chan Adventures. Jetix also aired on ABC Family, but would take a growing chunk of Toon Disney's airtime as the years went by, especially after ABC Family discontinued their broadcast of the block. Eventually, live-action shows and movies started appearing on the network, mirroring Cartoon Network's decay. Finally, in 2009, Toon Disney was relaunched as Disney XD — the Spear Counterpart to the increasingly female-focused Disney Channel. In other words, it finally became Jetix in all but name — in the process, dropping a significant portion of its remaining animated content to cram in episodes of Disney's tween-boy sitcoms, like The Suite Life, and produce even more of such shows.
    • You could say that all of this could have been avoided in the first place if Fox Family Worldwide (including Fox Kids, Fox Family Channel, and Saban Entertainment) wasn't acquired by Disney, who would introduce the Jetix branding to, eventually, replace all Fox Kids-branded outlets worldwide. But it had to be done; Fox Kids saw its ratings decline over the years, prompting Fox to sell Fox Family and lease out its Saturday morning block.
    • Ironically, in the years since Disney's purchase of Marvel Comics and Lucasfilm, Disney XD would start a process of relapse. Disney XD would slowly begin producing, airing, and acquiring more animated series, to the point that live-action programming is currently in the minority. In fact, Disney XD has not produced any new live-action shows since Mech-X4 in November 2016, and stopped making KidComs once Kirby Buckets went off the air in 2017. They also started playing video game-related shows and even contests and events related to them. Disney XD also aired anime such as Naruto Shippuden and Doraemon and they even aired Doctor Who for a few months, and in 2021, they stopped airing original programming, making them a rerun farm like Nicktoons or Boomerang.
    • In some other countries, it was common for Jetix to be introduced as a programming block on a network, regardless of that network's format, only for the block to eventually swallow the network whole. Ironically, this never happened to ABC Family or Toon Disney in the United States. At worst, Jetix would be Toon Disney's equivalent to Toonami on weeknights, if it became a late-night network like [adult swim]. As noted before, however, Jetix's presence on the channel, and the decay it brought, continually grew after ABC Family dropped the block. After Toon Disney became Disney XD, Jetix networks worldwide would later adopt the same branding or be shut down entirely.
    • In Latin America, the local version of Fox Kids (which was its own channel) became Jetix in 2004. Although at the beginning most of Fox Kids' programming (which included popular anime series like Patlabor) was maintained, they were soon dropped in favor of The Fairly OddParents! reruns (the series was initially acquired for the region by Disney through Nelvana), and shows like Dinosaur King. By the time it became Disney XD in 2009 , Fairly OddParents would be aired up to 15 times a day, while Pucca and Dinosaur King aired an additional 8 times a day each. Fortunately, the channel would, eventually, add more variety to its schedule.
    • In Eastern Europe, when Fox Kids became Jetix, they would gradually dump most of the Fox original cartoons, while retaining Disney originals, anime series, and even a few original shows, such as Galactik Football. But by late 2009, instead of becoming Disney XD, it mutated into the Disney Channel, dumping action shows for regular Disney Channel fare.
    • Australia had the Jetix programming block on the Seven Network for a short time, but it vanished just as quietly as it emerged.
    • Family Channel (who has a long history with Disney Channel) would launch Jetix as a replacement for their "Power Box" block for the next three years in 2006. But with its Invisible Advertising, an improbable timeslot of 6:00 am on weekend mornings, and its eventual degradation due to a lack of content, not many people took notice.
  • ESPNEWS was created specifically so you could get scores and highlights in a half-hour (or much less if you just looked at the much more detailed ticker). After its ticker was replaced with the regular ESPN ticker, it became Sports Center 24/7. Eventually, the only true ESPNEWS programming left was the Highlight Express deep in late night, with the rest of the day filled with talking-head show repeats, ESPN Radio simulcasts, and overflow sports like softball and the NASCAR Nationwide Series note . In June 2013, ''Highlight Express'' was canceled, leaving an overnight show about soccer (ESPN FC Press Pass) the only program produced solely for the network. And then ESPN decided to replace that soccer show with a new one on ESPN2 simply titled ESPN FC (which, later on, moved to the ESPN+ streaming service). In 2019, the channel began to carve a new niche, taking advantage of the U.S. government opening the floodgates for legal sports betting. Daily Wager was added as a new studio show focused on the practice. However, it got promoted to ESPN2's schedule in August. At the same time, the channel doubled down (pun intended) on gambling, adding a new L-bar (hearkening back to the older ESPNEWS setup, and also used during the aforementioned Daily Wager on ESPN2) atop the ticker, filled with live odds and statistics outside of live events (as part of a partnership with Caesars). For certain audiences, this at least makes the channel somewhat useful again.
  • You have to give it to Disney — they're at least honest about knowing when an entire genre is decaying, and have announced that because of both the fading influence of Soap Operas and the fact you can now click over to a network website or flip on your cable on-demand service to catch up on a soap anytime rather than waiting to record it Sunday morning at 4:00 AM, SOAPNet was replaced with Disney Junior, the new name for Disney's preschool programming block (formerly Playhouse Disney) in March 2012. Better that they announce the decay now and get everyone prepared than just letting it wither on the vine.

    Unfortunately however, it led to the shocking cancellation of both All My Children and One Life to Live under the Brian Frons excuse that without SOAPNet airings, the shows would be too expensive to produce without a cable channel component, a theory which quickly held no water with the soap community. In April 2013 both shows came back online, but under a much-reduced effort that eventually fell apart due to infighting between the new owners and ABC over characters shuffled over to General Hospital to prevent their re-use by the new owners.

    Admittedly, though, SOAPNet was always a tenuous project, as anything except Being Erica that wasn't soap or a Gilmore Girls marathon never did well at all for the channel. Outside of soap hours, it was a dumping ground for shows ABC and ABC Family rejected and only picked up to make existing producers happy or stop a format that might do well in another iteration from escaping to another network, or in the case of Greg Berendt, provided a firewall to burn off an ABC primetime show that was ordered before the massive failure of his 2006 daytime talk show; it didn't air until 2009. Also, it was proven over time that there's only a limited amount of interest in old soap episodes from canceled programs — nobody's willing to catch up on Ryan's Hope episodes from April 1975, except for unexpected Period Piece curiosity.

    Despite the discontinuation announcement and Disney Junior launching in March 2012 however, SOAPNet continued to run on many cable systems which really didn't want to deal with subscriber complaints if they pulled it off (especially from Beverly Hills, 90210 and One Tree Hill fans who depended on it for their daily fix of those shows), with only a few national systems currently carrying Disney Junior because of some factors, including cost for the channel, forced HD carriage, and systems like Dish and DirecTV objecting to carrying a channel which won't have much of an audience past 10 pm (Unlike Nick Jr., Disney Junior has few programs with Periphery Demographic appeal, and there's no way Disney would try to re-create [adult swim] with one of their networks for the late night). SOAPNet then was programming from that point through ABC Family as a sort-of extension channel and retained much of its programming, along with ABC Family content like Make It or Break It and and the first-ever run in syndication of Veronica Mars (for awhile it was carrying viewership taunting weekend marathons of The Chew early in the winter until Brian Frons finally got his desk cleaned out), so it remained in vindication for two years after it was to have ended.

    Eventually though, SOAPNet melted away. During the Viacom/DirecTV dispute where the Viacom children's networks were pulled, by mere coincidence, the satellite provider suddenly became interested in carrying Disney Junior and made a deal to launch it on a Saturday morning out of thin air, so SOAPNet's days on DirecTV became numbered. Other providers eventually made deals as tots teased by Sofia the First specials on Disney Channel made their parents plead for the network it aired on, and the rebranded TVGN under CBS ownership (now known as Pop) took the rights for same-day Young and the Restless and Bold and the Beautiful repeats over to their network, assuring a happy ending for those two shows at least; the original 90210 fans also got their show back on TVGN starting Labor Day 2014. Disney eventually announced that it would bury SOAPNet's hatchet at the end of 2013, for real this time, and it ended quietly at the stroke of midnight on New Year's Eve 2013, showing nothing but black after the credits of its final General Hospital rerun. The final Disney Junior holdout, Dish Network (which was involved in an epically long negotiation with Disney over a myriad of issues, which lead to Dish only airing their channels in Standard Definition) added the network in the spring of 2014.
  • A&E ("Arts & Entertainment" and currently owned by Disney and Hearst Corporation) used to show artsy films, documentaries (most notably their flagship series Biography), and British mystery and period dramas aimed at a highbrow (or at least high-middlebrow) adult audience, like a basic-cable version of PBS. (The channel was originally called ARTS — Alpha Repertory Television Service — before merging with the Entertainment Channel in 1984.) However, a regime change in 2002 caused much of that programming to be moved over to the History Channel and the Biography Channel (see more on both below), while A&E itself switched its target audience to the opposite end of the spectrum virtually overnight. Today, the network is more apt to sound like the English meaning for A&E, 'accident and emergency', as the network runs various no effor reality shows like Court Cam, Customer Wars, Road Wars, and Neighborhood Wars which just use Storify and Jukin 'caught on camera' viral video from the Internet and edited into half-hour shows (and are usually better watched in their original form on the social media platforms they come from; any relation to Parking Wars, a fine and properly-produced reality show itself which has been on A&E for ever a decade, is tenuous). The rest of its schedule has reality shows like Storage Wars and Hoarders and other True Crime shows. An executive for the channel even joked at one point that it experienced the fastest drop in average demographic age ever, and Cracked did an entire article comparing the post-decay network to Walmart.
    • Its Biography Channel spin-off — later known as "Bio" — didn't fare much better once the bio-show craze Biography spearheaded in the late 1990s fizzled out. At one point, they showed reruns of Night Court and NewsRadio in an attempt to be to A&E what Boomerang was to Cartoon Network - these shows having been rerun on A&E in the past. In The New '10s, about two-thirds of the lineup consists of sensational True Crime documentaries and paranormal or crime-related reality shows picked up from the parent network, with some of the paranormal titles having titles such as The Family Who Slays Together, Killer Kids, and Celebrity Ghost Stories. A&E called it quits when, in July 2014, Bio re-launched as the lifestyle network FYI. It too has degraded into a pipeline for The King of Queens reruns and old A&E reality shows, along with life support properties like the Miss USA pageant no other network will take.
    • The Latin American feed of A&E, which suffered the exact same decay as their master network (and then some), now claims on their bumps that "A&E" stands for "Acción y Emoción" ("Action and Emotion"). Retronym justification of the decay?
  • Once called "The All-Hitler Channel", much of The History Channel's (now called "History") programming now consists of docu-soaps (Ice Road Truckers, Ax Men) and semi-documentaries with some (rather lowbrow) historical content (Pawn Stars and its spinoffs, as well American Pickers) focused on roughnecks or conspiracy theory "documentaries" about aliens, the Bible Code, ghosts, Atlantis, Nostradamus, and the end of the world, earning the network the derisive nickname "The Hysterical Channel". Regarding actual history programming, they air, at best, specials on a few major holidays, and only when their big rating grabbers like Pawn Stars are on season hiatus. The only other time any actual historical programming shows up is to piggyback off any major upcoming films based on historical events. It makes many older fans long for the "Hitler Channel" days when all of their programming seemed to be about World War II and the Nazis. And then in 2015 they decided to combine the conspiracy theory stuff with Nazis by airing a show claiming that Hitler didn't actually die in Berlin and instead escaped to Argentina.

    One big reason for the network's decay is that the Smithsonian Institution, which was one of the go-to organizations for the History Channel in their early days, is now under an exclusive deal with Showtime where they produce programming around Smithsonian exhibits and properties for their exclusive Smithsonian Channel, which is not allowed to decay by design, while Showtime and CBS maintain rights to the institution's film library. Showtime, of course, isn't about to do anything to help its competitor, thus History has to look for other ideas to fill their broadcast day. Perhaps the only reason History didn't start calling themselves "THC" was because of that initialism's drug connotations.
    • History International went from a channel focused on world history to a vault channel for old History Channel documentaries. It changed its name to H2, with the slogan "More 2 History", coinciding with a shift to placing many of History's remaining serious programming, like The Universe, on the channel... along with blocks of History's conspiracy and paranormal fare. On February 29th, 2016, A&E replaced H2 with the American version of Viceland, a joint venture with Vice Media.
    • Realizing its sheer number of military programs, including a documentary series on modern-day Canadian fighter pilots, the UK now has a Military History channel spun off from its History Channel. And now it's started some slippage as well, with a regular "Demilitarised Zone" slot where it can repeat the rest of the documentaries that used to be on History back when it wasn't showing Ice Road Truckers. The little known US version of Military History is so far committed to showing all military-themed shows...whether they be WWII, Samurai-themed or biblical figures fighting across Canaan (modern-day Israel).note 
    • Due to the very emotionally charged political election, History Channel had the idea of creating a topical "documentary" about how Nostradamus may have predicted the election between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump titled "Nostradamus: Election 2016". They use a few lines of his Quatrains that vaguely relate to the two and their personalities and scandals.
  • FOX "News" Channel (called that because most of its programming is stuff that is nowhere near news [and FOX itself admits as much, in that their Terms of Service provide that the channel is mostly intended for entertainment of its viewers]; it's mostly loud outrage talk now) actually started quite respectably on the morning of Monday, Oct. 7, 1996 as FOX News (without the quotation marks around "News"), by actually reporting news with a conservative flavor. By the 25th anniversary in 2021, however, it had long abandoned that respectable start, in that over the years, more and more of its news programs were replaced by full-on opinion shows of loud speculation, with even the actual few news programs having plenty of talking heads, and now, today's FOX "News" is nowhere near what it used to be in 1996 (the "Fair and Balanced" tagline having been dropped in 2017 as well).

    Warner Bros. / Discovery Examples 
  • TNT originated as a mixture of multiple ideas and projects. The name dated back to 1982 when Turner Broadcasting began syndicating sporting events to local TV stations. The primary impetus for the channel's creation, however, was Turner's acquisition of the extensive MGM library in 1986 (since Superstation WTBS didn't have the room to show it all). TNT launched with a schedule mostly comprised of movies from said library, along with expanded sports coverage in comparison to WTBS, exclusive family-oriented reruns such as The Muppet Show, selections from the MGM cartoon library (and pre-1948 Looney Tunes) and various original programs and special events. It kept this format with little modification (such as the addition of MonsterVision and 100% Weird, late-night blocks dedicated mostly to B-movie schlock, as well as MGM-owned TV shows) until 1994, when sister network Turner Classic Movies launched to handle said massive film library (see the Unique Situations page for their own entry). For the next few years TNT sort-of morphed into a USA Network clone, as it became a largely male-skewing general entertainment network (wrestling was a big part of both networks— TNT had WCW, USA had the WWF— and both networks dropped their kids/cartoon programming in 1998). 2001 however saw TNT begin to grow the beard as they shifted into a drama-oriented network, and over the next few years loaded their schedule with acclaimed original programming, so Tropes Are Not Bad in this case.
  • Court TV. Birthed from the cultural/media supernova that was the O. J. Simpson trial, the channel originally aired only actual courtroom trials, which included the proceedings along with anchor's analysis. Then the channel began carrying original and acquired shows surrounding crime and mysteries. It was then revamped as truTV, which focused on "not reality, (but) actuality"; a.k.a. Reality TV (most notoriously the Pawn Stars knock-off, Hardcore Pawn) and "caught on camera" shows, both of the "chiller" kind—Most Shocking/Most Daring and of the ""look at this dumb person who did a dumb thing on camera!" kind—World's Dumbest... and Top 20 Funniest, and reduced its courtroom coverage to a short afternoon show known as In Session (which was now produced by HLN as of 2009; a network which then decided to be Court TV and air live wall-to-wall coverage of the Casey Anthony and Jodi Arias trials, and now spams reruns of ''Forensic Files'' into just about every filler timeslot imaginable.) And now truTV has started showing college basketball during March Madness — which has nothing to do with crime whatsoever...well, other than the obligatory "basketball court" puns.note 

    As World's Dumbest became the network's flagship show and Impractical Jokers became a hit (in addition to the negative reception of most of the network's dramatic fare), truTV revamped itself in October 2014 as "The New truTV", which abandoned the focus on "actuality" in favor of reality shows with humorous elements, like Branson Famous and Barmageddon. Now the channel has a focus on comedy programming with the occasional "caught on camera" show (of the comedic kind, of course) or sporting event (having flirted with HBO-produced boxing, and broadcasting the NCAA basketball and beach volleyball tournaments); it has even treaded a bit on TBS' territory by offering comedy films in prime time on certain nights and, for about 11 months in 2023, airing syndicated comedy reruns (consisting of reruns of Family Matters and Step by Step, as part of a weekend morning "Comfort Food" block).

    Back to Court TV, many channels or programming blocks that focus on actual courtroom proceedings tend to fall victim to decay anyway because let's face it, real courtroom drama is about as dramatic as watching paint dry, and the ones that actually are dramatic get wall-to-wall coverage on the major media outlets anyway. And in any case, if a local trial gets national attention, all the local stations in the area will stream it on their websites anyway for free. Nonetheless, those who still missed Court TV were in for a surprise when Katz Broadcasting announced in December 2018 they acquired the rights to the network's trademarks and programming for a Court TV relaunch in May 2019.
    • Its Canadian equivalent, which retained the CourtTV name until 2010, became a Canadian version of its former competitor Investigation Discovery through a wider licensing agreement between Discovery Communications and the channel's parent company CTVglobemedia.
  • CNN Headline News was originally 24 hours of just headline news, in the form of a thirty-minute newscast that repeated throughout the day. After an infamous re-launch in 2001 that tried to literally make the channel feel like a website, the network pivoted in 2005 to add more hosted programs, including the morning show Robin & Company (later renamed Morning Express), and adding a new "Headline Prime" lineup featuring talk shows with all the pundits you can eat, tabloid material (murder trials became a favorite topic, while Nancy Grace was particularly fond of the Casey Anthony case—turning it into an national obsession), and Missing White Woman Syndrome coverage. In December 2008, it changed its on-air branding to "HLN", perhaps keeping with its increasingly downmarket focus.
    • Most of the "Headline Prime" shows (barring Nancy Grace) ended by 2014: at that time, HLN's format was made up of 'news' seen in the Facebook trending sidebar, with Forensic Files reruns aired so much that Adored by the Network is putting it lightly. In January 2015, the network further emphasized its new social media focus with a new logo and programs, including the new afternoon block The Daily Share and a Jack Vale docusoap. It wasn't until November 2015 that Jeff Zucker finally admitted that HLN's current direction wasn't working. Dr. Drew and Nancy Grace left the network in late-2016, and all of the social media programming was eventually canned.
    • As of 2017, HLN's new modus operandi was riding off Forensic Files with more original true crime programming for primetime (eventually including a revival of Forensic Files), while the daytime lineup tried to focus more on news programs featuring "hometown" news, crime, and generally lighter headlines displaced by CNN's aggressive focus on U.S. politics. The network even subtly brought back the Headline News title during the daytime hours. However, in 2018 and 2022, HLN cut most of the new news shows it had introduced over the past few years (S. E. Cupp's show was briefly moved to CNN's Saturday evening lineup), leaving Morning Express (which had been a mainstay of the network since 2005) as its sole live news program.
    • In December 2022, the hatchet fell: WarnerMedia had recently merged with Discovery, which already has a true crime channel in Investigation Discovery. New CNN head Chris Licht had announced staff cuts and a wider focus on CNN's "core" properties,: at this time, HLN abandoned news programming all together, cancelling Morning Express (replaced with a simulcast of CNN's recently-relaunched morning show to fulfill contracts with TV providers), and moving the channel from CNN to the Warner Bros. Discovery U.S. Networks division under ID's staff. Over the Thanksgiving and Christmas/New Year's periods, HLN also decided to air marathons of The West Wing, and analysts have suggested that these changes may just be a stopgap until the fate of the channel is decided.
  • Once upon a time, there was a premium cable channel called the Home Theater Network (HTN), launched in 1978. It broadcast mainly movies, as almost every such channel then and now, but positioned itself as a family service as the network refused to air R or X-rated movies. HTN also included a call-in trivia program and, most importantly, filler travel-based programming, which it called "The Travel Channel". As the time grew, the owners, Group W/Westinghouse saw it wasn't growing and so, in 1987, they sold the satellite space and the "Travel Channel" name to an airline, and so the modern Travel Channel, which has changed hands various times, was born.note 
    • The Travel Channel itself went through some major shifts. While this was initially fitting, as shows about unique cuisine around the world has a rational link to travel, by 2018 even this was abandoned (with the most popular of those shows transferred to the Cooking Channel) in favor of an exclusive focus on the paranormal and a rebranding as "Trvl Channel". Apparently it's now about ghosts and aliens traveling to Earth to mess with us humans.
  • The Military Channel happens to fit this Trope perfectly, because it used to be Discovery Wings, a network dedicated exclusively to aviation. Until the execs caught onto the fact that their most popular shows were about military aviation. Interestingly, this channel then drifted from documentaries on current military life and technology to showing nonstop World War II documentaries, perhaps in a bid to capture disgruntled former viewers of the History Channel. They later let in some of the same kinds of questionable documentaries that have spread across The History Channel (one of the more popular ones espouses the discredited chemtrail conspiracy theory), and in March 2014 changed their name to The American Heroes Channel, which according to them, somehow considers John Gotti and Al Capone "American heroes" (via re-airings of The Mafia's Greatest Hits).
  • TLC, originally focusing around science and nature documentaries in the style of its eventual parent company the Discovery Channel, drifted in the late 1990s and early 2000s to what it dubbed "Life Unscripted". The educational programming, and its full name, was shed in favor of reality programming focusing on lifestyles and life events —most often of the medical kind (as exemplified by shows such as A Baby Story), but also including "home makeover"-style shows (such as Trading Spaces and While You Were Out) and competitions such as Junkyard Wars. This decay continued into the mid-2000's, dropping the home makeover shows, but going all-in on reality shows involving personal stories. After sufficient decay consisting of more shows about toddler beauty pageants, pastry chefs, tattoo artists, strange families, and Body Horror, one would never guess that TLC used to be called The Learning Channel and was once co-owned by NASA. This just about sums it all up.
  • Planet Green replaced Discovery Home as a channel which was intended to jump on the trend of "going green" in 2008 by airing a schedule of programming solely involving green and environmental programming. However, the economic downturn from the housing bubble popping meant there wasn't much interest in a channel that focused on a lot of new construction. Eventually, programs not fitting the channel's mission started appearing, with the promised green and environmental programming being relegated to overnight showings, and the channel was relaunched as Destination America on Memorial Day 2012.
  • Fine Living Network, a sibling to Food Network and HGTV, was originally positioned as an upscale lifestyle-oriented network, with emphasis on the upscale (thus the "fine"). It was basically a classier version of Food Network, HGTV, and Travel Channel rolled into one. There were a lot of shows about wine, entertaining guests, and travel to exotic locales, and the home decor/gardening shows definitely didn't have low budgets in mind. Like Planet Green, it was a casualty of the 2008 bubble, and started to decay almost immediately, with reruns from Food Network taking over most of the schedule. It was revamped into Cooking Channel on May 31, 2010, a showcase for the how-to shows left over from Food Network's own shift in direction (see Major Shifts That Fit).
  • DIY Network started out as a channel that laid out projects step-by-step in such diverse genres as knitting, scrapbooking, car care, basic home maintenance, and larger projects, with Instructibles-like printable instructions for many of the featured projects. However, the original concept didn't last long, and it eventually became a rerun farm for existing HGTV shows, with little in the way of original content.

    Animax International Distributors 
  • Animax (supposed to be a 24-hour anime channel operated by Sony Pictures), in its Latin American side, both Brazilian and Spanish-speaking versions, became this:
    • The first slip and the most egregious example — its cycle of movies appropriately named "Reciclo", since it recycled all the action flicks already worn by repetition in other channels of the Sony group, like AXN. The only remotely anime-related movies shown there were Cowboy Bebop: The Movie and Tokyo Godfathers... and they had repeated Hellboy and The Fifth Element every six weeks or so since its inception. Then they added series such as Lost, Blood Ties (2007), and The Middleman (with the Brazilian side also having infomercials at odd hours), start to rarely promote their anime, such as Death Note and Neon Genesis Evangelion, and inserted a concert block for Latin American performers. Then in May 2010, the channel announced that it would shift its focus to an overall youth programming, thus warranting its place in Total Abandonment. After that, they were still broadcasting 12 hours of anime (13 during weekends). Five months later, anime was only 5 hours, starting at 2 AM. And just five months later (March 2011) they announced a name change that occurred in May - the channel became known as "Sony Spin".
    • Before Animax LA was owned by Sony, it had other name, Locomotion. Originally a children-oriented channel, it became a youth-oriented channel a year later to avoid competition with Cartoon Network and Nickelodeon, and shortly after an adult-oriented animation channel (it showed things like Æon Flux, The Maxx, The Head, the Prince Valiant movies and Wallace & Gromit shorts, among others). Eventually it evolved into an anime channel (showing more than 10 anime series a day), so it started calling itself "The Anime Channel". The problem is that after a while the amount of anime shown was reduced and there was an increase of western animation programs airing (like Duckman, South Park or The Critic). Eventually, it created an advertisement that said "The good anime, takes time. Anime-station". Watchers were really confused by this, but it turned out they had sold their signal rights to an anime channel. Eventually, this lead to the channel being rebranded to Animax.
    • As Sony Spin, the channel still aired anime at early morning hours, even airing new series like Nodame Cantabile, Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood and new episodes of Bleach. This changed in March 2012, when the slot was replaced by live-action shows, thus abandoning anime programming completely. The new channel got such lousy ratings that their exclusive live-action series were moved to sister channel Sony Entertainment. Sony Spin became a rerun loop of series such as That '70s Show, Joan of Arcadia, Beverly Hills, 90210, old movies and even a Latin American soap opera. This effectively meant Sony Spin itself entered into a drift status. In 2014, many cable systems began retiring the channel, in some places being replaced by History 2 and in others with the then-debuting Latin version of Lifetime. The channel's official shutdown took place on July 1 of the same year for South America and July 31 for the rest of the countries, ending nearly 18 years of broadcast (since it was launched as Locomotion).
  • Animax South Africa followed the same disastrous way as Latin America's and Spain's. Japanese animation is now almost in the minority and are few and far between, as reality shows have taken over the schedule, and was soon closed down to make way for a new channel, Sony Max, which basically airs the same reality shows that aired on Animax South Africa.
  • Animax Spain followed the same disastrous way as Latin American's and South Africa's. Japanese animation eventually found in the minority (they only broadcast either very old series like Kochikame or Lupin III, or commercial successes like Inuyasha or Naruto). By 2011, 90% of Animax Spain consisted of low-budget live-action series like Primeval, Samurai Girl, Torchwood and Reaper, or bland, soulless "young adult" TV shows like In The Qbe and Insert Coin. They even have earned the moniker of "Yankeemax" amongst Spanish otakus (similarly, the LA version has been called "Gringomax" by Mexicans and other South American folk). Eventually, all the non-anime programming was moved to other channels, and the channel became a rerun loop of Kochikame and Yakitate!! Japan until its shutdown in 2013.
  • Hungary's Animax has also gone down this route. It launched in 2004 under the name A+, and focused almost entirely on Japanese animation with some American cartoons thrown into the mix. Though the ratings weren't bad, and the RTL Group kept the channel alive by supplying their anime dubs, the network's real owners (Chello Central Europe) ignored it. Sony Pictures took ownership of the channel in 2007, and A+ attempted to keep itself up by airing subtitled anime releases, an act which had the effect of drastically lowering their ratings. After Sony rebranded it as Animax, dubbed productions came back and all seemed good. However in 2009, they decided to turn the channel into a general youth entertainment network, and started airing all sorts of American talent shows, scripted live-action series, and movies (mostly taken from AXN's showcase), as well as some Japanese ones — at least a few new anime shows still premiered regularly, although the channel lost its Multiple Demographic Appeal as it replaced the bulk of its programming with popular Shonen series. Around 2012, Animax began going bankrupt — the rights to its anime series slowly expired, they broke up their advertising deal, and as Sony considered anime to be the cause of its problems (as opposed to their terrible coverage, mishandled marketing, careless decision-making, and often sub-par dubbing work), they've only focused on adding more and more live-action shows and movies to Animax's showcase, and even canceled the long-awaited premieres of several anime series. Essentially, it became AXN's wastebasket, and the handful of Japanese shows that they still held broadcasting rights to were just tired reruns practically begging to be taken off the air. The fact that Animax only aired from 8 p.m. to 2 a.m., and about half of that airtime was just reruns anyway, made the situation seem much worse. As expected, the ratings dropped like a rock, and from mid-'12 to early '14, Animax lingered on in rerun-limbo.

    The Animax staff vanished from the 'net in October 2012, and their website was taken down a year thereafter. Animax was replaced with a non-anime channel called C8 (also owned by Chello Central Europe) in April 2014, whose bare function was to fill out the late-night timeslot with content taken from Chello's other networks. C8 lasted until January 2018, when Minimax, the channel it had shared a frequency with, became a 24 hour network. In some of the neighboring regions, Animax turned into Sony Spin, an all-round entertainment network whose only notable anime program is Dragon Ball Z Kai.

    Bell Media Examples 

  • MuchMusic has suffered from a large amount of degradation over the past few decades, much in the vein as its American equivalent MTV. MuchMusic was essentially a free-for-all in the 1980s and 1990s, with few (if any) songs being censored and a wide variety of programming catering to virtually every taste (including programs devoted to rap and French music), as well as lots of indie bands getting a chance to shine through music video rotation. Between 2003 (when founder Moses Znaimer left CHUM Limited, purportedly because of being "on the wrong side of a corporate boardroom shuffle") and 2006, most of the long-running VJs jumped ship and left for greener pastures, the station canned many of its unique and interesting showsnote , and then shifted their focus onto reality shows (like the Much VJ Search and American imports). Many people (including many Canadian media outlets) lamented the fact that the station did absolutely nothing to celebrate its 25th anniversary in 2009. It was up to the fans to broadcast their own tributes for a station that had almost no trace of the elements that made it so popular and unique in the first place. Said media outlets also noted that MTV Canada (the all-reality and talk show offshoot of the original American channel, which is now owned by MuchMusic's parent company) is considered to be more relevant to young teenagers!
    • In September 2013, a number of shows airing on The Comedy Network (including Drunk History, South Park, The Simpsons, and Conan) moved to Much. At the same time, Much scaled back more of its music programming, adopted the ambiguous slogan of "It's a lot" in its advertising, and officially dropped music from its name. Similar shifts occurred with sister network MuchMore when it was re-branded as M3. In July 2014, the bottom fell out. The Much division took the brunt of Bell Media's cuts in that month, with 91 people losing their jobs and most of the network's original programming, including Video on Trial ending abruptly because of them (though an unpopular Retool didn't help matters either). Beyond filling the schedule with reruns of their weekly countdown show and automated playlists of music videos (which barely require any staff to set up) on the schedule to keep the CRTC satisfied, it didn't look good. At the very least, Much did something for their 30th anniversary that year: airing a "top 100 music videos of all time" countdown, and an half-hour 30th anniversary special (all of which were repeated on each day of the Labour Day weekend).
      • These moves came, strangely enough, right after the CRTC denied license amendments that would have allowed The Comedy Network to air less Canadian content and more animated programming (Teletoon complained; Comedy was only allowed to devote 10% of its broadcast day to animation. However, this is now moot since the CRTC ended its genre protection rules). Two years later, the aforementioned digital cable spin-off channels were also spun out to Stingray (an operator of Canada's digital cable radio platform).
    • By 2019, regularly airing music programming on the network was reduced to a single hour-long block, the Much Retro Lunch, which aired at 1 PM. 2020 saw that eliminated, effectively ending any music programming left on the network outside of special occasions (like MTV Video Music Awards or Juno Awards).
    • July 2021 saw Bell Media hyping up a "relaunch" of MuchMusic, which in reality turned out to be a music-centric account on TikTok. With the platform's time limit and without the rights to actually show and promote music videos (although they have teased bite-sized revivals of programs like Video on Trial), the relaunch mostly consists of what's been described as "charmless snippets that feel more like promos for something longer and more entertaining".
  • MuchMoreMusic launched in 1998 as a quirky offshoot of MuchMusic. It generally billed itself to be a Lighter and Softer sister channel, and focused mainly on adult contemporary, indie, and classic music (basically the VH1 to MuchMusic's MTV). It also featured news segments, artist profile shows, and other VH1 shows of the era (i.e. Pop-Up Video, Behind the Music, Rock and Roll Jeopardy!, etc.) After CTV took over, the network slowly became a dumping ground for shows that have no connection to music whatsoever — changing its name to MuchMore.
    • In 2013, the channel re-launched as M3. Echoing the slippage MuchMusic was undergoing by slowly scaling back its remaining music programming in favor of comedy, the re-branded network stocked the remainder of its lineup with sitcoms and dramas instead. M3's lineup consisted of automated music videos in the morning, followed by shows from its sibling networks and same-week encores of CTV sitcoms and dramas. The only show they didn't steal were reruns of The Mentalist, which quickly became a staple of the network's afternoon programming, while the only remotely music-related programs not produced by the network were encores of Dancing with the Stars and The Voice. Despite these changes, M3 would be increasingly ignored. By 2016, its first-run acquired programming was moved to other Bell channels, and all their original shows were long gone.
    • On September 2, 2016, M3 was replaced by Gusto, a food and cooking-oriented network that Bell sort of "acquired". Bell bought rights to its brand and programming from its existing owner and shut down the original version of the channel, which was under a Category B license and not as widely-carried. By virtue of its precursor's historic status as a must-carry channel, the new Gusto got wider carriage. This relaunch would also be short-lived: In 2019, Gusto would be re-branded as CTV Life Channel, as part of a re-branding of several Bell Media specialty channels under the CTV name.
  • Canal Famille was a French-language channel dedicated to showing all-ages programming, that aired live-action shows that were made locally and also imported some from other countries alongside cartoons. When very few new shows were introduced around 2000, the decision was made to rebrand it into Vrak.TV, with the focus shifting to adding more teen-oriented programming and more emphasis on French and American imports, and especially Quebecer productions, but there was still a fair amount of cartoon shows. However, by the 2010s, it was rebranded again into VRAK, modified the programming to also attract the young adult demographic, gave less emphasis to Quebecer shows, and discarded animated productions entirely. As a result of these changes, the degrading viewership eventually prompted Videotron to stop promoting the channel in its lineup, and shut it down in October 2023.
  • Bell Media's lesser-viewed and barely-promoted cable channels are a nasty case of this. Fashion Television Channel was named after the aforementioned Citytv program. After the show's cancellation, the channel's connection became In Name Only. By the time of its closure, FTC was a dumping ground for lifestyle, reality, and drama programs. It also served as a rerun farm for shows that aired on the now-defunct M3. The only remotely fashion-related program on the channel was Celebrity Style Story (a Cancon filler also used on the Canadian version of E!), and it, ironically, didn't even carry reruns of its namesake. Even worse, the network's continued existence was simply a license to print money: the CRTC listed it as having no staff of its own, and it previously had a Category A license which mandated that it be offered by the digital tiers of all television providers. Hence, Bell made more money using it as a rerun farm to pad out cable theme pack bundles, than actually making real investments in it. Book Television was in the same boat, and other than airing reruns of MTV programs, MTV2 Canada was an afterthought. Both Fashion and Book Television were closed in February 2021 after their licenses were revoked, while MTV2 Canada was shut down in March 2024.

    Canwest/Shaw/Corus Examples 
  • Lone Star was a cable channel that showed nothing but westerns-genre programming when it first started in 2001. After several years, it added non-western action movies to its lineup, until they dominated the schedule. In 2008, the channel rebranded itself as MovieTime.
  • The cable channel Prime was licensed as a channel aimed at baby boomers and as marketed as a superstation for the demographic; airing a mixture of classic series from around the 1980's, home improvement shows, and repeats from Global Television Network and CH. In 2006, Prime re-branded as TVTropolis; at the time, Prime had focused more on classic 80's programming since Canwest already had a dedicated classic TV channel in DejaView, which took on much of Prime's 60's and 70's output. TVTropolis was focused on "hit TV", with 90's and contemporary sitcoms and "pop culture" shows for CanCon, but eventually slipped into generic reality shows.
  • There was once a cable channel known as Canadian Learning Television (CLT), essentially a Canuck version of TLC back when it still aired educational programming. It aired some syndicated U.S. programming (particularly the current Family Feud) and dramas in its lineup too, but mainly because it was a sister to Alberta's Access (now CTV Two Alberta as of 2012), which had a similar mix of programming. When its owner, CHUM Limited, was sold to CTVglobemedia in 2007, they decided to sell it to Corus Entertainment in 2008. Corus then rebranded it as Viva, a female-oriented lifestyle channel aimed at baby boomers, and tried to comply with its educational requirements by shoehorning short segments with university teachers vaguely relating programming to a course they taught. The further change happened in March 2011, when Viva became the Canadian version of the Oprah Winfrey Network (OWN). This even caught the attention of the CRTC, which held hearings in December 2012 concerning OWN Canada's failure to follow its mandate to air educational programming — a stipulation dating back to its time as CLT. However, in October 2015, the CRTC dropped this stipulation and a related monitoring provision, due to the discontinuation of the genre protection rules and other related policies to deregulate the industry.
  • There used to be a Canadian version of Discovery Health. Not only did OWN happen, but CTV acquired exclusive Canadian rights to Discovery's program library and brands. This meant that the channel was forced to abandon its previous format; in its place came Twist TV, which promised "everyday people facing extraordinary situations" Translation: reality shows recycled from its other lifestyle networks, including Slice and HGTV, with a few other "exclusive" shows in between. In June 2014, Shaw announced that Twist TV would be re-branded as a Canadian version of the aforementioned FYI.
    • Shaw has a similar relationship with A&E Networks as Bell has with Discovery, but the Canadian version of what was replaced in the U.S. by FYI (Biography Channel) was owned by Rogers. For a while, Bio Canada degraded into a dumping ground for Rogers' female-skewed programs. Then, in November 2015, it was announced that the Canadian version of Bio would become the new Viceland channel — which itself replaced H2 in the U.S. Rogers invested in production facilities for Vice in Toronto, while A&E Networks and Disney have equity stakes in Vice.
  • The horror channel Scream was owned by a joint venture between Canwest and Corus.note  In 2009, it re-branded as Dusk, and slipped to focus more on suspense-driven programming so they could attract a wider audience that wasn't necessarily interested in "blood and guts".
    • This re-branding would be short-lived; after stunting with a marathon of the film Ghost on March 22, 2012, the network was shut down and replaced the next day by ABC Spark, the Canadian version of the network then known as ABC Family. Just like what happened to Discovery Kids when it was replaced by Nickelodeon, ABC Spark is legally considered a different channel, but it still replaced Dusk on most of its former channel allotments. Apparently, the replacement was intentional: CRTC rules dictate that if a television provider is owned by or "related" to an owner of specialty channels, they must carry three channels owned by third-parties for each first-party channel they carry. Even though they are separate, publicly-traded companies, the Shaw family controls both Corus Entertainment and Canwest's successor company, Shaw Media, so the CRTC typically counts them as a single entity. Shaw did not want to have to add three more third-party networks so it could have Dusk alongside ABC Spark, so it just sacrificed Dusk instead.

Other "Total Abandonment" examples:


  • Australian examples are rare because there are so few networks, most of them are owned by the same companies, and the ratings are too small to quibble about (if the most-watched program in Australian pay TV history got 419,000 viewers, how's the How To Channel supposed to gain any?). The only notable example is Fox Kids, which adopted a programming block called Fox Classics (not entirely unlike Nick at Nite) before the Fox Kids block moved to Fox8, leaving Fox Classics to absorb the entire network.
    • Imparja was created to service indigenous Australians in Central Australia, but, thanks to network aggregation, it is now essentially the Nine Network from Sydney with a couple of breakaway programs.
    • Australia used to have a handful of independent broadcasters (regional/rural broadcasters such as GWN in Western Australia and STW 9 in Perth) but now all are owned by and have exactly the same programming as the five nation-wide metropolitan networks, albeit with local advertising. Only three of the five (4 out of 7 if you include GWN and WIN) networks broadcasting in Western Australia still maintain a Perth newsroom.


  • Belgian Network VT4 (now known as VIER). In the 1990's it used to be a Darker and Edgier channel that aired through a U-Turn Construction from London and pretended to be illegal because they found a way not to obey to Belgian law, aiming for the "unserved audience", which is also known as the young adult demographic, but due to the fact that the network never attracted a big audience, they started to decline more and more and ended up mainly broadcasting erotic content and not much else. Thankfully in 2002 the network completely changed (mainly thanks to the new leading CEO who became the leader in 2001 and wanted to break with its negative image), decided to obey to the Belgian law by putting its headquarters in Brussels and now mainly aims at young families (such as Peking Express). That being said, when the channel changed its name to VIER in 2012 they also introduced more Flemish shows in their programming and less redubbed programming.


  • After some months in the beginning of the COVID-19 Pandemic, a new TV channel was launched in Brazil focused on geeky content, mostly based on anime programming and some gaming and K-drama. Simply called "Loading", the channel tried to create something that themselves called "democracy of entertainment", seeking to do something that free-to-air channels in the country rarely (if never ever) did nowadays: entertainment for everyone (if you don't count telenovelas, some sports or some movie blocks). The channel even tried to create a children's block, something that TV channels there nowadays, believe it or not, don't have anymore thanks to conservative laws starting on early 2010s that forbid advertisement for children on TV. And as you've read before, yes, this was a FTA channel. And yes, at the time, even knowing the target public for this content is, even for that time, mostly internet-based, it worked, at least in audience context. However... things become really bad the day after Geek Pride Day in 2021. Every then-planned original shows were instantly canceled and all of the hosts contracted by the channel were fired, with no clear explanation given to them. It was then discovered that the company who gave birth to the channel was completely giving it up and syndicating it back to a televangelist, the same who already was in that syndication before the channel was launched. Before it, the government has been trying to ban the transmission to exist because of allegedly illegal acquisition of signal from another company before, but this is another history to tell. After the massive firings, the channel became a "ghost", with no original programming anymore and not even a fixed schedule. Anime shows with original dubs that have been planned, such as Mobile Suit Gundam 00 and SSSS.GRIDMAN had those dubs since discontinued, the first one had only the first seven episodes aired dubbed while the second one lacked two episodes to dub and the channel never aired anyone. The channel has been since shut down in that year, and nobody even knows anymore what will even happen with those dubs.


  • In September 2015, NHL Network shut down. But why does Canada, where it is the national pastime, not need a 24-hour network devoted to hockey? As the major sports channels (including operating partner TSN) already treated hockey as their #1 priority, it was basically redundant. NHL Network was barely-promoted and mainly aired leftover all-U.S. games, studio shows, and the obligatory classic games. The studio programming faced competition from the better-known talent of TSN and Sportsnet. In its 14 years on-air, it also never launched an HD feed—a death sentence for a sports-oriented network, as it was relegated to a portion of program guides that only fans intentionally seeking out the channel would ever find it in.

    In 2014, Rogers took over national rights to the NHL in Canada, but TSN kept operating the network... until Bell finally gave up and laid off the channel's staff just a few weeks after the season wrapped up, resulting in a zombie feed of Stanley Cup encores (which used the U.S. NBC coverage instead of Rogers, for seemingly obvious reasons)note  and team documentaries before shutting down entirely. The U.S. version of NHL Network was rebooted by the staff of MLB Network,note  which continues to carry live games and studio shows, Sportsnet's national broadcasts from Canada, overflow first-round games in years where there aren't that many series sweeps and even USA Network and CNBC aren't enough to carry all the games, and coverage of Canadian and international tournaments that are considered niche by U.S. standards in regards to hockey (such as the IIHF's U-20 and U-18 championships).
  • Because of the CRTC's genre protection policy, the Canadian OLN channel didn't follow suit when its American counterpart became a sports network (now known as NBCSN) and simply kept both its name and original format. However, with their major source of actual outdoor programming gone, the channel would slowly be reduced to a dumping ground for unrelated reality shows. The most prominent programming on OLN were reruns of Storage Wars and its many spinoffs, which OLN adored so much, they even produced a local version. OLN did still air occasional sports broadcasts for a time, such as the Tour de France, the 2010 Winter Olympics, and the 2012 Summer Olympics, but they later migrated to other networks. By the time CRTC's new broadcasting rules took effect, the original OLN name had become an Artifact Title. Currently they are playing same-day reruns of shows from other Rogers-owned networks along with infomercials, constant Storage Wars reruns, and clip compilation shows such as Animals Unscripted and Fail Army.
  • Travel + Escape, after being purchased by Blue Ant Media, would slowly shift away from airing travelogue programs and eventually became a more generic lifestyle channel. Then in late 2017, T+E would shift to fantasy, horror, and paranormal shows, such as reruns of Buffy the Vampire Slayer and The X-Files, as well as the obligatory crime drama repeat (in this case, CSI: Miami, which was already airing on sibling channel Makeful). By March 2018, the channel dropped all pretenses of maintaining their original format; T+E now stands for "Totally Entertaining".
  • The Canadian channel Country Canada (a joint venture between Corus and CBC, with the latter holding 30% ownership) started off as being devoted to a "rural perspective", featuring agriculture-oriented news/talk programs and reruns of series such as Northern Exposure and All Creatures Great and Small (1978). After CBC acquired Corus's stake in the channel, Country Canada added more reruns of CBC programs, overflow sports programming, and other new/imported series that weren't exactly "rural" (such as Skins). The CBC renamed the channel "Bold" in 2008, and coaxed the CRTC to change its license to say that it aired programming "reflecting Canada's various regions, including Canada's rural and non-urban regions".
    • In the wake of budget cuts, CBC sold Bold to Blue Ant Media in 2012. Blue Ant had recently acquired a majority stake in the publisher of a magazine called Cottage Life, with a goal to create companion television networks for its properties. They had already received approval for a new specialty channel based on Cottage Life, but it was widely-expected that Blue Ant was going to use Bold's channel space for Cottage Life instead due to its "non-urban" licensing, and established carriage as a digital must-carry channel. The relaunch occurred in September 2013.
  • In August 2019, after having experienced nearly-identical slippage to its English counterpart and former sister MuchMusic, the French-language MusiquePlus threw in the towel and flipped to women's entertainment as ELLE Fictions (named after the magazine). Its sister, Musimax (the French counterpart to MuchMore), had similarly switched to general entertainment as Max several years prior.


  • Another French music channel, MCM, began with music-related programs, then started adding "cult" anime at night, then mainstream anime in the middle of the day, then MTV-original reality shows, and finally, airing made-for-TV horror movies in their primetime block.
  • TV Breizh was lauched as a regional channel destined to promote Breton and Brittany's Celtic regional culture. Nowadays it is just rehearsing non-stop American series from the 90's and early 2000. And Colombo.


  • German cable network "Das Vierte" started as a classic movie channel owned by NBC; its name translated to "The Fourth [Channel]", a name clearly trying to ride off the identities of the major public television outlets "Das Erste" (ARD, The First), "Das Zweite" (ZDF, "The Second"), and "Die dritten" ("The thirds" or "third programmes", regional channels operated by the member broadcasters of ARD) — aspiring to be the most prominent private channel. Unfortunately, their aspirations didn't go so well, and it ended up aspiring to be a German version of Ion Television instead: it began losing advertisers (and in turn, money), forcing it to give up most of its broadcast day to home shopping, infomercials, and Phone-in Game Shows. What little primetime programming it had left was usually just a movie followed by an hour of Ghost Hunters. Even funnier was the fact that TV listings magazines still gave this channel full listings. Think about it: your favorite channel only gets primetime listings, yet you can still learn about what infomercials will air on Das Vierte today. The channel went through several owners before being acquired by Disney in 2012. They later announced that it would re-launch Disney Channel Germany as a basic cable network using Das Vierte's channel allotment in January 2014, which finally put this train wreck out of its misery.
  • The channel tm3 started in 1995 as a program targeted towards women (with anime in most of the daytime slots for whatever reason), was turned into a sports-centric channel after getting the rights to the UEFA Champions League four years later, and another two years after went exclusively for phone in game shows under the new name 9live. Missed by no one, but mocked by many, it shut down in 2011.


  • Tele Time was a local station of the Peloponnesus, which would mainly broadcast newscasts. In early 2008, well-known journalist Giorgos Tragkas sold it to entrepreneur Theodore Kamberos, in behalf of fellow Victor Restis; the latter would launch a Greek feed of MTV later that year. In the wake of the launch of a Nickelodeon feed also run by Restis in September 2010, the station was rebranded the same month. Gradually, most of the crew of journalists and technicians was fired and the station replaced most of its programming with Nickelodeon shows. As of July 2011, all newscasts and other programs were axed in favor of Nickelodeon and MTV shows 24/7. In early 2012, the remaining workers on the station were fired minus one. It insisted on showing such shows, despite costly forfeitures being imposed by The National Television Council. In February 2013, it attempted to revamp its programming with newscasts and other in-house productions, albeit still airing Nickelodeon shows, only to cease broadcasting a few months later. The station shut down for good in January 2014, because of severe budget issues.


  • Zone Club used to be a TV station geared exclusively towards women. Beginning from 1999 all the way up to Spring 2011, this remained the sole "purpose" of the channel, which is when they began airing Megamax, an afternoon cartoon block aimed at the 8-14 age range, pushing the regular shows back into a forenoon timeslot. December 2011 marked the date when Megamax completely took over, forming a temporary triumvirate with young children's Minimax and older teens' Animax (which went defunct in 2014). This same started happening in Romania as well, as Megamax started airing on 19th November 2012 on Sport1 (a Romanian sports channel owned by Chellomedia). It was an afternoon cartoon block, but on 4th January 2013 it extended its airtime by 3 hours and on 1st April 2013 it completely took over the daytime schedule of Sport1. As of the time of writing nothing has been announced about Sport1's future. Hungary's Megamax, meanwhile, was taken off the air permanently in January 2020 for its low ratings, with no announced replacement.
  • M2, from its official debut in 1973 all the way to December 2012, functioned as the sister channel or more correctly "supplementary channel" to M1, the country's dominant public service television network. It aired mostly the same programs, often as reruns, but there was very little to really set it apart from M1. Then came the decision to transform it into a youth entertainment network, and now M2 devotes its entire 6:00 AM to 8:00 PM airtime to kid-friendly programming, airing classic Hungarian cartoons and various other animated series, as well as some live-action kids/teens shows and a few educational programs — although recent years saw the gradual decline of animated classics in favor of obscure cartoons and more popular, somewhat more modern TV shows. In March 2015, the evening programming, which contains more adult-oriented content, such as report shows, sports broadcasts, and movies, was re-branded as Petőfi (or M2 Petőfi) to differentiate it from the main focus of the channel, which is to be a day-long kids' show block.
  • M1, the main public service station since 1957, was re-imagined as a national news channel on March 15, 2015, with its former programming migrating to one of its sister stations, Duna TV, making it the new main national TV channel. After an enormous initial drop in ratings, constant and innumerable technical problems and scheduling screw-ups, which resulted in the new M1 being temporarily taken off the air less than a day after its launch, this "news channel" was further modified into a politically charged state propaganda platform (leaning into outright conspiracy theory and fearmongering) in later years. Due to the wide availability of the original M1 compared to most other networks and news outlets, the channel became the primary source of government-approved talking points to much of the country. By the 2020s, the network turned into a classic real-life example of Strawman News Media, promoting incoherent, extremist conspiracies (generally with heavy antisemitic and ultra nationalistic overtones), ignoring and lying about real events, generating anti-West and pro-Russia sentiment due to the Hungarian state's ties to the Kremlin, and issuing attacks on anyone not affiliated with the state leadership, including members of the general public. Non government-issued talking points are only allotted five minutes of airtime every four years, which are then quote mined and edited into further propaganda. In summary, M1 ironically became the polar opposite of its original function as a public service network.
  • M5 began life in August 2015 as a sports network and a complementary station to M4 Sport. In September 2016, it got rebranded as a cultural-educational network.

Latin America

  • Infinito was a cable channel that, in the early years, aired a huge variety of documentaries catering to lots of themes. By the late 90, it shifted to show documentaries about conspiracy theories, UFOs, Atlantis, Global Warming (before it became relatively mainstream), alternative medicine, and related stuff. Suddenly, in the mid-2000s, the channel started to mutate into a really bad Travel Channel wannabe, showcasing documentaries about New Age society, alternative lifestyles, Feng Shui, and spas which no one cares about. By 2009, it had completely ditched its original concept revolving around alternative sciences and marketed itself as a serious documentary channel about crimes, the human mind, and historical tidbits. (the wellness theme is now explored by Ecuadorian cable network Inti Network.) Then it started to decay again in mid-2009 when it started to showcase movies based on Real Life stories and events. Starting in January 2012, the rate of airing documentaries dropped, and most of its programming consisted of films based on Real Life events and shows from Spike TV. A year later, there were no documentaries at all, and the channel was more about crime dramas and films, and Cheaters reruns, with the Latin American feed for History Channel (and also the Latin American feeds for SyFy and Biography Channel) picking up on the paranormal documentaries gap left by them. And in 2015, Infinito eventually ceased operating in Latin America, in the right decision made by Turner. Argentina (the home country of former owner Imágen Satelital) was the first to close the channel down on March 10th, followed by most of Latin America on the 17th and finally Mexico on the 25th. The USA feed survived until 2016 because, despite adapting to the channel's changing identities, it still aired shows from an older phase of the channel and also acquired content from other Latino broadcasters, until succumbing when those broadcasters launched their own American networks. The replacement in Latin America was TNT Series.
  • When glitz* launched in 2011, the channel was basically a lifestyle channel aimed at women, but after a schedule change in 2014, it became a telenovela channel, focusing primarily on Venevisión's productions (which makes sense because the former owner as Fashion TV LA was Claxson, owned by Grupo Cisneros).

New Zealand

  • Television New Zealand (TVNZ) since the late 1980s (specifically TV1 and TV2) has gone from a BBC-style public broadcaster funded from a mixture of television license fees and advertising to a Channel 4-style government-owned commercial broadcaster funded mainly from advertising. As a result, it shifted visibly towards the Lowest Common Denominator, and whether it's a good or a bad thing depends on one's political and economic viewpoint.
    • Some of the shift was caused by changes in the television industry since the late 1980s, most notably deregulation of the broadcasting sector. Television New Zealand's TV1 and TV2 were the only two television channels in New Zealand until TV3 came along in November 1989. At the same time, the television licence revenue was diverted from solely funding TVNZ to funding public television on a network-neutral basis through New Zealand on Air.
    • Inverted with TVNZ-6 and TVNZ-7, which were spun off from TVNZ as part of New Zealand's Freeview digital TV platform in 2008. These 2 channels were explicitly public broadcasting-oriented, in comparison with the heavily commercialized TV1 and TV2. However, a change of government and subsequent non-renewal of funding meant that TVNZ-6 was turned into the commercial youth channel TVNZ-U (since replaced with a Timeshift Channel of TV2), and TVNZ-7 was replaced with a timeshift channel of TV1 in 2012.
    • For a period of time, you could watch decent TVNZ channels like Kidzone and Heartland. The catch? They weren't available free-to-air; you could only watch them if you have a subscription to pay-TV operator SKY. Eventually, both channels shut down after TVNZ decided not to renew its broadcast agreement with Sky.
  • Three (previously TV3) originally aired mostly imported programs from the States (sometimes from the UK, Canada, and Australia). Since 2012, Three shifted its heavy focus to Reality TV, which some people felt was to cater to the Lowest Common Denominator. Three had its second receivership in 2013 (the first time since 1990) which resulted in the 20th Century Fox contract being renegotiated. Many Fox programs on Three are now on TVNZ (with exception of Sleepy Hollow, which airs on Prime).

The Philippines

  • Filipino Free-to-air channel TV5 started out as a youth-oriented channel with less news, thanks to the Animega block. But when they got so popular with the public, this went over their head and deleted the block, put a variety show in the evening, and put in horrible Filipino dubs of Cartoon Network and Disney Channel shows, and even dubbed the movies that air in the channel's movie block and made it an all-masa (masses) station. Many youths are pissed off with the changes and the deletion of the block, that many of them are asking the channel to bring it back to the way it was, but the higher-ups in the channel didn't care at all. Until they reaired Mobile Suit Gundam 00 at 9:30 am, and after that, they went back to their "We don't care about anime" status and shilling nothing but EVERY SHOW AND MOVIE THAT WAS IN ENGLISH, NOW DUBBED IN TAGALOG (A trend that later spread to its rival networks) as a big middle finger to the very demographic that supported them in the past.
    • Now branded as just "5", it would now be also called "ESPN5" due to a deal with ESPN, having abandoned most of the general programming in favor of sports programming, airing National Football League and US' NCAA games in the country - on top of local basketball games via the Philippine Basketball Association.


  • Porto Canal began in 2006 as a regional cable channel (available nationwide) focusing on Oporto in general, with programming that could appeal to people from other cities as well. Within a few years of the channel's launch, it started focusing more and more on northern Portugal, opening offices outside Oporto. There were talks of changing the channel's name to something along the lines of Televisão do Norte in late 2010/early 2011, but that didn't happen as FC Porto bought the channel and started to include news bulletins on the team and also sporting events from Dragão Caixa. It eventually added movies to the schedule, airing on an occasional basis (how strange). There were also talks of it becoming a sports channel, but those were averted as FC Porto Media announced plans to launch a completely different sports channel to compete with the well-established BTV and Sporting TV.
  • Continuing with the football/soccer theme, Benfica TV started out as a channel focusing entirely on SL Benfica, then they started adding football events that were out of hand for SPORT.TV. Still focusing on Benfica for at least half the time, when they got the rights to air Premier League matches in 2013, the channel became SPORT.TV's "competitor". A second channel (which relays the first one except for Premier League overflow) began broadcasting in October, and while noticing this switch, the channel became BTV in July 2014.
    • And then the second channel shut down, then they lost the rights to the foreign leagues back to SPORT.TV, but remained as a premium channel. Despite that, it is still known as "BTV".
  • For a long time, SIC Radical was a "politically incorrect" channel, focusing on shows aimed largely at a young adult audience (absurd shows, anime, weird films). Then Pedro Boucherie Mendes came around 2008 and started to fill the channel (very slowly at first but a few years later at a higher rate) with reality shows that don't fit with the channel's original target demographics. Now more than half of the schedule is filled not only with those shows but also Spanish acquisitions that don't fit in with the channel.
    • And then came that deal with Globo to start airing Brazilian soccer matches in January of 2017, even though SIC doesn't have any sports channel at all.

South Korea

  • Mnet started out as a music channel, which included an MTV block at one point. In later years, Mnet decided to take an MTV-inspired network decay situation, in which the channel started airing entertainment shows (as long as they involve K-POP stars) and dramas.
  • Tooniverse used to focus more on animation in general, starting out with a mix of Western and Eastern shows, then the channel eventually became dominated by anime series and then they got dramas and variety shows, making it similar to tvN but aimed at kids.


  • The Spanish cable channel Buzz was once focused on anime, and one of the few, if not the only place in Spain to ever show Seinens and subbed anime. Then they started showing more unrelated stuff (Western animated shows? Sure. Extreme sports? Uh...), and for a while, the only anime-related thing they aired was (according to the cable provider's TV Guide) Hentai movies on weekends...and then, eventually, even those were removed. In 2016, Buzz was phased out of existence altogether and replaced with horror movie channel Dark, which had been revived after having initially closed down in 2009.
  • In the less than two years it was around, laSexta 2, the secondary channel of laSexta's group before it merged into Atresmedia, managed to completely change its concept several times. It started out in October 2010 as a container of re-runs of laSexta's own shows (current and older), then in early 2011 it started programming original content such as the political talk show Al rojo vivo (which within the year was moved to the main channel and has since grown into one of its mainstays)... and by the spring, laSexta 2 had been completely revamped with a bunch of original, exclusive shows such as Bares, qué lugares, Carreteras secundarias or Este es mi barrio... but in July, all of them were dropped out of the schedule to turn laSexta 2 into a telenovela channel. They were back on air before the end of the month as the 'all-telenovela' thing made the channel's already low ratings drop even lower. laSexta 2 was replaced with documentary channel Xplora in May 2012.


  • Sweden's TV6, owned by Modern Times Group/Viasat, went through this twice. When it was launched in 1994, the network's programming was originally aimed at women. But after this approach proved unsuccessful, TV6 was retooled into a nature-themed channel in 1998. Then in 2006, TV6 once again changed tack and became an import television channel, normally airing American (mostly action and sci-fi) movies, TV series, and reality shows, as well as soccer matches.
  • SVT 24 started out as a news channel, but in 2010, the channel stopped behaving like one and became more or less like an "SVT 3" of sorts airing repeated content from their sister channels. The 24 is now an Artifact Title because it now only airs during primetime, as it timeshares with Barnkanalen, their children's channel, in the daytime.

United Kingdom

  • ITV has fallen into this, not in regards to programming (no specific niche to begin with) but in terms of identity. When the network started in 1955, it was only nominally a network, as it was really a collection of 15 regional stations note  all with their own identities and programming. Despite brief attempts at consolidation (Yorkshire and Tyne Tees combining to form Trident Television in the 1970s, and a unified identity in 1989 that was rejected by most), it held true to its purpose for forty years.

However, the power of the broadcast unions (who succeeded in shutting down the entire network twice, in 1968 and 1979) attracted the ire of Margaret Thatcher, who had spent the 80s trying to reduce the power of trade unions in Britain. (She loved TV-AM when their workers went on strike and management took over, ultimately replacing the strikers with non-union labor.) But it was a Thames documentary, Death on the Rock, which not only kickstarted a major controversy, but also angered Thatcher enough to the point that the Broadcasting Act of 1990, which radically reshaped how the ITV system worked, was basically intended to kick Thames out of ITV.note 

1992's franchise awards saw major changes — newbie Carlton Television replaced Thames simply thanks to bidding more (with the quality threshold provision ignored), Meridian Broadcasting replacing TVS (which had badly overextended itself financially, most notably with the purchase of MTM Enterprises), Westcountry Television replacing TSW, and ironically, Thatcher's favorite, TV-AM, being outbid by GMTV. Carlton was a Sketchy Successor, not producing anything itself (as Thames did), but simply being a commissioning house for independent producers. It was vastly inferior to Thames in every way (ironically, Carlton had attempted back in the 1980s to purchase part or all of Thames, but was denied).

Another change was that ITV companies could now merge with each other, or as the case was, buy each other out; thus the regions gradually consolidated. Yorkshire Television bought Tyne Tees in 1992, forming Yorkshire-Tyne Tees Television. In 1994, Carlton bought Central Independent Television, Granada Television bought LWT, and MAI, the parent of Meridian Broadcasting, took over Anglia Television. Westcountry Television was bought by Carlton in 1996, Granada bought Yorkshire-Tyne Tees in 1997, HTV was purchased by MAI (renamed United News and Media) in the same year, and Scottish Media Group, the owner of Scottish Television, bought Grampian, also in the same year. Despite all this, the stations themselves (largely) still operated independently.

Then, in 1999, with only UTV, Channel Television, and Border Television independent, Carlton rebranded Central and Westcountry under the Carlton name. Soon after, in November, the Granada and UNM regions started using a generic presentation package for all of their regions, though they still kept their names and identities. By this point, only Channel Television, LWT, UTV, Grampian, and Scottish had their own identities, and Grampian and Scottish would be unified in 2000. Consolidation continued, with Meridian and Anglia sold to Granada in 2000, HTV sold to Carlton that same year, and Border Television sold to Granada in 2001. Finally, in October of 2002, all the region names were dropped, with all regions names being changed to "ITV (Name of the region") (EX: ITV London, ITV Wales), and in 2004, most regions were unified under the company name "ITV plc" and regional programming was completely gone, excluding news. Only Channel Television, Grampian TV, Scottish TV, and UTV escaped this fate, but Grampian and Scottish would be combined under the unified "STV" branding in 2006, and Channel was bought under the ITV umbrella in 2011. UTV was also bought by ITV in 2016, and following three years of having its own name pasted atop generic ITV idents they finally adopted the full national branding in 2020.note 

  • Their sister channel, ITV2, experienced a more traditional decay. Initially, it was closely connected to the main network, with repeat programmes, overflow sports and some US imports like David Letterman. Over time, programmes began moving to their newer channels (drama to ITV3, and sports to ITV4). To fill the gaps, they became increasingly reliant on reality TV, devoting many series to following the likes of Peter Andre and Katie Price, as well as the stars of their hit show The Only Way Is Essex, which led to high ratings, but gave the channel a downmarket image among many viewers.
    • Most of these shows were later moved to the new ITVBe, as ITV2 became more focused on comedy, both original and acquired, which was spearheaded by the arrival of Family Guy from the BBC. However, most of these new programmes underperformed, and combined with the surprise success of Love Island, the channel began returning back to reality shows. Around the same time, many of their repeats from the main channel and spin-off shows were dropped, leading to a more separate, youth-skewing image, but left them with few of their own hits remaining. Outside of Love Island, they are mostly dependent upon Family Guy and movies to keep their viewers, with their efforts to find another reality show all performing poorly.
  • In the UK, similar fates to G4's decay befell Game Network (which drifted towards soft pornography, phone-in quizzes, and psychic hotlines, to the point of mercifully dropping the GN brand) and later XLEAGUE.TV (from eSports, to general games, to games-with-some-odd-niche-US-sports, to not broadcasting at all in the space of about 18 months).
  • The British satellite station Bravo (unrelated to the American Bravo mentioned above or the Canadian Bravo! in the "Slipped" section) began as a channel showing black and white TV from the 1960s (mostly Lew Grade action shows), dropped this in favor of Speculative Fiction and horror, dumped that for True Crime shows and "adult programming", and in the end of its run showed an eclectic mix of programs that could best be described as "lad's mag/men's magazine television". In other words, the British version of Spike TV, right down to them both showing TNA Wrestling and UFC as the big draws. It also ran sci-fi repeats (mainly Star Trek: Voyager, Deep Space Nine and Enterprise), in what was possibly the same effect as mentioned elsewhere when it was noticed that the demographics were similar to their other programs.
  • UK Gold went from a mix of the BBC and Thames archives to suffering the same "six months ago is classic" syndrome the US "classic" TV channels seem to have suffered, with a sprinkling of Hollywood films and repeats of Prison Break. In 2008, it was split into the backronym G.O.L.D. ("Go On, Laugh Daily"), a comedy channel mostly recycling all the same old shows that are always repeated... and Watch (now known as W), which takes the rest of the "classic" output of UK Gold (as well as showing such well-known archive series as No Ordinary Family, Grimm and Alcatraz).

United States

  • Oldies radio stations (which typically played nostalgic songs from the 1950s and '60s) have become a dying breed since they are typically targeted towards baby boomers — an aging demographic that is less lucrative to advertisers. By the 2000s, some oldies stations had begun to adjust their formats to target Generation X, typically by adding more hits from the 1970s — but dropping music from the earlier half of the 1960s. The format began to trend newer over time, with some stations continuing to reduce or downplay older music in favor of more hits from the '80s, or even the 90's - a point where it's questionable whether such a station could even be considered "oldies" anymore by its traditional definition. Some stations switched to "Adult hits" — a format that focuses on hits from the late-1960's to at least the 90's or 2000s. The flip of long-time oldies station WCBS in New York to such a format — Jack FM (which is well known for having few on-air personalities and an abrasive presentation) — was Mood Whiplash that alienated its audience (to the point that even the Mayor complained), and was a ratings disaster. Two years later, it flipped to a compromise known as "Classic hits" — which focuses on music from the '70s and '80s (and sometimes the 90's, but not to the same extent as adult hits). Some historic commercial oldies stations have shifted in a similar direction.
    • This sort of decay is not uncommon with oldies stations and TV networks that show classic TV programs. Part of it has to do with networks losing the right to show a particular program, but a lot of it has to do with the Fleeting Demographic Rule. When one generation gets older (and theoretically less profitable), the station begins playing what's oldies to the next generation... which (of course) many in the previous generation will not consider to truly be "oldies" or "classic".
  • MuchUSA was originally a simulcast of the Canadian network MuchMusic. In 2001, CHUM Limited sold its share of MuchUSA to the network's co-owner, the American cable company Cablevision, who promptly gutted all the Canadian programming and replaced it with original American shows. The network's name was changed to MMUSA, and later Fuse TV. For Fuse TV's own past experience with Network Decay, see "Temporary Shifts".
    • Since merging with NuvoTV in 2015, outside of video blocks and shows like Big Freeda, Fuse has moved away music programming in favor of shows that target a multicultural audience. It began when Fuse became the exclusive U.S broadcaster for the LFL, a deal which lasted all of one season before the network dumped them. Soon after the announcement, sitcom reruns began to dominate the schedule, eventually displacing music video blocks to the early morning graveyard hours. Today, Fuse looks more like a Latino version of MTV2, while its new sister channel, FM (which replaced NuvoTV), is pretty much what Fuse was like before the merger.
    • Sadly, it didn't take long for FM to fall victim to this trope either; since 2018, it has gradually phased out its music video blocks in favor of reruns of sitcoms and former NuvoTV shows. Consequently, this caused Comcast and Verizon FiOS to drop the Fuse networks, and in 2019, Fuse Media announced they had filed for chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.
  • Over the years, U.S. broadcast networks gradually dumped their traditional Saturday morning cartoon blocks for more dramas, reality shows, soaps, and news. Back in the 1980s and 1990s, all of the broadcast networks except UPN had the entire 6:00 AM to Noon block of Saturdays set aside just for animated programs and other all-ages fare, with Fox and the WB even going so far as to add in an extra two-to-three hours every weekday morning and afternoon. But in the late 1990s, increased cable competition (Nickelodeon, Cartoon Network, etc.) and FCC mandates requiring a minimum three hours of educational kids' programming on broadcast networks each week proved crippling — since most kids bar preschoolers don't/won't watch strictly educational shows, there was little incentive for producers to make them. Entertainment shows like The Weird Al Show wound up getting compromised by Executive Meddling to fit the mandates.

    At the same time, FCC regulations, voluntary guidelines, and pressure from parents' and teachers' groups rebuilt the wall between advertising and children's entertainment. This killed lucrative Merchandise-Driven cartoons and hamstrung the traditional Saturday morning advertisers (cereal, snack food, and toy companies) so much that it's too expensive for them to advertise on television without disclaiming everything or trying to somehow impart that their cereal is healthy or their toy is educational in some way. It's much cheaper for them to put up a website for their product, or to do what Hasbro did and create their own cable networks (which have much fewer restrictions) and go after them that way. As a result...
    • ABC abandoned their block in favor of "Litton's Weekend Adventure", a syndicated programming block meeting the aforementioned federal mandates (the block is broadcast by mostly ABC stations, though it is part of a syndication deal). Even during its tenure as ABC Kids, there was obvious network decay because after 2006, with the premieres of Hannah Montana and The Replacements, the same few episodes from the first season (as well as the same few episodes of their other shows) repeated over and over again, even as Disney Channel aired new episodes and new series that could have been added. It must have been boring for young Disney Channel fans to see the same cycle of episodes from 2006 all the way to 2011, but a lot of Saturday Morning purists aren't fans of the Litton shows, either.
    • NBC was the first of the networks to go into Saturday morning decay, when in 1992, due to the falling ratings of the cartoons (including the disastrous Yo Yogi!, a Totally Radical spin on Yogi Bear) and the success of Saved by the Bell, the network turned half of the traditional block over to clones of SBTB and live-action reality shows geared towards kids, while giving the other half over to a Saturday version of Today. In 2002, they gave airtime to Discovery Kids, who brought cartoons back to NBC in the form of Tutenstein, Kenny the Shark, and Time Warp Trio, despite the rest of the lineup consisting of live-action shows. Discovery Kids dropped out to try to make a name for themselvesnote , and then started a joint-venture named Qubo with several other companies, including Ion Television, who became the sole owner. The 2011 Comcast purchase brought in Sprout as a sister network, and in 2012, a collaboration emerged in the form of NBC Kids. This gave NBC the ironic distinction of being the last of the Big 5 networks to air any sort of kid-targeted animation (Fox's current cartoons are obviously anything but), airing a preschooler-targeted lineup mixing cartoons and live-action shows...until they announced they were dumping that in October 2016 for yet another Litton block, this one under NBC's longtime "The More You Know" brand, for no apparent reason other than everyone else but Fox doing it. Sister network Telemundo (whose blocks had the same providers as NBC since 2006) would follow suit in January 2018, when the rebranding of Sprout to Universal Kids opened the door for Litton to take over the block while retaining the MiTelemundo name.
    • CBS aired Nickelodeon and Nick Jr. programming from 2000 until 2006, after the CBS/Viacom breakup. It aired programming from various companies such as DiC eventually soaked up into the Cookie Jar Group, then in 2013 followed ABC's lead and gave up their time to Litton. During their time with Nickelodeon shows, they only aired Rugrats for a very short period and didn't even air SpongeBob SquarePants or The Fairly OddParents!, the network's two most popular Nicktoons at the time, due to the lack of educational content. The SpongeBob episode "No Free Rides" lampshades this by having SpongeBob go through "educational TV" as an obstacle on his driver's test.
    • Fox was able to avoid the federal mandates by exploiting loopholes, but subsequently abandoned their Saturday-morning animation block altogether, and now their programming consists of infomercials (though a few affiliates, and even some O&Os, don't bother to take it since the money goes to Fox). Beginning in September 2014, some Fox stations started to air a new block, Xploration Station, produced by Steve Rotfeld Productions, which features science shows hosted by Mystery Guitar Man and Philippe Cousteau Jr. among others. Much like Litton's Weekend Adventure, it is syndicated but broadcast mainly by Fox affiliates.
    • After MundoFox, the Spanish counterpart to the Fox Network, launched in August 2012, the network debuted a weekend morning children's program block called "National Geographic Niños". Originally aired on the weekends, before being relegated exclusively to Saturday mornings in 2013; in January 2015, the block was extended to a stripped format, with a half-hour of educational programs airing on weekdays and an additional hour on Sunday mornings. In September 2013, the network launched a secondary two-hour-long children's program block on Sunday mornings, "XtremaFox", consisting of action-oriented animated series. After Fox opted out in the joint venture with RCN Television in 2015, MundoFox would be replaced MundoMax, with the network's children's programming blocks rebranded under "XtremaMax" and "MundoMax Kids", before the network ceased operations altogether the following year.
    • The CW (successor to The WB and UPN) was the last to maintain a full-length Saturday morning block, Vortexx, produced by Saban Brands. The CW also gave in to Litton and introduced One Magnificent Morning for the 2014-15 season.
    • Averted by PBS, whose PBS Kids block airs children's programming (including cartoons) on most days. Check local listings.
    • In July 2017, Sinclair Broadcast Group launched a new daily block called KidsClick on This TV as well as Sinclair-affiliated stations, effectively bringing back non-educational cartoons to Saturday mornings, as well as weekdays. It didn't even outlast Vortexx, shutting down abruptly at the end of March 2019.
    • FCC regulations prohibited the host of a kids' show from endorsing a toy or a cereal, resulting in the extinction of locally-produced, live-action kids' shows, as it no longer made economic sense to pay someone to host a show instead of just showing all cartoons. The longest holdout was probably the original Bozo Show on WGN in Chicago, which ended in 2001; the last four years had Bozo wedging boring tours of Chicago landmarks and factories into the show to fill the station's E/I quota.
  • Romance Classics was a rather specific Spin-Off of AMC geared towards women, launched in January 1997 with romantic films (think Doris Day vehicles and the like). By late 2000 it was decided that the channel was going nowhere, so it was overhauled into WE: Women's Entertainment, intended to be a "contemporary" counterpoint to Lifetime. It has since changed its name to WEtv and is better known for Bridezillas and other wedding-related fares (enough to fill a Spin-Off, Wedding Central, which died in July 2011 both because the wedding craze died and their parent company couldn't get anyone to carry a weddings-only channel) than anything else. Eventually, male-skewing programs such as CSI: Miami snuck onto the schedule and eventually filled up many time slots. In 2014, the network underwent a rebranding, dropping the "women's entertainment" tagline in favor of using "We" to represent the idea of "sharing common interests and experiences". Despite the repositioning, its overall lineup (besides the CSI and Law & Order reruns) is still in line with how it was before.
  • PAX Television was founded by Christian home-shopping mogul Lowell "Bud" Paxson at the end of The '90s as a family-friendly alternative to the major broadcast networks, with wholesome original programming, game shows, and the first off-network reruns of Touched by an Angel. The format wasn't working and Pax was rebranded "i" with the intention to lease airtime to independent producers. Those leased programs were mainly Canadian content dramas that were similarly unpopular and the network soon resorted to filling 2/3 of their broadcast day with Infomercials to keep the lights on (the industry joke was "'i' stands for infomercials"), nearly losing most of its coverage from Comcast and DirecTV and only saving it with a loop of public domain programming. Paxson left his company in 2007 and "i" became Ion Television. Since then, its schedule now largely consists of Crime Drama reruns, theatrical movies, and at one point even the WWE's third-string weekly show (effectively making it a broadcast version of USA Network), with the kind of violent content that Paxson most likely abhorred, but at least gets ratings and advertisers; the network even added WNBA games to its schedule in 2023. As of late 2013, Ion's sixth subchannel now carries another Bud Paxson creation, the Home Shopping Network, under a channel lease agreement.
    • One of Ion's sister networks, Ion Life, began in 2007 as a network focusing on lifestyle-oriented series (the vast majority of which were Canadian imports). In January 2019, Ion Life began adopting the binge-style scheduling format that its parent network implemented eight years earlier, dumping its lifestyle shows in favor of airing reruns of American and Canadian drama series that Ion had in its inventory, as well as replacing most of its overnight and morning programming with infomercials (which Ion Life had been airing only in the certain morning and midday timeslots since 2013). Later in 2019, the channel was rebranded Ion Plus. On February 28, 2021, months after Ion's merger with Scripps, Ion Plus was converted into a free streaming channel (available mainly on services like Tubi and Amazon Freevee), while sister channels Qubo and Shop Ion were shut down entirely so that Scripps could move some of their existing diginets to the digital subchannels of Ion stations.
  • getTV – quite possibly the first digital multicast network to go into significant format drift – began in 2013 as basically the over-the-air equivalent of Turner Classic Movies, focusing initially on pre-1980s classic films. The network's descent into totally abandoning this format began in 2015 when it began airing recent and older sitcoms and drama series as well as classic variety specials. In May 2016, getTV formally switched its programming format to a general entertainment format, focusing mostly on series from the 1970s to the 2000s and shifting its film selection towards movies released after 1960 (although older films remained part of its Saturday western block). By 2018, the network had scaled back movies to weekends and diluted its film selection to mainly made-for-TV movies, before dropping movies entirely in 2020 and replacing them with a new weekend Westerns block.
  • The Odyssey Network, founded in 1988 as VISN (Vision Interfaith Satellite Network) was created to counter the popularity of the era's Christian televangelists by airing programs from a heavy amount of religious denominations. By the mid 1990s, it merged with another religious network it shared space with, ACTS (owned by some of the very televangelists VISN was created to counter), and became known as the Faith & Values Channel, staring to carry a limited amount of secular programming. With the investment of cable giant Liberty Media, they rebranded as Odyssey and added more secular programming in an attempt to stem the network's massive losses. In 1998, a joint venture of Hallmark and the Jim Henson Company became principal investors in Odyssey, and through their influence brought forth the most unusual marriage of Muppets, the Hallmark library (which at the time included the Hal Roach library, Filmation shows and stuff from RHI, Robert Halmi's production firm), and spirituality. The religious programs were limited to 40 hours a week with the remaining time devoted to general-entertainment programming. In 2001, Hallmark bought controlling interest in Odyssey and renamed it The Hallmark Channel (the Henson content quickly vanished). Unlike what happened to Freeform, Hallmark gradually phased out religious programs; by 2010 its content was 100% secular. The channel's founding parent company continues to produce religious programming for other cable channels under the Odyssey name.
    • Hallmark Channel gradually drifted away from its original intentions too. Prior to 2006, Hallmark relied on the aforementioned library of Robert Halmi-produced TV spectacles such as Merlin and Gulliver's Travels with Ted Danson and other stuff such as the Hal Roach library, plus Disney live-action features from the 1960s-1980s — clearly shows for the entire family. Then Hallmark lost the rights to those programs, and by 2016, the schedule consisted of Home & Family, a talk show with no appeal to kids whatsoever, along with reruns ranging from The Golden Girls to The Middle, and original movies. As such, Hallmark Channel gradually became a network for adults in Middle America, much like what became of Pat Robertson's Family Channel (prior to their multiple buyouts) and what PAX TV was before becoming i Network and then Ion Television. When its success with romantic holiday-themed original movies throughout November and December brought in a sizable female demographic, it expanded that concept to work year-round — dividing its lineup into seasonal themes (i.e. "Winterfest", "Countdown to Valentine's", "June Wedding", "Fall Harvest", etc.) with similarly-styled original films and associated series. They now make up the bulk of Hallmark's schedule, shifting reruns to late nights and early mornings.
  • Great American Country was once a country music channel a la CMT, but by June 2012 was increasingly airing lifestyle programming (particularly library programs from other Scripps channels like Paula's Home Cooking, Road Tasted, and John Ratzenberger's Made in America); they had nothing to do with country music but still fit the network's Southern-tinged image, essentially figuring that when most music video viewing is on YouTube, better to air anything that actually gets ratings. This came alongside a rebranding that aimed to define "country" as being a "sense of place" rather than referring to country music. They also aired the National Finals Rodeo around this time, which did make sense (it later moved to CBS Sports Network). After Discovery acquired Scripps Networks in 2018, Great American Country was pretty much Destination America 2/ The redundancy most likely led to Discovery's decision to divest the channel in 2021 to a new company called GAC Media (later renamed Great American Media) — led by the former CEO of Hallmark Channel, who left over objecting to Hallmark apologizing to viewers upset over their not airing ads featuring queer couples. In September 2021, the channel rebranded as GAC Family (now Great American Family) and played the total abandonment card, becoming yet another "family"-oriented general entertainment channel stacked with sitcom reruns and Hallmark-styled original movies but with a more conservative Christian bent. They put particular focus on their own original Christmas movies, luring away former Hallmark talent like Candace Cameron Bure, (the once-disgraced) Lori Loughlin and Home and Family hosts Debbie Matenopoulos and Cameron Mathison.
    • Ride TV, an independent equestrianism-themed network, was acquired by GAC Media at the same time it purchased Great American Country. In the process, they turned it into GAC Living (later renamed Great American Living) in September 2021, moving all the non-scripted Southern lifestyle programming that had been on Great American Country there. The network would undergo another format tweak in October 2023, changing its name to Great American Faith & Living and adding more faith-based programming (in a move to increase synergies with Christian-targeted family streaming service Great American Pure Flix, which Sony Pictures agreed to turn into a joint venture with GAM in May of that year).
  • Ovation launched in 1996 as a fine arts-specific channel similar to Bravo in its early years; its addition to the DirecTV lineup in 2007 may have been a response to Bravo's decay and the demise of its Trio spinoff (which became Sleuth). Gradually, documentaries and performances relating to visual arts, ballet, modern dance, jazz, world music, theater, and classic foreign cinema were shoved aside as obscure and low-budgeted flicks, fluff pop culture documentaries, Antiques Roadshow reruns, and U.S. airings of Murdoch Mysteries (as The Artful Detective) took over the schedule. Ovation was actually thrown off Time Warner Cable for a year due to this decay, but reinstated at the start of 2014 with promises that they would reverse it. After a few feints in that direction, what little fine arts programming remains airs in the wee hours just before the infomercial block.
    • This led to Dish Network dropping the channel for good in April 2015. The TWC contract was rolled over to Charter (now Spectrum) around Christmas time in 2016. With increasingly limited carriage, Ovation now airs the same few British dramas run to death on your local PBS station, along with a package of circa 80's-90's mainstream films that seem to be very limited. The network has attempted to win back TV providers by acquiring some other programs, like the aforementioned Bravo's Inside the Actor's Studio, but that seems to be too little, too late by this point.
  • In 1978, Chicago's WGN-TV began offering a superstaion feed to cable subscribers outside the Windy City, allowing for national coverage of Chicago Cubs, White Sox and Bulls games as well as other local programs such as The Bozo Show and the station's nightly newscasts. For a brief period from 1995-1999, WGN Superstaion began airing The WB network shows in order to give the fledging network wider distributionnote  However, with increased competition with other cable networks affecting its bottom line, Tribune, then-owner of what was known at the time as WGN America began attempting to make radical changes to the channel in an effort to compete with USA, FX, and AMC by investing in original dramas such as Salem and Manhattan, and finally split WGN Chicago from its superstation feed in December 2014, turning WGN America into a conventional cable network. This didn't help the ratings, and in 2017, WGN America dropped all original programming, becoming a rerun farm. In 2019, Tribune Broadcasting merged with Nexstar Media Group, and a year later, Nexstar introduced a three-hour primetime newscast called NewsNation on WGN America, touting itself as a non-partisan alternative to opinion-heavy cable news channels. This was a foreshadowing of things to come; in January 2021, Nexstar announced that WGN America would be rebranded as NewsNation on March 1, and expand its nightly newscasts to five hours. Over the next few years, syndicated programs have been dropped from NewsNation's schedule as contracts signed under Tribune ownership expired, while the network gradually transitions into an all-news channel; it would add a three-hour morning show, and news and opinion shows in the late-afternoon and early evening hours in 2022. The network would go all-news on weekdays in August 2023 (with the addition of an afternoon news block, daily shows hosted by former ABC News anchor Elizabeth Vargas and ex-Fox Newser Leland Vittert, and a political program tied to Nexstar's The Hill website), with non-news programming being relegated to weekends (consisting of Blue Bloods reruns and a few early-morning religious programs), with plans to go all-news 24/7 by the end of 2024.
  • Decades was launched in 2015 as a history/entertainment channel that, according to ''Variety'' programmed "a historical day-by-day look at pop culture, news and TV shows on the air during various time frames," a show called Through the Decades that focused on news of the past, and a weekend marathon of various shows. In 2017, it evolved into just another classic TV network, with Through the Decades as the only remnant of its original format. On March 27, 2023, Decades was rebranded Catchy Comedy and reverted to an all-classic sitcom lineup. Even the weekend marathons were limited to sitcoms.
  • One of the more unusual examples involves INSP. The network's roots traced back to the old PTL Satellite Network of Jim and Tammy Faye Bakker, initially comprising part of a larger empire that included the Heritage USA theme park; only for PTL to be forced into bankruptcy following the disclosure of a sexual tryst involving Jim Bakker and Jessica Hahn along with fraud charges that led to the disgraced Bakker spending just under 5 years in prison. Eventually, the network was acquired from the bankruptcy court by San Diego-based televangelist Morris Cerullonote ; who tapped his son David to run the newly-renamed INSP (short for the Inspiration Network). Most of INSP's programming during the 1990s and early 2000s consisted of a mix of television preachers with varying degrees of name recognition such as the elder Cerullo, James Robison and a then-little-known Creflo Dollar with some children's programming on Saturdays and the afterschool block; though by the 2000s telethon "campmeetings" featuring Mike Murdock became common in the overnight hours. The big change came in 2010 when the network switched from a televangelist "B-team" network to a primarily general family-oriented schedule similar to Freeform when it was known as the Family Channel under Pat Robertson's ownership; with reruns of shows such as The Waltons and Matlock; Westerns such as The Virginian and The High Chaparral and even reruns of Walker, Texas Rangernote  with the televangelists gradually phased out save for the aforementioned "campmeetings" overnight. Increasingly; the channel became primarily Western-centric (to the point where the current logo, introduced in 2022, has a cowboy hat incorporated). This has proven to be another Tropes Are Not Bad example; as INSP's ratings have increased dramatically, going up 1171% between 2010 and 2021.
  • This TV was launched in 2008 by Weigel Broadcasting (as its first national network, debuting two years before it launched its most successful venture, MeTV) and Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer as a general entertainment network focused primarily around MGM's library content. The network's primary purpose was to show theatrical and independent films (which took up about 18 hours of the daily schedule), though it also aired some MGM-produced classic TV series (such as Bat Masterson, Sea Hunt and The Patty Duke Show) during the overnight and early morning hours and children's programming from the Cookie Jar Entertainment library (as well as the Weigel-produced educational series Green Screen Adventures). This largely continued after Weigel transferred the network to fellow Chicago-based media company Tribune Broadcasting in 2013; under Tribune, This would drop the Cookie Jar block (relegating kids' shows to weekend mornings), and in 2016, add a weekend evening block of 1980s and 1990s dramas (such as In the Heat of the Night and Cagney & Lacey). It also carried Sinclair Broadcast Group's non-educational syndicated children's programming block KidsClick from 2017 to 2018, when Sinclair made the block exclusive to its TBD network. Byron Allen's Allen Media Group (known mainly for cheap syndicated entertainment and lifestyle shows, and by that point, owner of The Weather Channel) acquired This TV and LightTV (replaced by a TV version of Allen's Black news and cultural website TheGrio) in 2021, after which the MGM programming contract was allowed to expire and the network opted to fill overnight, morning and early afternoon timeslots with AMG-syndicated court, interview, educational and comedy shows (like Comics Unleashed and Justice with Judge Mablean). Overnight paid programming was added in 2022, leaving just the early evening and primetime hours for movies. In January 2024, Allen dropped the network's film rights (which had been leaning more towards independent under its stewardship) entirely, completing the abandonment process and relegating This TV to a mere dumping ground for AMG's in-house shows, replacing movies with various Weather Channel originals (like Weather Gone Viral and Storm of Suspicion) and extra airings of the company's other shows (like the press junket interview program ES.TV).


  • For many years, state channel Venezolana de Televisión (VTV) was a general entertainment channel. In the following years after Hugo Chávez's ascension to power, VTV shifted exclusively to news and opinion-related programming, exclusively starring the government's viewpoint. The entertainment programming was moved to a new state channel, TVes, which was created after the government refused to renew the broadcast license of a private network RCTV and took over its assigned signal and channel space.
  • TVes itself presents heavy decay. At the beginning, it presented more national productions, many educational programs from small producers who hadn't a chance on more mainstream channels and having a feel of being a Take That! towards RCTV (which was an ordinary entertainment channel, but a politically rebellious one). Nowadays it is merely a copy of the channel it replaced, with very little original production no that different than the ones from the channels it competes against, but with constant mentions of socialism and pro-government themes on their locally produced shows to remind us who is financing the channel. The exact point of decay can be pinpointed just two years after the network was found, when the National production buffer dried because of lack of financing, and whoever was on charge decided it was cheaper to load the programming grid with cheap Argentinian imports and reruns of Ally McBeal and Korean dramas.

Multiple Nations

  • The entirety of cable TV, in a sense. Its original purpose was to make it easier for viewers in rural or mountainous areas to watch television. Systems were originally known as "CATV" for "Community Antenna Television". (Cable TV in the UK, however, started with commercial-free TV only, because that was all that was available; when the more recognizable 1960s model started the provider - Rediffusion - also owned an independent TV channel, and showed adverts on its rebroadcast ITA broadcasts.) There originally wasn't anything on a U.S. cable TV system other than network stations, a few independents and public stations, and maybe a channel that showed local weather conditions or an electronic news ticker. In the mid-1970s, HBO transitioned from a microwave pay-TV service to cable TV (originally only broadcasting from about 5 p.m. to midnight). Then Ted Turner put the signal of his WTBS independent station on satellite. Eventually, a network called "MSG", which showed mostly New York Rangers games, began to carry other forms of programming. You know that channel today as USA (in the 1980s, USA was more like TNT in that it also showed more movies and sports such as Major League Baseball, the NBA and NHL, than it does today).
    • Cable TV of the 1960s most likely was entirely over-the-air TV stations in the immediate market and perhaps a few from outside markets. Two Denver stations, KWGN, then an independent station, and KRMA, a PBS station, found themselves on cable TV systems from western Kansas to southern Idaho because the programming they offered wasn't available from any other source (Western Kansas wouldn't have its own PBS station until 1988).
  • The majority of South American over-the-air television broadcasters have been plunging into this for some time, catering only to lower-class viewers. While unoriginal only-six-plots soaps are still their chief-products and released periodically, there's been a spike of cheap Reality Shows, "newscasts" solely devoted to (often-sensationalized) crime and soccer, and programs focused on celebrity gossip, butt exhibits, cashing in on the newest musical/memetic fad and crude uninspired humor. Sports other than soccer and Formula One rarely get broadcast - notable exceptions (depending on the country) include tennis, rugby, volleyball (though only important games), and UFC. And if you're not interested in any of the locally produced stuff, bad luck. It's been for some years that the major networks abandoned importing stateside-produced series (Middle- and lower-class South Americans have a strong anti-imperialist sentiment note , even in regards to media note  to the point most attempts to do localized versions of American shows being victims of negative reception). In regards to movies, the typical modus-operandi of the networks was to buy 2-3 years old blockbusters (still not so good a deal) and announce them at the start of the year, they slowly air them until the purchase of the next batch. But nowadays, most of them just don't seem to care anymore, announcing fewer (if any) new movies, while infinitely recycling yesteryears batches (with titles like Tim Burton's Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, the earlier movies of The Fast and the Furious franchise and other big things of 5-10 years ago being aired every 3 weeks or so). Also, in the series department, there is rarely any new syndication as of this entry, not so many to begin with, and with long running commercially successful shows like House, the CSI franchise and Two and a Half Men getting very delayed new seasons, resulting in them re-airing old episodes ad nauseum (putting these kinds of +/-24 episodes-per-year series in daily time-slots definitely doesn't help), usually airing late into the night. Well, as long as there's someone to still sit through all this and see the ads...
    • Regarding local production, in Argentina there are independent stations carrying programs from the Buenos Aires networks. Meanwhile, Brazil's main networks have studios in most states note , the local programming might be restricted to a newscast and a few local ads. A similar case happens in Chile with state broadcaster TVN having news and advertising divisions in regional capital as private network Channel 13 does in Valparaíso and Concepción.
    • Also, as of mid-2012, Brazil's Globo decided to kill off its weekday-morning cartoon block, which existed for more than a decade, was very popular with kids and teenagers alike, airing hits like SpongeBob SquarePants almost religiously, to give way to a generic variety show. Fans weren't pleased. As compensation, Globo launched a new children's channel, Gloob, on June 15, 2012.
    • One of the saddest examples was Venezuela's Televen. Originally the third channel on national ratings, during the 1990s and the Turn of the Millennium positioned itself a classier alternative to the popular RCTV and Venevisión networks by programming based in American series, the most experimental soaps imports from Colombia and Brazil, and a big block of Anime, with shows showing always at the announced time (a rarity in Venezuelan TV, where the shows often creep on the others' timeslots). However, on the mid-2000s, they hired a programming director who has been fired of RCTV, and soon there began to appear anomalies that were a trademark of the latter network, like repackaged programming (i.e. playing as "premiering movies" series episodes stitched together and old movies under a new title), getting rid of weekdays animated shows, creeping timeslots... Then, when RCTV was closed in 2007, Televen absorbed what they could of their talent and somehow decided to become a replacement for them. Nowadays this network is not different from its remaining competition Venevisión, having even the same kind of programming (raunchy gossip shows in the morning, Mexican soaps all the afternoon, cartoons quarantined to weekends early mornings).


  • AXN was launched as an all-action channel in 1997, but now they run movies and TV series in general (though this is mainly due to the traditional "action show" market basically bottoming out in the years since its inception with the death of syndicated dramas in general and the growth of streaming). Most of their shows are not even action-oriented. Their signature shows include all three CSI shows, House, The Amazing Race, and now So You Think You Can Dance. Strangely enough, it's not a bad thing.
  • A rare case of premium channel decay occurred in December 2013 when Encore Love, a channel of nothing but romance films was refocused into Encore Classic and began to carry broadcast sitcoms from the 70s and 80s. It at least allows new viewers to discover those shows, but having to pay $15 as part of the Starz/Encore suite to do so feels odd in an age where Netflix and Hulu combined to give you so many more classic shows for near the same price.
  • There used to be a cable/satellite TV channel called Newsworld International that was owned by the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, aired in the U.S. and showed all sorts of foreign TV news broadcasts, from Britain's ITV News at Ten to evening news broadcasts from Japan's NHK, Germany's Deutsche Welle, its very own CBC, etc. Then it was sold to an investment group largely owned by Al Gore and it transformed itself into the Current TV. It purports to be a 24-hour news channel for young adults (the 18-34 set), but eventually degraded into the same old mishmash of reality shows and snark about the news you see on other general channels because of the usual problem with channels that start with a higher purpose but have to downmarket to get ratings. And now with Keith Olbermann coming into the channel, the signal is clear that Current is going after young adults of a certain political ideal above all others.
    • Keith Olbermann has since been fired due to Creative Differences. In spite of his firing, the idea of a news channel for young audiences was probably a case of Tropes Are Not Bad. The three big news networks (Fox News, CNN and MSNBC) were aimed towards older audiences and the one aimed towards liberal audiences (MSNBC) doesn't do 24-hour news. A news channel for young liberals could actually work in the right hands.
    • Al Gore purchased NWI with the intent to create a liberal alternative to Fox News (before MSNBC fully embraced Keith Olbermann's popularity and populated its schedule with other liberal hosts), but Current initially didn't launch with that format because he found that it would be difficult to get cable companies to carry such a channel or advertisers to advertise on it. Instead, Current launched mostly with documentaries. Oddly, Keith Olbermann's arrival may have caused Current to "re-cay" to a format it was originally intended to have but never actually had in the first place. As for the Canadian CBC Newsworld (the "Newsworld" name effectively became an Artifact Title), it was later re-launched as CBC News Network and re-focused on a more CNN-like lineup of rolling news and talking heads.
    • The turnaround of the channel initially seemed to come full circle; after the failure of the all-liberal-talk-all-the-time format (somehow failed-on-CNN hosts Elliot Spitzer and Joy Behar didn't attract many eyeballs post-Olbermann), Al Gore sold off the channel to the Qatar-based news organization Al Jazeera, who started an American-centric news channel (Al Jazeera America) using Current's channel space after years of exhaustion trying to get cable companies to pick up their world English news channel. Unfortunately for Al Jazeera, the cable companies' apprehensiveness to pick up their channel seemed to be vindicated, as Al Jazeera America floundered in ratingsnote . The network ceased operations altogether after a mere three years of existence, marking the end of the story of the troubled network.
  • "Independent" television stations in North America are an endangered species; many channels arose beginning in the 1960s and through to the 1980s with absolutely no network affiliation of any kind. These channels still managed to air just as wide a variety of programs as network affiliates, but they had the added benefit of being able to program their own primetime lineup, often with "first-run" syndicated programs and coverage of local sports. Some stations also operated scrambled premium television services for all or part of their broadcast day. The concept of independent stations began to fall out of favor with the growth of cable television, which began to offer the same variety, if not wider, than the independents previously offered (ironically, one of these channels happened to be an independent station, Superstation TBS in Atlanta, although it transitioned itself into a traditional cable channel in the late-2000s). Not helping matters was the establishment of brand new television networks to complement the "big three", such as Fox (which eventually ascended to being a de facto fourth major), and later UPN and The WB.

    Stations affiliated with home shopping services and religious networks (such as TBN) also began to spread. Paxson Communications would go the way of taking over channels with an all-infomercial network in 1996 before they too would introduce a network in the form of Pax (which, ironically, would end up consisting mostly of infomercials). However, independent stations were still an occasional fixture of the television landscape; near the turn of the century, Berry Diller's USA Broadcasting flipped several HSN affiliates (most prominently WAMI in Miami) to an independent "CityVision" format (patterned off Toronto's Citytv — an independent that later evolved into a conventional network) that had an aggressive focus on locally-produced programming. However, by 2002, the company had folded, and the stations were sold to Univision as the basis of its new sister network Telefutura (now UniMas).

    UPN and The WB would merge to form The CW in 2006, prompting Fox to create a new sister network, MyNetworkTV, for stations that were displaced by the merger. Its attempts at first-run programs were generally considered a failure, prompting the network to retool itself as a syndication package for off-network reruns instead. The transition to digital terrestrial television also brought the ability to divide a single signal into multiple channels with different programming; following the transition, a slew of specialty networks designed for carriage on these subchannels (typically as a value-added service on top of the main affiliation) began to proliferate, often relying on acquired programming (such as off-network and "retro" television series, films, or other narrowly-targeted and niche format). As these services tend to have a full, centralized schedule of networked programming (not unlike a cable channel), a station could get by just running multiple subchannel networks rather than deal with having to acquire programming on their own, and all they would need is someone to sell the ads, someone to run everything else, and someone to watch.

    Most of the remaining U.S. independent stations are tied in some way to a major broadcasting company and maybe a sister station to a major network affiliate (such as CBS's WLNY and KCAL, Fox's KICU San Francisco, KONG Seattle — run by NBC affiliate KING, WPCH Atlanta, the former WTBS — which is now owned by CBS affiliate WANF, and most recently WMYD Detroit, previously an affiliate of The WB and then MyNetworkTV — now run by ABC affiliate WXYZ). Some independents, especially those that may have previously been an affiliate of one of the "six major networks" (including WGN in Chicago, WJXT in Jacksonville, WDVM in Hagerstown, and WHDH in Boston), as well as KUSI San Diego, tend to rely heavily on their local news programming to pad out their daily schedules, often by scheduling newscasts in unconventional time slots (such as during the 8:00 or 9:00 p.m. primetime hours to provide an alternative to network fare)).

    Nowadays, the stations closest to the format of a traditional independent without technically being independent, are stations which carry MyNetworkTV or The CW. Barring the latter's one-hour daytime talk show and 3-hour E/I block, both networks only program two hours of primetime on limited days of the week (with MNTV only programming weekdays, and CW programming weekdays and Sundays as of the 2018-19 season), and do not have national news or sports programming — meaning that affiliates have significantly less network programming to work around than big three stations. Plus, due to its current status as a bottom-feeder with no first-run programs, some MNTV stations (including, ironically, two Fox-owned stations, one which is also affiliated with The CW) pre-empt its programming into the late-night hours and may downplay the affiliation in their overall branding (some Fox-owned MNTV outlets have been re-branded as offshoots of their respective Fox station, such as "Fox 9 Plus" or "Fox 5 Plus", as opposed to previous names such as "My 29") because in its current form, MyNetworkTV is not really much of a network anymore. Most of these stations, in addition to local news, air syndicated reruns of sitcoms and dramas, the most popular of which being The Big Bang Theory, Seinfeld, Chicago P.D., and Friends. Fans of the above-mentioned shows and others can easily find these on other channels, DVDs, or streaming services (if applicable), but these reruns still net millions of dollars a year for their actors and creators (Jerry Seinfeld still earns hundreds of millions of dollars per year for reruns, while all six Friends earn $20 million USD each).