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History
History Channel logo.svg
Launched January 1, 1995
Owned by A&E Television Networks
Picture format 480i (SDTV)
720p (HDTV)
Slogan "History Made Every Day"
Headquarters New York City, United States
Formerly called The History Channel (1995–2008)
Sister channel(s) History International
A&E Network
The Biography Channel
Military History Channel
History en Español
Crime & Investigation Network
Website www.history.com
Availability
Satellite
DirecTV Channel 269
Channel 1269 (VOD)
Dish Network Channel 120
DStv Channel 254
Cable
UPC Romania Channel 312 (SD)
Channel 180 (HD)
Comcast Varies by market
IPTV
AT&T U-verse Channel 270 (SD)
Channel 1270 (HD)

History, formerly known as The History Channel, is an international satellite and cable TV channel that broadcasts programs regarding historical events and persons, as well as various metaphysical, pseudoscientific, and paranormal phenomena—often with observations and explanations by noted historians, scholars, authors, esotericists, astrologers, and Biblical scholars as well as reenactments and interviews with witnesses, and/or families of witnesses.

Contents

History

Launched on January 1, 1995, the channel is owned by A&E joint venture (Hearst, Disney, NBC)[1] and operates, in various forms, in the United States, Germany, the United Kingdom, Australia, New Zealand, Portugal, Ireland, Israel, Spain, Poland, Italy, The Netherlands, Belgium and Latin America. The network was also available in South Asia under a deal between STAR TV and AETN International until November 21, 2008. The channel has consistently produced prime time ratings in the U.S. comparable to or higher than the A&E Network itself.[citation needed]

In 2007 The History Channel launched "Take a Veteran to School Day," designed to foster relationships between U.S. military veterans and students; R. Lee Ermey is the spokesman for the initiative.

On February 16, 2008, a new logo was launched on the flagship American network. While keeping their trademark "H", the triangle shape on the left acts as a play button for animation and fly-outs during commercials and shows. The former logo form remains in place for the rest of the world. On March 20, 2008, The History Channel dropped the "The" and the "Channel" parts of its name to become History.[2]

Programming

Programming covers a wide range of periods and topics, while similar topics are often organized into themed weeks or daily marathons. Subjects include military history, medieval history, the 19th, 20th, and 21st centuries, modern engineering, historical biographies, metaphysical subjects and disaster scenarios; a number of these documentaries are narrated by Edward Herrmann. Many programs compare contemporary culture and technology with the past, while some programs have a more esoteric focus such as conspiracy theory, religious interpretation, UFO speculation, or reality television. The History Channel maintains a corporate initiative called Save Our History, dedicated to the preservation of history and historical sites and artifacts, similar in spirit but not to be confused with the National Trust for Historic Preservation.

Criticism and evaluation

The History Channel received the nickname "The Hitler Channel"[3] for its extensive coverage of World War II, though much military-themed programming has now been shifted to its sister network, the Military History Channel, and the network's programming now covers a diverse range of topics on history and hypothetical future events. The U.S.-based network has also been criticized for devoting most of its coverage to historical topics concerning the Western world and the United States in particular.[4] Their sister network, History International, also seems to have a focus on American history. The network has also received criticism for emphasizing the history of relatively recent times, as opposed to ancient or medieval eras.[citation needed]

The History Channel has also been criticized for paying too much attention to non-historical subjects such as UFOs and for spreading disinformation about Nostradamus,[5] as well as for playing a major role in propagating the 2012 Doomsday prediction myth,[6] usually with scant reference to established scholarship,[7] with the result that it has also been dubbed[8] "The Mystery Channel" or "The Pseudo-History Channel", as well as "The Hysteria Channel".

The network was also criticized by Stanley Kutner for airing the controversial series "The Men Who Killed Kennedy" in 2003; Kutner was one of three historians commissioned to review the documentary, which the channel disavowed and never aired again.[9] On the other hand, programs such as Modern Marvels have been praised for their presentation of detailed information in an entertaining format.[10]

Also, the network's Ice Road Truckers,[11] Pawn Stars, and Life After People series garnered record ratings in the U.S.[citation needed] despite their non-historical nature. However, Life After People and its succesor series do cite several historical events and occurances in correlation to the topic being discussed.

History is continuing the apocalyptic trend mentioned above with a highly interpretive new series, Nostradamus Effect, which premiered on September 9, 2009 and involves a supposed "Third Antichrist" and a "Da Vinci Armageddon."

Despite these criticisms about History's less-than-historical subject matter, examples of programs that more appropriately suit the channel are Ancient Discoveries, Engineering an Empire, and Cities of the Underworld.

Other media

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DVD

  • The Unknown Hitler DVD collection,[12] including Hitler and the Occult
  • Dogfight: Season 1 DVD set
  • The Great Depression DVD collection

Video games

  • The History Channel: Great Battles of Rome
  • The History Channel: Civil War - A Nation Divided
  • The History Channel: ShootOut! - The Game
  • The History Channel: Dogfights - The Game
  • The History Channel: Battle for the Pacific
  • The History Channel: Lost Worlds
  • The History Channel: Battle of Britain 1940
  • The History Channel: Crusades - Quest for Power
  • The History Channel: Alamo - Fight for Independence
  • The History Channel: Civil War - Great Battles
  • The History Channel: Digging for Truth

The History Channel maintains a website at www.history.com which among other features maintains several message boards including the History of Christianity, WWII, the Civil War, Operation Iraqi Freedom, and Current Events.

International

Canada

History is not to be confused with a similar, independently-owned, Canadian service, History Television. Indeed, the phrase "Not available in Canada" became a de facto slogan for the channel in its early years, as a result of its use in promotional ads, at least those aired on A&E (which is available in Canada).[13]

Asia

The History Channel started its operations in India in late 2003, with News Corp's STAR as its sales partner, managed by National Geographic until November 21, 2008.[14] The History Channel India closed down on November 21, 2008 and it has been replaced by Fox History & Entertainment, which is the first FOX Network channel available in India. A joint venture of AETN and Astro All Asia Networks is launching the History Channel in Singapore, Hong Kong, Thailand, the Philippines, Malaysia, Indonesia, Vietnam and Brunei in the second and third quarters of 2007, and in Taiwan and China by the end of the year.[15] Some other Asian countries such as Israel, Japan and South Korea currently have their own versions of the network. On September 1, 2008 History Channel Asia was officially launch their own History HD Asia channel in Singapore and Hong Kong, followed by Japan, South Korea and the Philippines.[16][17][18][19]

Scandinavia

A Scandinavian version was launched in September 1997, broadcasting for three hours and later four hours, per day on the analogue Viasat platform. Initially time-sharing with TV1000 Cinema, it was later moved to the Swedish TV8 channel and continued broadcasting there until November 2004 when Viasat launched their own history channel, Viasat History, in the Nordic region and closed down the History Channel. On February 1, 2007 the History Channel returned to Denmark, Norway, Finland and Sweden when the UK version was launched as a stand-alone channel on the Canal Digital satellite platform.

The History Channel launched on February 1, 2007 on the Canal Digital DTH satellite package for viewers in Norway, Sweden, Denmark & Finland. The channel is being launched by The History Channel UK, A&E’s joint venture with BSkyB. Although it will broadcast in English, the channel will be scheduled separately from the UK version. There are already separate versions of The History Channel in sub-Saharan Africa and Greece. The Biography Channel and Crime & Investigation Network are also to be launched in the Nordic market.

Latin America

The Latin American version was launched in 2001. It is owned by A&E Network and controlled in the region by HBO Latin America Group. It airs the same programming as the U.S. version.

See also

References

  1. ^ "About AETN". AETN.com. http://www.aetn.com/about.html. Retrieved 2007-08-04. 
  2. ^ International Herald Tribune Television's The History Channel drops 'the' and 'channel' from its name, keeps History March 20, 2008
  3. ^ "All Hitler, all the time" by Mark Schone (Salon, May 8, 1997).
  4. ^ "Time traveler's guide to the Roman Empire". Channel4.com. http://www.channel4.com/history/microsites/H/history/guide03/explore1.html. Retrieved 2007-08-04. "The History Channel: The website of the American cable channel has a bias towards American history, as evidenced by Extreme History with Roger Daltrey" 
  5. ^ See The Lost Book of Nostradamus
  6. ^ See 2012 millenarianism, Decoding the Past (2004), End of Days (2006), Maya Doomsday (2007), The Last Days on Earth (2008), Seven Signs of the Apocalypse, Nostradamus: 2012 (2008), and Nostradamus Effect (2009) and compare the Channel's own publicity
  7. ^ See, for example, Schele, Linda and Freidel, David A Forest of Kings: The Untold Story of the Ancient Maya (Morrow, 1990)
  8. ^ Archives of the international Nostradamus Research Group, April 2009
  9. ^ Stanley Kutner (2004-07-04). "Why the History Channel Had to Apologize for the Documentary that Blamed LBJ for JFK's Murder". History News Network. http://hnn.us/articles/4504.html. Retrieved 2007-08-04. "The History Channel has made a start in the right direction as it has totally disavowed the program and publicly promised it never will be shown again." 
  10. ^ Scott Weinberg (2007-05-29). "Modern Marvels: Technology". DVD Talk. http://www.dvdtalk.com/reviews/read.php?ID=28158. Retrieved 2007-08-04. "If you're trying to throw your kids a little education, but in a fast-paced and colorful presentation, these "Modern Marvels" series come pretty highly recommended. Then again, I'm a mid-30s guy and I'm learning tons of new stuff from these programs." 
  11. ^ Steve Rogers and Christopher Rocchio (2007-06-20). "'Ice Road Truckers' debut sets The History Channel ratings records". Reality TV World. http://www.realitytvworld.com/news/ice-road-truckers-debut-sets-history-channel-ratings-records-5383.php. Retrieved 2007-11-17. 
  12. ^ The History Channel Online Store: The Unknown Hitler DVD Collection
  13. ^ "Librarian and Information Science News". LIS News. http://www.lisnews.com/index.pl?issue=20040722&mode=. Retrieved 2007-08-04. "I always wondered why the History Channel commercials said not available in Canada." 
  14. ^ "Indiantelevision.com's interview with NGC India managing director (South Asia) Zubin Jehanbux Gandevia". Indiantelevision.com. 2003-12-20. http://www.indiantelevision.com/interviews/y2k3/executive/zubin.htm. Retrieved 2007-10-15. 
  15. ^ "A&E Television Networks & Astro Form Joint Venture". 2007-04-16. http://www.aetninternational.com/news.jsp?id=17683138. Retrieved 2007-06-08. 
    "The History Channel Expands Through Asia". 2003-02-10. http://www.aetninternational.com/news.jsp?id=9992256. Retrieved 2007-06-16. 
  16. ^ History HD channel launched on SkyLife in Korea retrieved via www.medianewsline.com 05-05-2009
  17. ^ History HD to launch in Japan retrieved via www.aetninternational.com 09-30-2008
  18. ^ History Channel Asia HD launched on SkyCable Philippines retrived via www.skycable.com 06-09-2009
  19. ^ The History Channel HD to launch in Singapore and Hong Kong retrieved via www.aetninternational.com 08-26-2008

External links


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