It seems like Cable TV providers are constantly changing their lineups and adding new cable channels. Just when we can finally remember where all our favorite channels are, they rearrange everything and we have to learn them all over again. But with all the behind-the-scenes negotiations and acquisitions between Cable TV providers, content producers and distributors, we sometimes get to enjoy the benefit of being offered new channels that we may not have even known about.
9 New Cable Channels You Should Check Out
Here are a few lesser known, niche networks that might pique your interest.
Pivot may be just a niche network now, but it also looks a lot like what the near future of broadcasting will be. The main tenet of this channel is community involvement. Whether it’s contributing videos or music for Joseph Gordon-Levitt’s “HITRECORD on TV,” or going to the Pivot website’s Take Action page (where you can donate or volunteer toward issues spotlighted in the shows you’ve watched), Pivot is a highly interactive experience. The programming features the topical and relevant. “Freestyle Love Supreme” is an improvised variety show featuring the eponymous musical act, while thoughtfully researched and unfiltered discussions make up the network’s version of nightly news, “Take Part Live.” There are also a few fan favorites like “Firefly” and “Buffy the Vampire Slayer.”
Show to Watch: “Please Like Me” — The autobiographical sitcom from Australia about navigating relationships in the adult world.
There was a time, in the annals of Cable TV providers, when A&E stood for “Arts and Entertainment” and Bravo meant fine arts and film. Back then, Ovation was just a tiny upstart network that very few providers carried — and even when they did, Ovation was only on for part of the day. These days, as part of the Weinstein Company, Ovation has filled the content space once occupied by both Bravo and A&E, which have all but disappeared into the reality TV vortex. With series focusing on the innovations, inspirations, and interpretations of all the arts, along with popular costume dramas and great performances in film, Ovation could almost be viewed as PBS Plus.
Show to Watch: “A Young Doctor’s Notebook & Other Stories” — The dark comedy based on the novel of the same name, starring Jon Hamm and Daniel Radcliffe.
Pronounced “access” and owned by an LLC partnership that includes CAA and Ryan Seacrest, this is one of the new cable channels that’s still trying to find its particular niche. Programming primarily centers on music and comedy, particularly behind-the-scenes and interviews. Live performances from Coachella or intimate concerts are a great way to see your favorite bands. There are also sports like MMA and the annual “Little 500,” along with documentary series like “Stephen Fry’s America.”
Available: AT&T U-verse, Dish, DirecTV, Verizon FiOS
Show to Watch: “The Big Interview with Dan Rather” — More hard-hitting and in-depth than your average chat show interview.
Military history has always been an anchor of a Cable TV provider’s lineup. American Heroes Channel is part of the Discovery collection and was, until just last spring, known as the Military Channel. As the name suggests, this network is dedicated to all things related to combat, strategy, tactical, and military history. Other related subjects of interest include the old west, the mafia, espionage, and, of course, Nazis.
Available: DirecTV, Dish, C-Band, AT&T U-Verse, Sky Angel, Verizon FiOS
Show to Watch: “The Brokaw Files” — Tom Brokaw re-visits iconic moments in history with thoughtful analysis and commentary.
Five other new cable channels offer programming that is more genre specific rather than subject matter.
- Velocity: For the armchair mechanic, this sister network of AHC is all about cars.
- AWE: Formerly WealthTV, the channel is entirely devoted to lifestyles of the rich and famous — and the occasional boxing match.
- Smithsonian: Documentaries on just about every subject imaginable are here. From all kinds of animals to the Japanese Zero, this network will give you an overview of them all.
- NUVO: Imagine a network where “Entertainment Tonight” or “Inside Edition” were on all the time. Well, now you don’t have to.
- Fusion: CNN for millennials.
New cable channels seem to just sneak up on your channel guide once in a while, which is a good thing! But we don’t always know what they offer. Hopefullly, you do now!