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Broadcast/Cable TV History - 1996

1996-00-00 A&E Network was shortened to A&E.

1996-00-00 Faith & Values Channel renamed as Odyssey Network.

1996-00-00 Showtime3 (PAY) was launches.

1996-00-00 Starz! 2 (PAY) was launched, became Starz! Theater in 1999, then Starz Edge on March 25, 2005.

1996-01-15 BET on Jazz was launched.

1996-02-01 Sundance Channel (PAY) was launched.

1996-03-00 America's Health Network was launched.

1996-04-21 Ovation channel was launched.

1996-04-29 Nick at Nite's TV Land was launched; it became just TV Land later on.

1996-07-15 America's Talking was rebranded as MSNBC.

1996-08-01 M2 was launched.

1996-08-12 regional cable channel KCOX 4 (later 4SD or Channel 4 San Diego) was launched on Cox systems in San Diego county.

1996-10-01 Animal Planet was launched.

1996-10-07 Discovery Travel and Living was launched.

1996-10-07 Science Channel was launched.

1996-10-07 Discovery Kids Channel was launched.

1996-10-07 Discovery Civilization Network: The World History and Geography Channel was launched.

1996-11-01 Prime Sports West changed its name to Fox Sports West.

1996-11-01 ESPNews was launched.

1996-12-00 HBO Family (PAY) was launched.

1996-12-12 CNNSI was launched.

1996-12-31 INTRO Television and Encore Plus aired their final broadcast days.

Cable History Highlights For This Year Range

In 1996, The Telecommunications Act of 1996 passes Congress and is signed into law on February 8, signaling a new era in U.S. communications. It immediately deregulates rates for small cable systems. It removes entry barriers and requires RBOCs to open up their markets to competition. AT&T begins to offer local telephone service and the RBOCs prepare plans to offer long distance services.

In 1996, Rainbow launches News 12 New Jersey, New Jersey's first and only 24-hour local television news channel. News 12 New Jersey is a joint venture between Rainbow Programming and Newhouse Communications, the parent company of The Star Ledger.

In 1996, The first public HDTV broadcast in the United States occurs when the Raleigh, North Carolina television station WRAL-HD begins broadcasting from the existing tower of WRAL-TV

In mid 1996, EMI sold the satellite distribution rights of the WWOR National Feed to Advance Entertainment Corporation.

Source: The Cable Center website: Cable History Timeline: http://www.cablecenter.org/resources/exhibits/cable-history-timeline.html

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