Mark Cuban flips the channel on HDNet

New AXS TV branding to premiere Monday

HDNet is no more as of Monday.

Mark Cuban is quietly flipping the switch on his cable network’s new brand, AXS TV. The 11-year-old HDNet brand will be mothballed as part of a deal Cuban struck in January with AEG, Ryan Seacrest Media and CAA to transform the channel into an ambitious multiplatform venture focusing on live concerts.

Cuban declined comment via a spokesman.

AXS TV made no formal announcement of the switch beyond promoting it on air and online. The HDNet website now redirects to AXS.tv.

As the network assumes a new identity, it will also add 8 million subscribers from a new carriage deal with Dish Network, which will give AXS TV the channel position once reserved for AMC. The “Mad Men” network and others owned by AMC Networks were yanked Saturday night as a result of a carriage dispute with the satcaster.

While HDNet is going away for good, the staples of its schedule remain including “Dan Rather Reports” and mixed-martial arts telecasts. However, the risque “Guys Night In” lineup including frisky fare such as “Girls Gone Wild” is not going to remain with AXS TV as of next week.

In its place will come more live-concert telecasts, though some new pieces of the schedule like a daily “AXS Live” show from its own studio has yet to be scheduled. While new or rebranded cable networks typically launch to considerable marketing-supported fanfare, Cuban seems to be taking a more iterative approach to cable launches. That could be a nod to his technology background or he could be avoiding the pressure that could come with a lot of promotional hoopla, as Oprah Winfrey’s OWN discovered the hard way.

HDNet was launched in 2001 as a hub for high-definition TV at a time when the technology was still a novelty in the marketplace. With the Dish expansion in place, AXS TV will be available in 35 million homes.

Popular on Variety

More TV

  • NBCUNIVERSAL LOGOS -- Pictured: "E!" Logo

    NBCUniversal Cable Hit With Significant Layoffs

    Another round of layoffs are set to impact NBCUniversal’s E!, Bravo, Oxygen, USA and Syfy networks Thursday, a source familiar with the situation tells Variety, not long after the E! network laid off around 20-25 staff in August. This round of layoffs is likely to impact fewer than 45 employees, more than last month’s news [...]

  • Peaky Blinders Season 5

    Time-Jumping Season 5 of 'Peaky Blinders' Aims for a More Cinematic Look

    Cinematographer Si Bell was thrilled to learn he and director Anthony Byrne had been tapped to shoot the fifth season of BBC’s “Peaky Blinders,” but surprised to find out how free a hand executive producers Caryn Mandabach and Jamie Glazebrook were giving them to determine the scheme of their six-episode run. “I expected to meet the [...]

  • Daniel Levy Schitts Creek

    'Schitt's Creek' Co-Creator Dan Levy Signs ABC Studios Overall Deal

    “Schitt’s Creek” breakout Dan Levy has signed a multi-year overall deal at ABC Studios. Under the deal, Levy will develop and produce scripted projects for the studio. “Dan Levy has proven himself as one of the most creative people in the TV business,” said Jonnie Davis, president of ABC Studios. “His writing, acting and producing [...]

  • Barry Bill Hader

    Emmys 2019: Clear Favorites and Top Challengers for This Year's Winners (Column)

    If this felt like the longest, most expensive Emmy campaign in history, you might be right. For one thing, the 2019 Primetime Emmys will be held Sept. 22, which is the latest the ceremony has taken place since 2013. That also happened to be the last year of TV’s quaint, pre-streaming era, before outlets like [...]

  • AMERICA'S GOT TALENT -- "Live Results

    TV Ratings: 'America's Got Talent' Finale Draws 10 Million Viewers

    SPOILER ALERT: Do not read on if you have not seen the season 14 finale of “America’s Got Talent.” The finale of NBC’s “America’s Got Talent,” which saw blind, autistic singer Kodi Lee crowned the winner, drew almost exactly 10 million viewers for the Peacock on Wednesday night. Bolstered by a robust, velvety Cher performance, [...]

  • Ava-Mark-Split

    Ava DuVernay, Mark Ruffalo Selected for SAG-AFTRA Foundation Honors

    Ava DuVernay and Mark Ruffalo have been selected by the SAG-AFTRA Foundation for its fourth Annual Patron of the Artists Awards. The awards will be presented on Nov. 7 at the Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts in Beverly Hills. The show benefits the nonprofit SAG-AFTRA Foundation and is not televised. Previous SAG-AFTRA Foundation Patron of the [...]

  • Programme Name: The Cry - TX:

    Brazil, U.K. Lead International Emmy Awards Nominations

    Brazil and the U.K. lead the pack in this year’s International Emmy Awards nominations, which span 21 countries across 11 categories. Titles and talent from Britain and Brazil will vie with other hopefuls for the trophy in five categories: drama, best performance by an actor, best performance by an actress, arts programming and documentary. Brazilian [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content