Bravo Media, LLC
CountryUnited States
Broadcast areaNationwide
HeadquartersComcast Building, New York City, New York
Programming
Language(s)English
Picture format1080i HDTV
(downscaled to letterboxed 480i for the SDTV feed)
Ownership
OwnerNBCUniversal
ParentNBCUniversal Media Group
Sister channels
History
LaunchedDecember 8, 1980; 43 years ago (1980-12-08)
Links
Websitewww.bravotv.com
Availability
Streaming media
Streaming ServicesSling TV, Hulu with Live TV, YouTube TV, DirecTV Stream, FuboTV
ClaroTV+(requires subscription to access content)
  • ch.215

Bravo is an American basic cable television network, launched on December 8, 1980. It is owned by the NBCUniversal Media Group division of Comcast's NBCUniversal. The channel originally focused on programming related to fine arts and film. Since the 2000s, its brand has focused heavily on reality series targeted at 25-to-54-year-old women and the LGBTQIA+ community at large.

As of November 2023, Bravo is available to approximately 70,000,000 pay television households in the United States, down from its 2013 peak of 95,000,000 households.[1]

History

Evolution of Comcast NBCUniversal
1912Universal Pictures is founded
1926NBC is founded
1928Walter Lantz Productions is established
1943MCA Inc. establishes Revue Studios (later Universal Television)
1953NBC begins first compatible color broadcasts, preceding other networks by nine years
1956NBC's first peacock logo debuts
1963American Cable Systems is founded
1964Universal Studios Hollywood opens
1967NBC broadcasts the first Super Bowl
1968American Cable Systems rebrands to Comcast
1972Comcast began trading on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE)
1975Universal releases Jaws
1980PolyGram renames Casablanca Record & Filmworks to PolyGram Pictures
MCA Videocassette‚ Inc. (later Universal Pictures Home Entertainment is established
1982Universal releases E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial
1984Walter Lantz Productions' assets are sold to Universal
Telemundo is founded
1985Universal releases Back to the Future
1986General Electric buys RCA for $6.4 billion, including NBC and a stake in A&E
1989NBC relaunches Tempo Television as CNBC
1990Universal Studios Florida opens
Law & Order premieres on NBC
Sky Television and British Satellite Broadcasting merge to form British Sky Broadcasting
Universal Cartoon Studios (later Universal Animation Studios) is established
1993Universal releases Jurassic Park
1994DreamWorks Animation is founded
1996NBC and Microsoft replace America's Talking with MSNBC
1997Barry Diller purchases Universal's domestic television assets
1998Seagram acquires PolyGram Filmed Entertainment
Universal Television is renamed Studios USA Television
1999PolyGram Filmed Entertainment is folded into Universal Pictures
Universal Studios Florida expands to become Universal Orlando Resort
Law & Order: Special Victims Unit premieres on NBC
2001Grand opening of Universal Studios Japan
Universal releases The Fast and the Furious
Vivendi purchases Studios USA
2002NBC acquires Telemundo and Bravo
Studios USA assets are folded into Universal
Focus Features is formed
Comcast acquires AT&T Broadband for $44.5 billion
2003Universal becomes the first studio with five summer releases breaking the $100 million mark
2004GE and Vivendi merge NBC and Universal into NBCUniversal
2005The Office premieres on NBC
Comcast sets up a joint-venture with PBS, Sesame Workshop & HIT Entertainment to form PBS Kids Sprout
Comcast & Time Warner Cable jointly acquire Adelphia Cable assets for $17.6 billion
2006USA Network begins 13-year streak as #1 cable network in total viewers
2007Illumination is founded
2010Universal releases Illumination's first film Despicable Me
2011Vivendi divested in NBCU; Comcast buys 51% of NBCU from GE, turning it into a limited liability company
NBCUniversal Archives is founded
2012Universal celebrates its 100th anniversary
NBCUniversal divests its A&E Networks minority stake
2013Comcast buys GE's remaining 49% of NBCU
Comcast/NBCU assumes full ownership of Sprout
2014Comcast attempts to acquire Time Warner Cable for $45.2 billion
NBCUniversal reaches a new long-term deal with WWE
2016NBCU acquires DreamWorks Animation
2017Sprout relaunches as Universal Kids
2018Comcast acquires Sky after a heated bidding war with 21st Century Fox
2019NBCU acquires Cineo Lighting
2020NBCU launches Peacock
2021Grand opening of Universal Beijing Resort
2023The Super Mario Bros. Movie becomes Illumination's highest-grossing film

Bravo originally launched as a commercial-free premium channel on December 8, 1980.[2][3] It was originally co-owned by Cablevision's Rainbow Media division and Warner-Amex Satellite Entertainment; the channel claimed to be "the first television service dedicated to film and the performing arts".[4][5][6] The channel originally broadcast its programming two days a week and—like Bravo's former sister network Nickelodeon, which shared its channel space with Alpha Repertory Television Service—shared its channel space with the adult-oriented pay channel Escapade (now Playboy TV), which featured R-rated B movies (of the action, grindhouse and horror genres) and softcore pornographic films.[7] In 1981, Bravo was available to 48,000 subscribers throughout the United States; this total increased four years later to around 350,000 subscribers.[8] A 1985 profile of Bravo in The New York Times observed that most of its programming consisted of international, classic, and independent film. Celebrities such as E. G. Marshall and Roberta Peters provided opening and closing commentary to the films broadcast on the channel.[8]

Performing arts programs seen on Bravo included the show Jazz Counterpoint.[8] During the mid-1980s, Bravo converted from a premium service into a basic cable channel, although it remained a commercial-free service.[9] Bravo signed an underwriting deal with Texaco in 1992 and within a month broadcast the first Texaco Showcase production, a stage adaptation of Romeo and Juliet.[10] By the mid-1990s, Bravo began to incorporate more PBS-style underwriting sponsorships, and then began accepting traditional commercial advertising by 1998.[7]

In the Encyclopedia of Television, Megan Mullen perceived certain Bravo programs as "considered too risky or eclectic for mainstream channels". Those programs were Karaoke and Cold Lazarus, the final serials by British playwright Dennis Potter shown by Bravo in June 1997, and Michael Moore's documentary series The Awful Truth from 1999.[10]

In 1999, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer acquired a 20% stake in the channel, which it subsequently sold back to Rainbow Media in 2001. NBC bought the network in 2002 for $1.25 billion; it had owned a stake in the channel and its sister networks for several years up to that point.[11] NBC's then-parent company, General Electric, merged the network and its other broadcast and cable properties with Vivendi Universal Entertainment in May 2004 to form NBC Universal.

Bravo logo (2001–2005)

Bravo saw a massive success in 2003 with the reality series Queer Eye for the Straight Guy, which garnered 3.5 million viewers.[5] The network began to add more reality shows to its lineup, some of them also very successful, including Project Runway in 2004, and Million Dollar Listing, The Real Housewives of Orange County and Top Chef, all in 2006. All spawned numerous spin-off shows, and some even turned into international franchises. The success of all these shows led Bravo to change its format from focusing on performing arts, drama, and independent film to being focused on reality series, pop culture, fashion and celebrities. In 2009, Entertainment Weekly put "Bravo reality shows" on its end-of-the-decade "best-of" list, saying, "From Queer Eye for the Straight Guy's Fab Five to Project Runway's fierce fashionistas to the kvetching, perma-tanned Real Housewives franchise, Bravo's quirky reality programming mixes high culture and low scruples to create deliciously addictive television."[12]

Bravo logo (2005–2017)

A study released in May 2008 ranked Bravo as the brand most identified as gay-friendly among gay consumers.[13] Bravo's age demographic is people 18–54, according to the Cable Television Advertising Bureau's cable television profiles.[4]

Other successful reality series followed, including Shahs of Sunset (2012), Vanderpump Rules (2013), Married to Medicine (2013), Below Deck (2013), Southern Charm (2014), and Summer House (2017). Bravo's first ever scripted series, Girlfriends' Guide to Divorce, premiered in 2014 and ran until 2018.[citation needed]

On February 7, 2017, coinciding with the premiere of another scripted series, Imposters, Bravo updated its imaging with a refresh to its speech bubble-inspired logo, with the letters now all rendered in lowercase (replacing the wordmark text based on the logos used by the channel between 1994 and 2005), and a neutralized imaging to attract more male viewers. The "...by Bravo" marketing tag was also phased out from general use.[14]

Controversies

In August 2023, several of the network's reality stars, including Bethenny Frankel, Raquel Leviss, Lisa Rinna, and many others, accused Bravo and its parent company, NBCUniversal, for mistreating and causing a hostile working environment against them. Frankel has also filed a lawsuit against the network and NBC as a result of the allegations.[15]

In January 2024, Caroline Manzo filed a lawsuit against Bravo which alleged that the network and its affiliated companies—Forest Productions, Warner Bros. Entertainment, NBCUniversal Media, Shed Media and Peacock TV— would "regularly ply the Real Housewives cast with alcohol, cause them to become severely intoxicated, and then direct, encourage and/or allow them to sexually harass other cast members because that is good for ratings."[16][17][18] The lawsuit was filed a year after it was reported Brandi Glanville gave Manzo "unwanted kisses" while they participated in season 5 of The Real Housewives Ultimate Girls Trip.[19][17] The lawsuit also accused Bravo of knowing that Glanville had a history of sexual misconduct, but hired her anyway for good ratings.[17][18]

Programming

Main article: List of programs broadcast by Bravo

Bravo's programming schedule primarily includes originally produced programming, particularly reality content. Most popularly, the channel is known for its TV franchises The Real Housewives and Inside the Actors Studio, as well as Top Chef, Project Runway, Flipping Out, Below Deck, and Married to Medicine. The channel also airs reruns of series from parent network NBC and occasionally other NBCUniversal-owned networks, off-network series, including those from NBCUniversal Television Distribution, and feature films, primarily from the Universal Pictures catalog. Bravo utilizes block programming for both new shows and existing ones such as its "Fashion By Bravo" block.[20]

Following its acquisition by NBC, Bravo began to supplement NBC Sports coverage of the Olympic Games, airing live events during the overnight and morning hours during the 2004 Summer Olympics; this coverage continued with the 2006 Winter Olympics. The channel carried no coverage during the 2008 games, as NBCUniversal had acquired Oxygen, allowing Bravo to continue to carry its regular programming schedule during NBC coverage of the Games. In 2012, the network served as the near-exclusive home for the Games's tennis tournament at Wimbledon, with up to 56 hours of coverage except for the men's and women's singles finals, which aired on NBC.[21] During the 2016 Rio Olympics, Bravo served as the exclusive home of the entire tennis tournament.[citation needed]

Streaming

Bravo is associated with NBC's streaming service "Peacock", where much of its original content can be found. [22]

International versions

An Australian channel called Arena rebranded its on-air presentation in 2008 to align with Bravo as a result of an agreement with Bravo Media.[23] Arena uses the now-former Bravo slogan "Watch What Happens" and has access to Bravo-produced programming.[24] As of July 2020, the channel has rebranded with a new logo as Fox Arena and has added content from other providers such as WarnerMedia. In October 2022, it was announced that Australia's Seven Network would launch a local version of the network, titled 7Bravo on 15 January 2023, as part of a joint venture with NBCU.[25]

A Canadian version of Bravo was launched in 1995 by CHUM Limited. The channel originally aired much of the same genres of programming aired by its American counterpart, though it has diverged to carry more dramatic programming rather than the American network's reality focus due to its compliance with its original remit from the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) to air programming related to arts. Current owners Bell Media relaunched the channel in 2012, complete with the adoption of a new logo; there is now essentially no connection between the two channels other than a shared name. The channel carried the few arts-related series aired by the American version (such as Inside the Actors Studio and Work of Art), while Bravo's reality programs have been picked up by Corus Entertainment's Slice, Food Network Canada, HGTV Canada.

MediaWorks New Zealand announced that it would close the youth-oriented free to air channel Four in July 2016 and replace it with Bravo as part of a deal with NBC Universal.[26] As of December 2020, the New Zealand channel is co-owned by Discovery, Inc.

A Brazilian version of Bravo was launched in 1996 by a partnership between TVA - then Grupo Abril's television arm -, TV Cultura and the original American network.[27] The channel produced original programming like the Brazilian version of Inside Actors Studio called Studio Brasil. In August 1999, Bravo was rebranded as Film&Arts after Bravo Networks took the fully control of channel's administration.[28] In 2000, Bravo Networks sold Film&Arts to Chellomedia's Pramer. AMC Networks acquired Chellomedia in 2014 putting Film&Arts in AMC International Networks' portfolio. As of 2016 the channel was no longer available in Brazil after being dropped out by several cable and satellite providers.

Bravo's A-List Awards

In 2008, Bravo's A-List Awards were created to honor celebrities "who have made an unforgettable mark" in various fields of pop culture such as beauty, design, fashion, and cooking.[29][30]

References

  1. ^ "U.S. cable network households (universe), 1990 – 2023". wrestlenomics.com. May 14, 2024. Retrieved July 28, 2019.((cite web)): CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  2. ^ "ABC joins cable market with new art programs", by Kay Gardella, in Daily News (New York), December 3, 1980, p37
  3. ^ "Cable Industry Plans Performing Arts Show", by Dan Lewis, Albuquerque (NM) Journal, November 28, 1980, pH-22
  4. ^ a b TimeWarner Media Sales: Bravo - CableMediaSales.com Archived May 2, 2008, at the Wayback Machine Retrieved September 1, 2008.
  5. ^ a b "A Tale of Two Networks." Entertainment Weekly #1001, July 11, 2008, pg. 42.
  6. ^ "About Bravo". Bravo (U.S. TV channel). Archived from the original on January 4, 2010. Retrieved July 14, 2010.
  7. ^ a b Becker, Anne (October 1, 2006). "Tracking Bravo's Rise". Broadcasting & Cable. Retrieved July 14, 2010.
  8. ^ a b c Schneider, Steve (December 15, 1985). "Cable TV Notes; Bravo Thrives on Culture". The New York Times. Retrieved July 14, 2010.
  9. ^ "Cable Networks". Museum of Broadcast Communications. Archived from the original on April 6, 2023. Retrieved July 14, 2010.
  10. ^ a b Mullen, Megan (2004) [1997]. "Bravo (U.S. cable network)". In Newcomb, Horace (ed.). Encyclopedia of Television. Vol. 1 (2nd ed.). Chicago, Illinois, United States: Fitzroy Dearborn Publishers. pp. 308–310. ISBN 1-57958-411-X.
  11. ^ Romano, Allison. "NBC Puts Its Stamp on Bravo." Broadcasting and Cable. February 17, 2003.
  12. ^ Geier, Thom; et al. "The 100 Greatest Movies, TV Shows, Albums, Books, Characters, Scenes, Episodes, Songs, Dresses, Music Videos, And Trends That Entertained Us Over The Past 10 Years". Entertainment Weekly. No. 1079/1080. pp. 74–84. Archived from the original on 2023-04-05. Retrieved 2010-07-15.
  13. ^ "Bravo tops survey of gay-friendly companies." Archived 2015-09-24 at the Wayback Machine Reuters May 13, 2008.
  14. ^ Wagmeister, Elizabeth (6 February 2017). "Bravo Unveils New On-Air Look, Logo in Brand Refresh (EXCLUSIVE)".
  15. ^ Bharti, Anamika (August 22, 2023). "Is this the end of Bravo? Staggering allegations made by reality stars may well spell the end of popular network as we know it". Meaww. Retrieved August 23, 2023.
  16. ^ Quinn, Dave; Kang, Esther (January 26, 2024). "Caroline Manzo Files Lawsuit Against Bravo 1 Year After Claims of Sexual Harassment on Ultimate Girls Trip". People. Retrieved January 27, 2024.
  17. ^ a b c Maddus, Gene; Aurthur, Kate (January 26, 2024). "Caroline Manzo Sues Bravo, Accuses 'Housewives' Castmate Brandi Glanville of Sexual Assault on 'Ultimate Girls Trip'". Variety. Retrieved January 27, 2024.
  18. ^ a b Court document documentcloud.org
  19. ^ Quinn, Dave (January 30, 2023). "Brandi Glanville and Caroline Manzo Exited 'Ultimate Girls Trip' Early After 'Unwanted' Kisses". People. Retrieved January 27, 2024.
  20. ^ Ritchie, Kevin (January 11, 2012). "Bravo names Bianchi VP, program planning and acquisitions". Brunico Communications. Retrieved June 22, 2013.
  21. ^ "NBC Lays Out Olympic Schedule". Broadcasting Cable. Retrieved May 20, 2012.
  22. ^ "NBCUniversal Announces Streaming Service Peacock, Including Special Treats for Bravo Fans". 17 September 2019.
  23. ^ "Australia's Foxtel has license to deal". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 2017-08-11.
  24. ^ "A New Arena". Archived from the original on 2008-06-25.
  25. ^ "Seven Upfront 2023: NBCU brings 7Bravo to Aus". Mediaweek. 25 October 2022. Retrieved 28 October 2022.
  26. ^ "Mediaworks dumps FOUR for new reality channel Bravo". Stuff. 2 May 2016. Retrieved 21 February 2019.
  27. ^ "Folha de S.Paulo - TVA estréia canal especializado em artes - 1/6/1996". www1.folha.uol.com.br. Retrieved 21 February 2019.
  28. ^ "TV-Pesquisa: Mudanças No Canal Bravo Brasil". Meio & Mensagem. PUC-Rio. July 19, 1999. Retrieved February 22, 2019.
  29. ^ "Bravo's A-List Awards". TV Guide. 2008. Retrieved March 10, 2023.
  30. ^ "Bravo A List Awards". Bravo TV. Archived from the original on June 21, 2009. Retrieved March 10, 2023.