IFC
The 2014 logo without the outline
CountryUnited States
Broadcast areaNationwide
Programming
Language(s)English
Picture format1080i HDTV
(downscaled to letterboxed 480i for the SDTV feed)
Ownership
OwnerAMC Networks
Sister channelsAMC
BBC America
Sundance TV
We TV
History
LaunchedSeptember 1, 1994; 29 years ago (1994-09-01)
Former namesIndependent Film Channel (1994–2014)
Links
WebsiteIFC.com
Availability
Streaming media
IFC.comIFC - Watch Now (U.S. cable subscribers only; requires login from pay television provider to access content)
PhiloInternet Protocol television
YouTube TVInternet Protocol television
Sling TVInternet Protocol television

IFC is an American basic cable channel owned by AMC Networks. Launched in 1994 as the Independent Film Channel, a spin-off of former sister channel Bravo, IFC originally operated as a commercial-free service, devoted to showing independent films without interruption. Starting in the late 2000s, the channel gradually dropped independent films in its lineup in favor of comedy and horror programming (alongside cult TV shows and films) before it became an ad-supported channel in 2010 and renaming itself to IFC in 2014.

As of September 2018, approximately 75,295,000 American households (63% of households with television) receive IFC.[1]

History

IFC logo, used from 2001 to 2010. It continued to be used on IFC Canada until its closure in 2019 and is still used on IFC's film label.

The channel debuted on September 1, 1994, under the ownership of Rainbow Media, a subsidiary of Cablevision Systems Corporation. IFC originated as a spin-off of then-sibling channel Bravo, which focused at that time on a wider variety of programming, including shows related to fine arts.[citation needed]

In 2000, IFC launched a motion picture division.

In 2005, IFC expanded into its first non-television venture and opened the IFC Center, a movie theater for independent film in New York City.[2] In 2008, IFC launched its Media Lab Studios, a section of its website on which users can enter IFC-sponsored film contests, and can view others' films. In 2008, Rainbow Media acquired IFC's rival network, Sundance Channel, from Robert Redford and Showtime Networks.[3]

Logo from 2010 to 2014
Logo from 2014 to 2018

Towards the end of the decade, IFC began to expand its programming beyond independent films, producing original series and acquiring cult television series. In March 2010, IFC unveiled a new slogan, "Always on. Slightly off.", reflecting the channel's new focus on comedy programming.[4][5][6] On December 8, IFC began airing commercials within its programming, a move that sparked controversy among its viewers, and would also begin to censor its programming.[7] IFC eventually reversed its censorship practices and started to air its programming uncut; publicly trumpeting this fact in 2012 by releasing ads featuring showings of back-to-back blocks of movies like the Friday the 13th film series, highlighting the nudity and gore.[8]

On July 1, 2011, Rainbow Media was spun off from Cablevision into a separate company, which was renamed AMC Networks.[9]

On January 9, 2014, it was announced that the channel's full name had been retired, and that the name IFC would officially have no meaning.[10]

On November 15, 2016, AMC Networks acquired a minority stake in comedy video website and film and television production company Funny or Die, with plans to integrate it with IFC.[11] On April 27, 2018, the company later acquired a majority stake in comedy venue operator Levity Live.[12]

2012 Dish Network carriage dispute

On May 4, 2012, Dish Network announced that it would no longer carry the AMC Networks family of cable channels upon the expiration of the satellite provider's distribution agreement with the company at the end of June 2012, citing that AMC Networks charged an excessive amount in retransmission consent payments from the service for their carriage and low audience viewership for the channels.[13]

AMC Networks responded to Dish Network's announcement of its pending removal of the channels as being related to a 2008 breach of contract lawsuit against Dish Network by the company's former Voom HD Networks subsidiary (under the company's previous Rainbow Media Holdings brand) (which is pending trial in the New York State Supreme Court), in which it is seeking more than $2.5 billion in damages against Dish Network for improperly terminating its carriage contract; Voom's high-definition channels were carried on the provider from May 1, 2005, until May 12, 2008, when Dish removed ten of Voom's fifteen channels from its lineup and the five remaining channels the following day. Dish Network stated that the lawsuit is unrelated to the decision to remove the AMC Networks channels and that it ended the carriage agreement on its own terms.[13]

On May 20, 2012, Dish Network removed Sundance Channel from its channel lineup. Two weeks later on June 4, 2012, Dish relocated AMC, WEtv, and IFC to higher channel positions with AMC being split into two separate standard definition and high definition channel feeds (AMC moved from channel 130 to channel 9609 for the SD feed and 9610 for the HD feed, WEtv moved from channel 128 to channel 9608 and IFC was moved from channel 393 to channel 9607); the former channel lineup spaces occupied by the three channels were respectively replaced with HDNet, Style and MoviePlex multiplex channel Indieplex. The move is believed to be in response to an ad run during a June 3 airing of an episode of Mad Men urging Dish Network customers to inform the company to keep the three AMC Networks channels on the satellite provider, with Dish Network stating that the relocated channel positions better reflect the channels' ratings.[14]

On July 1, 2012, Dish Network dropped AMC, WEtv, and IFC from the channel line-up altogether.

On October 21, 2012, AMC Networks announced a settlement was reached between them, Cablevision and Dish in which Dish was forced to pay up to $700 million in damages to Cablevision for damages from removing Voom owned channels off the Dish lineup back in 2008, and in return Dish signed a new agreement to bring the AMC Networks owned channels back on the Dish lineup with AMC returning October 21 and the rest on November 1.[15][16]

Programming

Main article: List of programs broadcast by IFC

IFC primarily airs comedy and horror-genre programming, including both original and acquired series and films. Original programming currently in-production include Documentary Now!, Sherman's Showcase, and British co-production Year of the Rabbit.

International version

Canada

Main article: IFC (Canadian TV channel)

The Canadian version of the Independent Film Channel launched on August 15, 2001, under the ownership of Salter Street Films, under a brand licensing agreement with Rainbow Media. Alliance Atlantis acquired the channel in December 2001, through its purchase of Salter Street Films.[17] On January 18, 2008,[18] a joint venture between Canwest and Goldman Sachs Capital Partners known as CW Media,[19] acquired control of IFC through its purchase of Alliance Atlantis' broadcasting assets, which were placed in a trust in August 2007.[20]

On October 27, 2010, IFC Canada's ownership changed again through Shaw Communications' acquisition of Canwest and Goldman Sachs' interest in CW Media.[21][22] As with its U.S. namesake, the channel originally focused almost exclusively on smaller independent films. However, IFC Canada broadened its programming focus to include more mainstream films from large production studios, as the U.S. channel has done. It also de-emphasized the use of the full "Independent Film Channel" name, possibly due to the decrease in the number of independent films on its schedule.

None of IFC's original programming aired on IFC Canada during its run. Rival broadcaster Bell Media currently owns exclusive rights to their shows and has aired them on their various networks, including Crave and Much.[23] The channel ceased broadcasting on September 30, 2019.

References

  1. ^ Bucholtz, Andrew (September 10, 2018). "Nielsen coverage estimates for September see gains at ESPN networks, drops at MLBN and NFLN". Awful Announcing. Archived from the original on August 19, 2019. Retrieved December 22, 2020.
  2. ^ Meehan, Peter (October 19, 2005). "Just Off the Aisle at the Movies". The New York Times. Archived from the original on February 25, 2020. Retrieved February 25, 2020.
  3. ^ Hayes, Dade (May 7, 2008). "Rainbow buys Sundance Channel". Variety. Archived from the original on February 25, 2020. Retrieved February 24, 2020.
  4. ^ "Rebrand 'Mad'-Ness Rampant at Rainbow Media". Broadcasting & Cable. Archived from the original on November 29, 2018. Retrieved November 29, 2018.
  5. ^ Fowler, Matt (March 23, 2010). "Arrested Development Stars Coming To IFC". IGN. Archived from the original on November 29, 2018. Retrieved November 29, 2018.
  6. ^ "IFC cable channel's new shows include 'Whisker Wars'". OregonLive.com. Archived from the original on November 30, 2018. Retrieved November 29, 2018.
  7. ^ Payne, Bob (December 13, 2010). "Is IFC selling out? Channel runs commercials now, irking viewers". The Seattle Times. Archived from the original on June 28, 2011. Retrieved July 3, 2011.
  8. ^ The Many Faces of Friday the 13th's Jason Voorhees – IFC Archived December 17, 2012, at the Wayback Machine
  9. ^ AMC Networks Goes Public With Hot Shows, And Analysts Looking For A Sale Archived July 3, 2014, at the Wayback Machine Deadline New York July 1, 2011.
  10. ^ "TCA: IFC Officially Changes Name To IFC". Deadline. January 9, 2014. Archived from the original on August 12, 2014. Retrieved November 29, 2018.
  11. ^ "AMC Networks Takes Minority Stake in Funny or Die, Plans Integrations With IFC". Variety. November 15, 2016. Archived from the original on June 27, 2018. Retrieved June 19, 2018.
  12. ^ "AMC Networks Buys Majority Stake in Comedy Venue Operator Levity Live". The Hollywood Reporter. April 27, 2018. Archived from the original on May 3, 2018. Retrieved May 4, 2018.
  13. ^ a b Baker, Liana B.; Adegoke, Yinka (May 4, 2012). "Corrected: DISH subscribers could lose 'Mad Men' in dispute". Reuters. Archived from the original on March 10, 2016. Retrieved May 4, 2012.
  14. ^ Lieberman, David (June 4, 2012). "Dish Network Kicks AMC Networks Channels To Nosebleed Section of the Dial". Deadline Hollywood. Archived from the original on October 24, 2014. Retrieved October 24, 2014.
  15. ^ "Cablevision and AMC Networks Announce Settlement in VOOM HD Litigation With DISH Network". AMC Networks. October 21, 2012. Archived from the original on October 30, 2013. Retrieved October 28, 2013.
  16. ^ "DISH Network and Voom Reach Settlement". Dish Network. October 21, 2012. Archived from the original on October 29, 2013. Retrieved October 28, 2013.
  17. ^ Decision CRTC 2001-752 Archived August 1, 2013, at the Wayback Machine CRTC December 13, 2001
  18. ^ Canwest Global receives final CRTC approval for acquisition of Alliance Atlantis Archived June 3, 2013, at the Wayback Machine CNW press release January 18, 2008
  19. ^ Goldman's happy ending at CanWest Archived December 2, 2011, at the Wayback Machine The Globe and Mail May 3, 2010
  20. ^ CanWest Completes Acquisition of Alliance Atlantis Archived April 23, 2012, at the Wayback Machine Investor Point August 15, 2007
  21. ^ Shaw Communications closes purchase of Canwest TV assets, rebrands as Shaw Media[dead link]
  22. ^ CRTC approves Shaw's purchase of the Canwest Global television properties Archived December 20, 2013, at the Wayback Machine
  23. ^ "The Movie Network Presents World-Changing IFC Comedy THE SPOILS OF BABYLON Beginning Jan. 9 at 10 p.m. ET". Bell Media. December 11, 2013. Archived from the original on March 13, 2014. Retrieved March 12, 2014.