Sundance TV
CountryUnited States
HeadquartersNew York City
Picture format1080i HDTV
(downscaled to letterboxed 480i for the SDTV feed)
OwnerAMC Networks
Sister channelsAMC
BBC America
LaunchedFebruary 1, 1996 (1996-02-01)
Former namesSundance Channel (1996–2014)
Streaming media
Service(s)Philo, Sling TV, YouTube TV
(requires subscription to access content)

Sundance TV (formerly known as Sundance Channel) is an American pay television channel owned by AMC Networks that launched on February 1, 1996. The channel is named after Robert Redford's character in Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid and, while it is an extension of Redford's non-profit Sundance Institute, the channel operates independently of both the Institute and the Sundance Film Festival.

Originally, Sundance was mainly airing documentaries, independent feature films, short films, world cinema, and coverage on the latest developments from each year's Sundance Film Festival. The channel has since incorporated both original and acquired programming and became fully ad-supported in 2013, with programming being edited for content soon thereafter.[1]

As of November 2023, Sundance is available to approximately 54,000,000 pay television households in the United States-down from its 2017 peak of 71,000,000 households.[2]


Further information: List of programs broadcast by Sundance TV

Sundance Channel logo 2008–2014

As Sundance Channel (1996–2014)

After negotiations during 1994 broke down to turn Robert Redford into a partner in AMC Networks predecessor Rainbow Media's Independent Film Channel,[3] Redford launched Sundance Channel in February 1996 as a joint venture between Showtime Networks (then a division of Viacom, later owned by CBS Corporation and subsequently by ViacomCBS), PolyGram (now NBCUniversal), and Redford (who also served as the creative director of the network).[4]

The channel was initially launched on five cable systems in New York City; Los Angeles; Alexandria, Virginia; Chamblee, Georgia; and Pensacola, Florida.[5] It originally operated mainly as a premium channel, commonly packaged with Showtime and its sister networks The Movie Channel and Flix.[citation needed]

On May 7, 2008, the Rainbow Media subsidiary of Cablevision, owners of rival network IFC, announced that it had purchased Sundance Channel for $496 million.[6] The acquisition of Sundance Channel by Rainbow Media was completed in June 2008.[7] On July 1, 2011, Rainbow Media was spun off from Cablevision into a separate company, which was renamed AMC Networks.[8]

Since the sale, Sundance would expand into original programming. 2012 saw the premieres of two new unscripted series in the form of Get To Work and Push Girls, before the channel's second miniseries, Restless,[9] premiered in December. Restless went on to receive two Emmy Award nominations. It was also announced that Sundance had picked up its first solely owned original series, and former developmental project from sister channel AMC, Rectify, and its third miniseries Top of the Lake. Much like AMC, the channel's original programming garnered critical acclaim.[10]

On March 4, 2013, Sundance began airing AMC's Breaking Bad, to which the channel has exclusive syndication rights, on Monday nights.[11] In October of that year, the channel became fully ad supported.[1]

As Sundance TV (2014–present)

Sundance TV President Sarah Barnett at the 73rd Annual Peabody Awards with Peabody for The Returned (Les Revenants).

On January 27, 2014, it was announced that the Sundance Channel would rebrand as Sundance TV on February 1, 2014.[12] 2014 featured the channel's fourth miniseries The Honourable Woman, the channel's second solely owned original scripted series The Red Road,[13] the new reality series Loredana, ESQ, and the second seasons of Rectify, The Writers' Room, and The Returned.[14]


Over time, Sundance Channel has expanded its international distribution in the Americas, Asia, Middle East and Europe.



Middle East




  1. ^ a b Thielman, Sam (March 24, 2013). "Sundance Channel Goes Ad-Supported Next AMC?". Ad week. Retrieved January 31, 2014.
  2. ^ "U.S. cable network households (universe), 1990 – 2023". May 14, 2024. Retrieved July 28, 2019.
  3. ^ Brown, Rich (January 23, 1995). "Redford, Showtime form movie channel". Broadcasting & Cable. Archived from the original on November 5, 2012. Retrieved February 28, 2011.
  4. ^ "Showtime Networks, Inc. – Company Profile, Information, Business Description, History, Background Information on Showtime Networks, Inc". Retrieved October 12, 2017.
  5. ^ "Sundance readying for February debut". Broadcasting & Cable. December 4, 1995. Archived from the original on November 5, 2012. Retrieved February 28, 2011.
  6. ^ Stelter, Brian (May 7, 2008). "Cablevision Unit Buys Sundance Channel". The New York Times. Retrieved October 8, 2012.
  7. ^ Stelter, Brian (June 18, 2008). "Cablevision Buys Sundance". The New York Times. Retrieved October 8, 2012.
  8. ^ AMC Networks Goes Public With Hot Shows, And Analysts Looking For A Sale Deadline New York July 1, 2011.
  9. ^ Hale, Mike (December 6, 2012). "'Restless,' With Charlotte Rampling, on the Sundance Channel". The New York Times. Retrieved July 19, 2013.
  10. ^ "Sundance Channel Goes Back to School on October 7 with the Premiere of 'Dream School'". The Futon Critic. Retrieved August 20, 2013.
  11. ^ Goldberg, Lesley (February 25, 2013). "'Breaking Bad' Lands on Sundance Channel in Syndication Deal". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved August 20, 2013.
  12. ^ "Sundance Channel Rebrands As SundanceTV; Unveils New Logo". Deadline Hollywooid. January 27, 2014. Retrieved January 27, 2014.
  13. ^ Team, The Deadline (January 27, 2014). "Sundance Channel Rebrands As SundanceTV; Unveils New Logo". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved October 12, 2017.
  14. ^ Andreeva, Nellie. "TCA: Sundance Channel Picks Up Season 2 Of French Drama 'The Returned', Renews 'Writers' Room'". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved January 11, 2014.
  15. ^ "In the second half of 2014 will be released a Brazilian version of the channel fully dubbed in Portuguese" (Press release).
  16. ^ "Sundance Channel Rises in Canada" (Press release). Corus Entertainment. December 8, 2009. Retrieved October 8, 2012.
  17. ^ a b c d e f Briel, Robert (October 7, 2010). "Sundance expands international distribution". Broadband TV News. Retrieved October 8, 2012.
  18. ^ "Sundance Channel, WE tv expand across Asia".
  19. ^ "Sundance TV launches on DStv in South Africa" (Press release). Broadboad TV News. May 23, 2017. Retrieved October 8, 2018.
  20. ^ "MultiChoice is axing the SABC Encore and Sundance TV film channel as well from the end of May after carriage contracts with the SABC and AMC Networks International are not renewed." TV with Thinus.19 May 2020.
  21. ^ "Sundance TV exits Dstv platform" Dstv 2020-05-20
  22. ^ Briel, Robert (March 25, 2009). "Sundance Channel debuts on Numericable". Broadband TV News. Retrieved October 8, 2012.
  23. ^ "Film1 Sundance stopt; Film1 focust op on demand-aanbod". July 4, 2017.
  24. ^ Dziadul, Chris (September 23, 2014). "AMC to rebrand Spanish channel". Broadband TV News. Retrieved September 8, 2017.