Tuesday, March 29, 2005

New Cable Fun Day

I wonder what it is about March/April that has cable channels making changes. Very early Monday morning, I saw this practice in action. For starters, Starz/Encore started rebranding their channels. Instead of Love Stories, Mystery, Westerns, Action, Wam!, and True Stories/Drama, the Encore movie channels are now named Encore Love, Encore Mystery, Encore Action, Encore Wam, and Encore Drama. The Starz channels got the biggest facelift. Starz Theater and Starz Kids are no more. Starz Theater is now Starz Edge while Starz Kids merged with Starz Family to become Starz Kids & Family. The spot formerly occupied by Starz Kids now features Starz Comedy. And in the most unnecessary name change department, Black Starz is now Starz In Black. The other channels kept their names and formats.

All this happened unexpectedly on the same day that the International Channel officially became AZN Television (or Asian-American Television). This particular change makes sense. A lot of the channel’s programming was already Asian in nature from the shows about India to the Korean Music Countdown and various anime shows and movies. Honestly, I only watched the channel to see the Asian stuff anyway.

Even with all the channels we currently have, there are still channels I wish we had. The whole family would love to get Soap Net, especially since all of us like (or liked) soaps. I know it would probably become one of the favorite channels in the house. I also wish we had the new ESPNU. It would be kind of neat to check out the college sports that ESPN used to put on at 3:00 am again. I once watched (and enjoyed!) College Lacrosse and I bet money it’s on that new ESPN channel. For the animation lover in me, there are two channels I’d like to have, Boomerang and The Anime Network. Both of these are currently available On Demand, but it would be very nice to have these channels on in linear fashion. This is especially true of Boomerang since it seems like that channels lineup of shows on the On Demand never changes. I know my dad would enjoy the one Showtime channel we don’t have, Showtime Beyond. He’s a sci-fi fan through and through and rushes to watch or record any sci-fi movie and show he hasn’t seen.

In the end, though, I can’t really complain. We have a ton of content that’s available to watch on cable and on the On Demand. But there is nothing like the temporary joy of a new cable channel.

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