Cable Networks

A cable channel is a television channel available via cable television. Such channels are usually also available via satellite television, including direct broadcast satellite providers such as DirecTV, Dish Network and BSkyB. Alternative terms include non-broadcast channel or programming service, the latter being mainly used in legal contexts.

Another common label is cable network, though this is something of a misnomer. While usually national in scope, cable channels are not television networks in the defined sense (as are, for example, CBS or NBC in the United States, or the BBC in the United Kingdom, because they provide a full national schedule and do not need to act through local stations in each media market). However, individual cable and satellite providers that carry them are sometimes called “affiliates”, in recognition of the agreements required for these providers to carry each channel and that most networks offer each system a block of one or two minutes each hour to carry local advertising (or promotions for the satellite companies).

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