Wednesday, March 7, 2018

Failed Cable Networks: The Festival Channel

Imagine if you could watch HBO, but without all the nudity and profanity. Sound like regular TV? For a short time, HBO itself started up a premium channel that offered just that. 

In the late 1980’s, HBO created a channel that aired family oriented programming and edited films without commercials and for half the price of regular HBO.

Festival was billed as a family friendly alternative to HBO and for half the cost. The channel would pull from HBO’s vast film catalog, only airing the edited versions. This was meant to be a competitor for The Disney Channel, though its iffy branding didn’t necessarily scream “Family”. Even worse, Disney actually aired unedited films after 9PM under the “Disney After Dark” banner. Festival never gained traction in the market and died a quick death.