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AXS TV (pronounced “access”) is an American specialty television channel. Majority-owned by Anthem Sports & Entertainment, it is devoted primarily to live music programming, entertainment, and combat sports—including mixed martial arts and professional wrestling.
The network was originally established in 2001 as HDNet, with investor Mark Cuban as a founding partner. HDNet was originally intended as an exclusively-high-definition network, carrying general entertainment, concerts, and sporting events in the format. In 2012, with the network’s original purpose becoming redundant (due to most mainstream cable networks now having HD feeds), HDNet sold stakes to Anschutz Entertainment Group (AEG), Creative Artists Agency, and Ryan Seacrest (with Cuban retaining a majority stake), and rebranded under its current name (taken from AEG’s online ticket platform AXS.com) on July 2, 2012—with the network shifting its content to include more entertainment and pop culture-oriented programming, alongside its existing live music content.
In September 2019, Anthem acquired a majority stake in AXS, with AEG and Cuban retaining minority stakes.