Challenge launched as The Family Channel. From its launch on 1 September 1993 to 2 February 1997, the channel aired shows from a mixture of genres, mainly sitcoms, game shows, dramas and entertainment. The Family Channel came about when TVS was sold on 1 February 1993 to the American Company International Family Entertainment Inc. which included the ownership of MTM Enterprises. IFE subsequently launched a UK version of The Family Channel based in The Maidstone Studios and using some elements of the TVS programme archive. Flextech were a partner in the venture, taking a 39% stake in the business. The Family Channel did produce some UK original programming (see below), but heavily relied upon content from MTM Enterprises/TVS archive and imports from the USA. It was claimed that the channel produced more original series worldwide than any other cable or satellite network.
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Ident 1 (Long version)
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Ident 2 ( short version)
Mondays Line up
Tonight Line up
promgramme Promos With thanks to Kingkongbaldone
Channel Promo,with thanks to IronFistLaw75.
New for 94, Promo
Studio and presenters
Family Challenge Weekend
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In April 1996, IFE sold its remaining 61% share to Flextech, giving them full ownership of the venture and production studio in Maidstone. The deal did not include any of the programme archive which included many TVS game shows, such as Catchphrase and All Clued Up, but the channel did continually broadcast these series until 2000.
Flextech plans were to relaunch the channel as Challenge during the autumn of 1996, featuring weekend and evening quiz shows and daily dramas aimed at housewives. It was delayed because of plans by Granada Sky Broadcasting to launch a rival service, called Good Life. Instead, on 5 October 1996, the weekend slots were rebranded as “Family Challenge Weekend” which focused mainly on game shows. This greatly expanded the watch and win concpet which first appeared during “Game play” and “Family channel live” sections which only appeared during the early evenings. During the week, The Family Channel continued to broadcast its wide range of programmes, including dramas and comedy.
Studio and presenters: 1996
Studio and presenters: Late 1996 – 1997