History[ edit ] For a detailed history of the channel under its current and past identities, see History of Freeform TV channel. Early history — [ edit ] This section needs additional citations for verification. Please help improve this article by adding citations to reliable sources. Unsourced material may be challenged and removed. Focusing mainly on religious programming ,  the channel was notable for being one of the first cable channels to distribute its signal nationally through satellite transmission the third overall, as the method had been first pioneered by HBO in September as well as the first national basic cable-originated network TBS — which became the second cable channel in the U. The channel changed its name to the CBN Cable Network on September 1, , and adopted a more secular programming format featuring a mix of recent and classic family-oriented series and films while retaining some religious programs from various televangelists mirroring the format used by CBN’s independent television stations of that time. By this point, its carriage grew to On August 1, , the word “Family” was incorporated into the channel’s name to better reflect its programming format, rebranding as The CBN Family Channel. By , the network had grown too profitable to remain under the Christian Broadcasting Network umbrella without endangering the ministry’s non-profit status. TCI owner John C.