Hey there! If you‘re a Spectrum cable subscriber like me, you may have wondered, "What channel is the USA Network on Spectrum?" It‘s a fair question, since the channel number isn‘t the same across all Spectrum markets.
Let me walk you through everything you need to know to find USA Network on your Spectrum lineup. I‘ll also provide some fascinating history and context on this classic cable channel. Sound good? Then let‘s get started!
What Is the USA Network Channel on Spectrum?
The USA Network channel number on Spectrum varies quite a bit depending on exactly where you live. Unlike broadcast networks like ABC or Fox that use the same channel everywhere, cable networks like USA get placed on different channels in each local market.
To see what channel USA Network is on your specific Spectrum lineup, use the reference table below. Find your city, then look at the corresponding USA channel number:
|City||USA Channel on Spectrum|
|Corpus Christi, TX||47|
|El Paso, TX||38|
|Kansas City, MO||39|
|Long Beach, CA||60|
|Los Angeles, CA||58|
|New York, NY||16|
|San Antonio, TX||31|
|San Diego, CA||34|
|St. Louis, MO||28|
As you can see, USA Network‘s channel position varies widely depending on the local Spectrum market, ranging from the single digits up to the 60s.
If you don‘t see your city listed, simply go to Spectrum‘s website, enter your ZIP code and pull up your customized channel lineup. Then use CTRL+F to search the lineup for "USA" and you‘ll quickly find the channel number.
Now that you know how to find USA Network on Spectrum, let‘s delve into this classic cable channel‘s long and fascinating history.
The Origin Story of USA Network
USA Network has undergone an impressive evolution since first launching back in 1977. Would you believe it originally started as a small New York City sports channel?
1977-1980: Madison Square Garden Network
USA Network‘s origins trace back to a channel called the Madison Square Garden Network in 1977. As you can probably guess from the name, it focused entirely on broadcasting sports content related to New York‘s famous Madison Square Garden arena.
In those early years, Madison Square Garden Network aired New York Knicks NBA games, New York Rangers NHL games, college basketball, horse shows, and other live events happening at the iconic MSG venue. But it only reached cable subscribers in New York state and northern New Jersey.
1980-1990s: Rebranded as USA Network
In 1980, the channel rebranded and expanded nationally as the USA Network. While sports still made up a significant portion of programming, USA Network now incorporated more general entertainment like movies, syndicated shows, and original series.
Throughout the 1980s, USA Network steadily gained availability on cable systems nationwide. By 1989, it reached over 50 million households across the United States.
During this era, USA Network launched its first original shows. Early originals included the Catholic mass program The Sunday Mass, the Robin Leach-hosted talk show Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous, and the business-focused call-in show USA Business World.
Sports remained a tentpole of USA Network programming in the ‘80s. The NBA on USA aired live regular season, playoff and finals games. USA Tuesday Night Fights showcased high-profile boxing matches. And the USA Tuesday Night Baseball game of the week brought live MLB action to viewers.
By 1990, USA Network had established itself as a general entertainment powerhouse, blending sports, movies, syndicated reruns, and original series into a successful cable channel reaching tens of millions of households.
1990s-2000s: The "Characters Welcome" Era
Throughout the 1990s, USA Network gradually phased out sports programming to focus more wholly on entertainment. By the late ‘90s, live sports completely disappeared from the channel.
During this time, USA Network launched its first breakout original hits like Pacific Blue, Silk Stalkings, La Femme Nikita and Monday Night Raw wrestling. The network marketed itself with the tagline "The Remote Stops Here," indicating its broad range of addictive content options.
But USA Network‘s true golden age kicked off in the early 2000s. Under the new slogan “Characters Welcome,” USA premiered an incredible string of pop culture-defining shows.
Hits like Monk (2002), The Dead Zone (2002), Burn Notice (2007), Psych (2006), In Plain Sight (2008), Royal Pains (2009), and Suits (2011) turned USA into the undisputed king of cable dramas and comedies throughout the 2000s.
For an incredible 8 year run from 2006 to 2014, USA ranked as the #1 cable entertainment network in total viewership. The "Characters Welcome" era represented the peak of USA Network‘s cultural relevance and ratings dominance.
2010s-Today: The Streaming Era
USA Network remained a ratings powerhouse into the early 2010s with hit shows like Suits and Mr. Robot. But it faced new challenges as streaming and original programming from other cable channels offered viewers more choices.
Long-running classics like Burn Notice and Psych eventually wrapped up. Popular newer shows like Colony (2016), Shooter (2016) and The Sinner (2017) got canceled after just a few seasons. USA Network‘s ratings declined along with its original programming output.
Today in the streaming era, USA Network airs far fewer original shows. It focuses more on syndicated reruns, sports, and WWE wrestling. While still a significant cable channel, USA is no longer the undisputed king it was during the 2000s.
But there are signs USA may be plotting an original content comeback soon. In 2022, NBCU CEO Jeff Shell said the network plans to ramp up development of new shows again. So the next chapter of USA Network‘s history has yet to be written!
By the Numbers: USA Network Viewership and Ratings
To understand USA Network‘s evolving position in the TV landscape, let‘s look at some key viewership and ratings data over the years:
1989: Reached 50+ million households, cementing its status as a major cable network
1994: Ranked as the #5 basic cable network in primetime viewership
2002: Average 1.41 million primetime viewers, thanks to breakout hit Monk
2006: Became the #1 cable network in total viewers for the first time
2009: Hit new heights with 2.61 million primetime viewers on average
2010: Remained #1 cable network in total viewership for the 6th straight year
2014: Declined to 1.75 million average primetime viewers but still ranked #1 among ad-supported cable
2018: Fell to #7 in total viewership with 1.2 million average primetime viewers
2022: Currently averages around 600,000 to 800,000 primetime viewers, a fraction of its 2000s peak
This data demonstrates USA Network‘s meteoric rise to #1 status in the 2000s followed by its decline in the 2010s streaming era. But 600,000+ loyal viewers per night is still enough to keep USA afloat as a viable cable network amidst today‘s fragmented TV landscape.
USA Network‘s Position Within NBCUniversal
USA Network has been owned by media giant NBCUniversal since 2004, giving it close ties to several other NBCU cable channels:
- Universal Kids
This family of NBCUniversal networks occasionally cross-promote shows and even simulcast some programming across different channels.
For example, new episodes of the horror series Chucky air on both USA Network and Syfy. WWE wrestling frequently jumps between USA Network and Syfy as well.
So while USA Network operates as its own brand, NBCU uses it synergistically across their portfolio of cable channels when beneficial.
What‘s Currently Airing on USA Network?
USA Network‘s programming today consists of a mix of original shows, syndicated reruns, movies and sports. Let‘s take a closer look at each category.
Chucky (2021-Present): TV adaptation of the classic Child‘s Play horror film franchise starring the villainous doll Chucky. Simulcasts on Syfy.
Miz & Mrs. (2018-Present): Reality show chronicling the lives of married WWE wrestlers The Miz and Maryse. A spinoff of E!‘s Total Divas.
Temptation Island (2019-Present): Reality competition where couples test their relationships by temporarily splitting up and dating other people.
Straight Up Steve Austin (2019-Present): WWE legend "Stone Cold" Steve Austin has celebrity guests join him in outrageous adventures.
USA Network airs reruns of many popular crime procedural dramas originally aired on other networks:
- Law & Order: Special Victims Unit
- CSI: Crime Scene Investigation
- CSI: Miami
- CSI: NY
- NCIS: Los Angeles
- Chicago P.D.
- Chicago Fire
It also syndicates sitcoms like:
- The Office
- Modern Family
- Last Man Standing
These reruns fill large portions of USA Network‘s daily schedule between originals. The familiar, easy-to-watch nature of procedural dramas makes them reliable cable time fillers.
Today‘s USA Network doesn‘t rely on movies nearly as much as in decades past. But it still airs contemporary box office hits every so often:
- The Hitman‘s Bodyguard
- The Hitman‘s Wife‘s Bodyguard
- Olympus Has Fallen
- Angel Has Fallen
Live sports also play a reduced role on modern USA Network compared to previous eras. But it airs select events like:
- Early round PGA Tour golf tournaments
- NASCAR races
- College basketball
- Olympic Games daytime coverage
- Premier League soccer
- WWE Raw and NXT wrestling
So while no longer a sports-centric channel, USA provides a taste of live sports to complement its entertainment programming.
How to Stream USA Network Without Cable
If you‘ve cut cable, don‘t worry – you can still watch USA Network through streaming TV services, antennas, and on-demand options:
Streaming TV: YouTube TV, Hulu Live TV, DIRECTV STREAM, Sling TV and other live TV streaming services carry USA Network for $35-$70 monthly.
OTA antenna: In some areas, an over-the-air (OTA) antenna can pick up a local broadcast feed of USA. Check USA‘s website to see if you get the OTA signal.
Peacock: NBCUniversal‘s Peacock streaming service offers next-day access to USA Network shows like Miz & Mrs and Chucky for $4.99/month.
Spectrum TV App: With someone‘s Spectrum login, use the Spectrum TV app to live stream USA Network anywhere in the US.
Paid episodes: Purchase episodes or full seasons of USA shows like Mr. Robot via Amazon, iTunes, Google Play and Vudu.
So cord-cutters can tap into plenty of options to get their USA Network fix!
What Does the Future Hold for USA Network?
USA Network is clearly not the unstoppable cable ratings juggernaut it was back in the 2000s. But it seems to have settled into a comfortable niche as a home for syndicated reruns and second-run NBCU content.
With NBCU hinting about ramping up original programming again soon, I‘m optimistic USA Network still has potential for a comeback. After all, its "Characters Welcome" era represents one of cable TV‘s greatest creative and commercial high points.
Even if USA never fully recaptures that magic, its back catalog of prestige shows ensures its legacy. And with ratings stabilizing, USA figures to remain a relevant fixture of the cable landscape for years to come.
So that sums up everything you need to know about finding and watching USA Network on Spectrum cable! Hopefully you now have both the practical info and historical knowledge to get the most out of this classic channel. Thanks for reading – enjoy USA Network!