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Military Channel rebranding as American Heroes Channel: Better or worse?

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The Military Channel is getting a new name and programming focus.

Discovery Communications announced at the Television Critics Association Press Tour in Pasadena on Thursday that starting March 3, the modestly rated cable channel will be called the American Heroes Channel (or AHC for short). The programming will edge away from being nearly exclusively focused on military-themed documentaries and instead embrace heroes from all walks of life.

“Although America is a country born from acts of heroism on the battlefield, true heroism isn’t reserved solely for military,” said the network’s general manager, Kevin Bennett. “We know our viewers love the stories of real-world valor presented by our signature military series, and American Heroes Channel will remain the destination for military fans. However, we’re excited to offer viewers a more diverse voice and storytelling style with American Heroes Channel that captures the best of the Military Channel’s niche appeal while providing viewers with additional insight into contemporary world events and biographical stories.”

Added Discovery Communications president and CEO David Zaslav: “We see a tremendous opportunity to provide more history-based, narrative-style documentary programming that viewers have come to know and love from Discovery Communications.”

An example of non-military programming that the network will cover: Scientists who worked at NASA during the 1950s and ’60s space race.

American Heroes Channel’s first year will include 17 new series and specials. The channel is in 63 million homes.

Which name do you think is better? Poll: