Created in 2006, Smithsonian On Demand was a partnership between Showtime Networks and the Smithsonian Institution to develop, launch, and operate a Smithsonian video programming channel. The partnership's purpose was to widen and extend the reach of the Smithsonian through unique and original programs that utilized Smithsonian collections, exhibitions, and research. In the partnership, Showtime was the funding and managing partner, while the Smithsonian would provide the content and production assistance. Under the umbrella of Smithsonian Networks, Smithsonian On Demand became Smithsonian Channel in 2007.
This accession consists of records that document the development, creation, and implementation of the Smithsonian Channel. There are records related to the various partnerships the Smithsonian was looking into before going with Showtime Networks. Some of these partnerships included Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) and the Starz Encore Entertainment. Also included are records related to the development of programming for the channel as well as records related to the controversy about the Smithsonian and Showtime partnership. People of note in the accession include Gary Beer, CEO, Smithsonian Business Ventures and Secretary Lawrence M. Small. Some records were created when Smithsonian Enterprises was known as Smithsonian Business Ventures.
Materials include correspondence, memoranda, reports, presentations, meeting notes and minutes, contracts, agreements, financial records, program proposals, program reviews, press releases, and clippings. Some materials are in electronic format.