Preview (subscription service)

Launched 1980
Closed 1986
Owned by Warner Communications
Picture format 480i (SDTV)
Country United States
Language English
Broadcast area Nationwide (available in select areas)

Preview was an American subscription television service that launched in 1980.[1] Like its competitors, such as ONTV and SelecTV, Preview was a scrambled UHF subscription channel requiring a special set-top box to decode the signal.

Preview's broadcast day was mainly between 7 p.m. and 5 a.m., but varied depending on the market and during later periods of the channel's existence.[2] Owned by Warner Communications, the parent company of Warner Bros. Pictures and Warner Music Group during the 1970s and 1980s, Preview was carried on several independent stations including KDNL-TV in St. Louis (later a Fox affiliate, now an ABC affiliate), WCLQ-TV (now Univision owned-and-operated station WQHS-DT) in Cleveland, WSMW-TV (now Univision affiliate WUNI) in the Boston area, and KTWS-TV (now MyNetworkTV owned-and-operated station KDFI) in Dallas.

The service offered movies, sporting events, and specials. The service also broadcast programming from ONTV and SelecTV, in some cases, simulcasting in areas where any of these services and Preview were available. Preview lasted until 1986, when the last affiliate, WSMW, discontinued carrying the service.


  1. Preview program guide, November 1981
  2. Preview program guide (various months)
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