WOWOW (株式会社WOWOW（ワウワウ、WOWOW Inc.) ) was the first private satellite broadcasting and pay TV station in Japan. It began analog broadcasting on April 1, 1991. Digital broadcasting began on December 1, 2000. The network began with 207,753 subscribers (31.5 billion yen in sales), growing to 2,667,414 two years later (64.5 billion yen in sales).
WOWOW mostly rebroadcasts movies, but is also well known for showing (and even co-producing and/or assisting in the production of) original anime series such as Big O, Brain Powerd, Carried by the Wind: Tsukikage Ran, Trinity Blood, Cowboy Bebop (the complete uncut version), Shinreigari/Ghost Hound, Crest of the Stars, Ergo Proxy, X/1999, SHUFFLE!, Paranoia Agent, and Le Chevalier d'Eon, as well as the Anime Complex block. Due to the looser broadcast standards for satellite television in Japan, WOWOW has become a primary means of widespread distribution for anime with themes or subject matter that the broadcast networks cannot show. Several anime studios have partnership deals for distributing their more mature series, with the famed Studio Madhouse among them.The channel's name is a double "Wow", and the three W's also stand for "World-Wide-Watching".
WOWOW also broadcasts Japanese-Dubbed American television series such as Friends, CSI series, Sex and the City, The Sopranos, Cold Case, Grey's Anatomy, Medium, The 4400, Project Runway, South Park, and The Simpsons, among others. WOWOW has also screened Ultimate Fighting Championship events for Japanese audiences, the Korean drama My Name is Kim Sam Soon and the UK comedy sketch show Little Britain, as well as the British drama/action show Ultimate Force under the name SAS: British Special Forces.
WOWOW also simulcasts some of its programming in High Definition on its HD feed. WOWOW Signs off the air at 12:30.