The network was launched in North America in late 2002 as mostly digital anime television subchannels and is marketed to multi system operators (MSOs) as both a free and subscription Video On Demand (VOD) programming service. Anime Network also provides online streaming of its anime for North America  via its website with free full-length preview episodes for non-members, more episodes for members, and all online titles available for subscribers.
The Anime Network ceased broadcast of its linear 24/7 network on January 1, 2008; it continues to support a VOD service and online player on its main website. On September 1, 2009, A.D. Vision had sold off the Anime Network to Valkyrie Media Partners LLC as part of the dissolution of the company and the reorganization of its assets. In 2012, Anime Network's name was removed from Microsoft's Zune Marketplace and replaced with a generic "Anime" designator.
In June 2017, Section23 Films announced it would discontinue the Anime Network Online streaming service and focus solely on Anime Network's pay television and subscription VOD services. HIDIVE, LLC, a new company which is not affiliated with Anime Network, Section23, or Sentai Filmworks, acquired Anime Network Online's assets and spun them off into a new streaming service called HIDIVE. On June 20, 2017, Anime Network Inc. announced it acquired the "www.theanimenetwork.com" domain name from Anime Network Online.