Even after ECW gained a nationally-available television program on [[[ECW on TNN|The Nashville Network (TNN)]], Hardcore TV was considered ECW's flagship program. The rights to the show now belong to World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE). The show was voted as Best Weekly Television Show in the 1994, 1995 and 1996 Wrestling Observer Newsletter Awards.
Hardcore TV was edited from footage of ECW's live events from the ECW Arena and other house shows. It also included backstage promos & vignettes, which were not shown to the live crowd or included on home video releases of the events. A segment called Hype Central advertised upcoming events and ECW merchandise in a tongue in cheek manner.
Music videos from major musical acts were sometimes shown, interspersed with footage detailing the history of current feuds, as well as spectacular spots. Frequently, the ending of the show would feature a montage of several different promos, with Dick Dale's cover version of "Misirlou" as background music. These became known as "Pulp Fiction promos". The purpose of these promos was to maximise the show's limited airtime in order to keep the fans up with all the current wrestling storylines.
In keeping with ECW's unconventional approach, episodes were not structured with a build toward a main event as with typical professional wrestling programming. Any given week's program could feature any number or type of matches. Owner/producer Paul Heyman's intent was to keep things fresh by providing variety for the viewers.
Hardcore TV showed graphic violence (including blood), sexual frankness, and harsh language, all of which were key elements of the ECW product itself. Due to the late night time slots, expletives and violence were not edited from early broadcasts, and this helped to get ECW noticed. After the ECW on TNN program became available, this was a major difference between the syndicated Hardcore TV and the more mainstream program on TNN.