Not associated with TV Guide.

Tuesday, February 21, 2017


Modified from former CLE 43 logo.
MyNetworkTV is one of the last new TV networks to launch prior to DTV being standard and after The WB and UPN folded in the CW.  A weak sister of Fox, it tried having Anglophone telenovelas (usually a Hispanophone phenomenon, yet ABCs version of the Ugly Betty franchise held its own) but the ratings were as bad as some of the sister networks obscure short-lived series!  It is not a network per se, now but rather a syndicated package, yet affiliates don't identify as indie the way WPCH (née WTBS) in Atlanta does.  SVU (also on similar rival ION) has repeats as do several other shows on MNTV.  Due to the large scale nature of the American TV industry, it would be tedious to list every small market that has yet to get their own, as a network would have roughly 200 stations nationwide.  Watertown, NY is only just about to get their station (albeit the same channel as AntennaTV) and Alpena, MI now share it with the sister networks station there as MNTV are a lower priority.  Plattsburgh, NY (the last area in my state left to get one after down US 11), Columbus, GA (halfway between Atlanta and Florida), and Ft Myers, FL (my only contact there would never watch it anyway) are just a couple places left to conquer.  Now W45EC-D in Erie, PA could become my 45 WECD (pictured).  Just when you think there couldn't be another space to fill!  The next one west in Cuyahoga County is now called CLE 43 WUAB to avoid confusion perhaps with CNY's own my 43 WNYS.

Friday, February 10, 2017


Serving Eastern Ontario and beyond.
I've known about CKWS in Kingston, ONT for years as they had listings in TV Guide as they could be reached not only across St Lawrence River in Watertown but also in Utica down NY 12 on cable.  They may even have been available in Syracuse in the '80s.  They were an affiliate of Canadas pubcaster the CBC until a couple years ago when station owners Corus switched it to rival network CTV.  CBC is either available on cable or satellite at least per CRTC regulations, or from a repeater of the Ottawa flagship CBOT.  There is a secondary affiliation with Global for news.  There could be a tier with CTV on DT1, CTV Two on DT 2, Global on CT3, and CBC on DT4.  Gatineau (CRTC) would have to approve this, and it might not work that way there as it would across the seaway.  Third-party owned stations aren't as common in Canada and almost like the US, occur more in smaller markets like Kingston.  Having the same kind of branding is also not widely known there, so it otherwise could be called CTV 11, or CBC 11 in the recent past.  All the major networks have to appear on Cogeco, Vidéotron (eastern Ontario and Québec cable systems, respectively, although both are based in the latter), Shaw Direct and Bell TV (Canada's answers to Dish Network and DirecTV in no particular order).  Even in Canada, some people are trying to save money by using an antenna and watching online (where they can bypass Cancon mandates to watch international programming).

Thursday, February 9, 2017


I should really learn how to make real logos of my own!
They say that one thing leads to another, and it always does.  Also, just when you think the entire country is covered, somewhere falls through the cracks.  Someone mentioned getting NBC 7 & 4 from Traverse City which lead me to finding out the resort town of Alpena, MI until recently were in the same boat as fellow Great Lakes city Watertown, NY as far as not having NBC or MyNetworkTV to call their own, making this the next frontier to conquer.  However, I've only been to the Midwest once in my life, so I know even less about there myself than New Yorks North Country which I have been to several times.  Then again, NBC 45's owner are based in southern Georgia, so it's not uncommon for a station owner to be based out of town and/or state as it's not uncommon, even in Roscommon.  The FCC just cares that a licence is paid for and regulations are followed.
Through a shared sales agreement, cable-only CW 21 WBAE (yes, that's a real station!) could be simulcast on 26.3 as predecessor The WB had cable based affiliates for smaller markets in the past.  One of the little networks like ThisTV could be on 26.4.  Channels 18 and 31 are also available to create new tiers with these newer netlets as the possibilities are almost endless now.  New call letters would have to be found as the ones they had look more like the kind for translators such as W63AE in Oneonta which simulcasted ABC 20 WUTR in Utica back in Upstate NY in analogue days to Otsego County and the northern Catskills, yet these new stations will be over in the Wolverine State, which like much of the Midwest largely lacks elevation which can disrupt signals especially in the elements.  Sky truly is our (if) only limit now.
If there's another lesser known area missing a certain channel based there I'll eventually hear of it and come out of my occasional writers block.  Meanwhile, Alpena sounds like a nice place to visit during the summer, so I could see how it goes there, but that's a story for another day.

Sunday, February 5, 2017

Smaller networks

The most elusive of them all.
In the past decade or so, new networks like ThisTV, Antenna TV and RTN have cropped up on DTV giving people more choice over the air.  Older generations recall being lucky to have three channels on the dial!  Now they can see the shows they grew up with on most of these netlets.  MeTV and Antenna TV have picked up rights to several classics.  Series shown had reruns aired in syndication and on cable in the past after their network run had ended (yet off-network repeats usually start after Series 4 when there are enough to pad out a cycle to avoid too much repetition in a short span of time).  Some have yet to even appear on DVD, BluRay or streaming (The Golden Girls for example are on a few cable stations and now Hulu, twenty-five years after the original series left NBC and twenty after terrestrial broadcast rights expired in the US).  Other chestnuts had not aired at all in years and are now available for a new generation to enjoy although the ratings for these fledgling networks may be bubbling under in the Nielsens as they are low priority next to the big boys today.
Only Albany and Buffalo have a ThisTV affiliate Upstate at this time.  Watertown (45.3), Rochester (36.1), Syracuse (5.3), Binghamton (20.2), Elmira (39.2) and Plattsburgh (3.3) have space for it.  In my area, if the existing tiers won't expand, a new one could open and could get the old CBS 5 studio in the city or the one for WCNY (PBS) in Galeville (Liverpool).
GetTV, TBD (an actual network, not an undetermined one; currently in CNY and WNY), and CoziTV are now in the Syracuse DMA, while Escape, AntennaTV, Decades, Justice Network, H&I,  The Works, Light TV, Movies! and YouToo (which is even older than Fox) all also have yet to reach CNY airwaves, although some may be available on cable and satellite as even Fox had a national feed for small markets yet to catch up with the rest of the country with their own station as recently as over a decade ago, but now these poor mans versions of Nick at Nite/TV Land provide an alternative for those tired of todays headlines, reality shows and reboots yearning for a simpler time.  They do have something for the kids if not what I may have watched in my day to meet FCC E/I programming requirements, even if no one really watches at all.
TheCoolTV is down to just a couple stations despite playing more music videos than MTV, BET, VH1 and MuchMusic for that matter combined as late payment of royalties to station owners if not record companies in addition to people watching them online may as well shut the network down.  The Tube previously had the same thing but could also be seen on cable.  I remember The Box with a 900 number back in the '90s where my43 and AMG are today.
If these newbies have new series it might not work due to their low-man status on the totem pole.  Catalogue or library titles account for much of their budgets as far as royalties, rights and residuals.  Old or new there is more competition than ever in America yet only the front line networks get feedback at the water cooler the next business day as opposed to the old guard from when you used the tap.  Still it's good to have more choice when some parts of the world are lucky to even have the bare essentials.