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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).
Escape, AntennaTV, Decades, CoziTV, Justice Network, H&I, TBD (an actual network, not an undetermined one; currently in CNY and WNY), 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.

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