Published on Monday, 22 November 2010 14:24
Weigel Broadcasting today unofficially
announced that they are planning to take their classic television channel "Me-TV" and turn it into a national network, available for free. It will be made available for local broadcasters across the country as soon as this coming January, and perhaps even earlier in Chicago.
The official announcement will come at Noon tomorrow, but for now, Weigel has sent out a "teaser" announcement. Here is what the announcement said:
Weigel Broadcasting Co. announces the national launch of classic TV Network: 'Me-TV,' Memorable Entertainment Television
November 22, 2010 -- Me-TV, seen on Weigel Broadcasting Co.'s Chicago and Milwaukee television stations, will go national as a free, over-the-air television network for local broadcasters as early as January 2011.
Me-TV will feature a 24/7 format showcasing many of the key, iconic series in genres such as comedy, drama, western adventure and crime/courtroom/detective series.
Weigel Broadcasting Co. has secured long-term licensing agreements for more than 50 individual series spanning the 50's through the 80's from multiple studios and independent producers. It's a mash-up of America's most-loved television classics. Yes, it's quite a bonanza! Even Laverne will 'Shirley' find something she likes.
It won't take a Perry Mason to reach the verdict that happy days are here again for classic TV lovers. It will appeal to any Bob, Dick or Mary.
They will be giving Me-TV three cheers for showcasing programming that viewers and advertisers cherish... from the streets of San Francisco, to the big valleys of Hawaii and the hills of Beverly. Me-TV will be one of Dobie's many loves as he marshals Dillon through his trek to find his honey out West.
So grab a taxi, bring your three sons or bunch of Bradys because it's going to be an affair for the whole family. More details will be revealed when the cannon fires at 12 o'clock high Central twilight time zone on Tuesday, November 23 at this Linc: metvnetwork.com.
We know Lucy will love this, in fact she and Ricky will be feeling like second honeymooners. Me-TV will be untouchable and yes, Gomer, we know we're really are 'Pyle-ing' it on, but as the colonel knows, there may be a couple of odd shows but no klinkers on Me-TV. Get smart, get Me-TV. And P.S. Me-TV knows where car 54 is... it's at the junction of Petticoat and Rawhide.
Not only was it a teaser announcement, but it also acts as a fun contest. The announcement contains dozens of references to classic television shows that the new Me-TV Network will be carrying. To see if you found them all, check out the network's new website after Noon tomorrow. Speaking of which...
In preparation for tomorrow's big Noon announcement, Weigel Broadcasting has already set up a new website, MeTVNetwork.com
and a new Facebook fan page
. Many more details about the new network will be revealed tomorrow, including which shows will be carrying and an initial schedule.
While the launch of this new network may mean some changes to the Me-TV and Me-Too stations shown here in Chicago, both stations will continue to feature classic shows. Currently, Me-TV focuses heavily on 30 minute sitcoms and light family fare, while Me-Too focuses more on 60 minute dramas. The national Me-TV will have both, meaning it is probable that Chicago's Me-TV will, as well. Me-TV can be seen on digital channel 26.2 and Me-Too can be seen on digital channel 26.3. Both are sub-channels of WCIU-TV, seen on digital channel 26.1.
In late August, Tribune Broadcasting announced that they were starting a new classic television network called "Antenna TV."
In Chicago, "Antenna TV" is set to begin programming on digital channel 9.2 in six weeks from today. The Tribune project and Weigel's are very similar and even share a few of the same shows. What Weigel is hoping will set them apart from the Tribune project is the fact that they have a long history of doing this format correctly, whereas the Tribune basically has none. They have shown that they treat the shows and the shows' fans with respect, by airing them unedited and with full opening & closing credits, as opposed to Tribune Broadcasting which tends to cut off credits and trim down shows to squeeze in more commercials on their stations. Perhaps most importantly is the comparison in product. Me-TV has bigger name and more iconic television shows than its competition -- and lots more of them. Weigel has long-term agreements from multiple distributors for over fifty classic series. They also have many stars of these classic shows that have already recorded commercials for Me-TV. Some of those videos can be seen on the new Me-TV website.
Tribune Broadcasting's "Antenna TV" is hoping to launch on January 3rd. Weigel is hoping to launch its Me-TV Network on its own stations in Chicago, Milwaukee and South Bend before Christmas in advance of the "Antenna TV" launch, making it available to local stations nationwide quickly thereafter.
Both Me-TV & "Antenna TV" will be competing with Luken Communications' Retro Television Network, or simply, RTV. Although more limited in its programming, the network formerly known as RTN, started in 2005 and already has over 100 affiliates that are currently or soon will be airing their content on low-powered stations or digital subchannels nationwide. In Chicago, RTV is signed up to air on Polnet Communications' WPVN-CA on digital channel 24.1.
Me-TV started on January 1st, 2005 on Chicago's channel 23 as WWME-TV. It was the low-powered sister station to "The U" on channel 26. In early 2008, Me-TV came to Milwaukee, but by late 2008, it had moved to a Racine signal that aimed strong at Milwaukee. Although not yet branded as Me-TV, much of the non-primetime programming on WMYS-LP in South Bend is also Weigel's Me-TV shows. Me-TV has grown in popularity locally since its small start almost six years ago. Weigel is hoping to have it grow in popularity dramatically nationally in 2011.
More to come at Noon tomorrow...