Published on Monday, 30 August 2010 15:33
Tribune Broadcasting is going back to the future. They are preparing to launch an all new network, made up of classic programming and sent to homes over a classic transmission method. The new Tribune-owned network is "Antenna TV" and the company is looking at a January 3, 2011 launch date.
"Antenna TV" will be a digital subchannel, airing on the Tribune-owned television stations in the 19 markets they are in, including Chicago's WGN-TV. As of now, it will only be able to be picked up by homes using an antenna and a digital converter box (or digital-ready television), not by homes using cable or satellite to have their television channels delivered.
The programming plans for "Antenna TV" includes showing classic movies during the morning and afternoon -- primarily movies coming from Columbia & Sony. The evenings & overnights will be filled with classic sitcoms, with newer sitcoms (late 70's, 80's, 90's) at night beginning at 5:00pm and older sitcoms (50's, 60's, early 70's) airing overnight. Sitcoms already scheduled to appear include: Good Times, NewsRadio, The Monkees, The Partridge Family, All in the Family, Maude, Sanford and Son, Three's Company, Too Close For Comfort, The Nanny, Married with Children, Dennis the Menace, The Donna Reed Show,
and the British sketch comedy show, Benny Hill
. Although not a true sitcom, blocks of The Three Stooges' short movies will also be on the schedule for overnights.
Tribune Broadcasting acquired most of the new network's programming from Sony Pictures Television, Columbia Pictures and D.L Taffner, reportedly paying cash for each program.
"Antenna TV" is being seen as a sister-station of sorts to "This TV," the movie station started by Chicago-based Weigel Broadcasting & MGM Entertainment in November 2008. In May 2010, "This TV" signed an agreement to air as a subchannel on most of the Tribune-owned television stations. Since Weigel owns stations in Chicago, WGN-TV was not part of that deal. In markets other than Chicago "This TV" and the new "Antenna TV" will complement each other with both being on the Tribune stations sub-channels. In Chicago, WGN-TV will only have "Antenna TV," which will air on digital channel 9-2. "This TV" will continue to air on WCIU-TV's digital channel 26-4.
In addition to the 19 television markets the Tribune will be airing "Antenna TV" in, the company is making the network available to other markets via a barter-only agreement.
Regarding the upcoming launch of "Antenna TV," Sean Compton, President of Programming for Tribune Broadcasting, said in a statement today, "Tribune is committed to making full use of our bandwidth to offer viewers a broad spectrum of programming."
A preliminary website for "Antenna TV" has been set up at this link HERE