The Movies! Diginet Adds Nine Affiliates

With these stations from Bonten, Cocola and Maranatha, the classic film multicast channel’s clearances rise to 42% of the U.S.

The Movies! Network has signed new affiliation agreements with Bonten Media Group, Cocola Broadcasting and Maranatha Broadcasting totaling nine stations. These stations will bring clearance for Movies! to more than 42% of the United States with a total of 33 affiliates.

Bonten stations:

  • WEMT Tri-Cities (DMA 97) — ch. 39.2
  • WCTI Greenville-New Bern, N.C. (DMA 99) — ch. 12.3
  • KRCR Chico-Redding, Calif. (DMA 132) — ch. 7.3
  • KECI Missoula, Mont. (DMA 164) — ch. 13.3
  • KTVM Butte-Bozeman, Mont. (DMA 188) — ch. 6.3
  • KAEF Eureka, Calif. (DMA 195) — ch. 23.3

Cocola stations:

  • KVBC-LD Fresno, Calif. (DMA 55) — ch. 13.3
  • KBFK-LD Bakersfield, Calif. (DMA 127) — ch. 36.2

Maranatha station:

  • K22JN-D Grand Junction, Colo. (DMA 185) — ch. 22.1

The Cocola and Maranatha stations will launch later in the fourth quarter of this year. Bonten stations in the Tri-Cities, Greenville-New Bern, Missoula and Butte-Bozeman markets launched Nov. 1 and the Chico-Redding and Eureka markets will launch on Nov. 18.

“We are delighted to again partner with Weigel in bringing a new and outstanding program service to all of the Bonten markets. Movies! fills a huge need in the digital programming space for quality long-form entertainment with limited commercial interruption. We are confident this offering will prove to be a great success,” said Randy Bongarten, chairman-CEO of Bonten Media Group.


“We are excited to expand our partnership with Weigel Broadcasting Co. in California to include the launch of Movies! in Fresno and Bakersfield,” said Gary Cocola, chairman of Cocola Broadcasting. “Our viewers love the classic television genre that Me-TV offers and we believe Movies! will be valued by our viewers as well.”

Movies! launched nationally in May and is a joint venture between Fox Television Stations and Weigel Broadcasting Co.

Comments (10)

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Cheryl Daly says:

November 7, 2013 at 5:42 pm

Would love to see Movies! in southern New England on Meredith’s WFSB or LIN’s WWLP, both of which have room for either this subchannel or Me-TV.

    Roger Lyons says:

    November 8, 2013 at 8:25 am

    The Meredith group in general is stubborn on subchannels and bullish on Dyle mobile TV. If that wasn’t the case, KPHO in Phoenix would be carrying Antenna TV right now.

Kelly McGarrity says:

November 7, 2013 at 6:22 pm

@ RBM8. Write those stations and tell them you want Movies!

    Cheryl Daly says:

    November 8, 2013 at 5:14 pm

    Back in July, I wrote to both the LIN corporate website and the WWLP website and suggested Movies! as a programming service to put on WWLP’s channel 22-2, which has been dark ever since LIN opted not to renew TheCoolTV. I received polite and quick replies from LIN’s director of communications (I believe her name is Christine) and from WWLP’s executive assistant (I believe her name is Kathy). They each thanked me for my suggestion, and wrote that they would forward it to the programming department. I also filled out a feedback form at suggesting carriage of Movies! or Me-TV on one of Channel 3’s subchannels, but received an error message upon clicking “Submit”. It seemed to me that they might have their feedback disabled.

    WFSB carries a standard definition version of their main channel on 3-4 which is intended for Connecticut’s Fairfield County. But they send their feed to the cable systems in Fairfield County via fiber, and anyone who can receive the station over-the-air in that county would most likely be watching channel 3-1 in 1080i. So channel 3-4 seems to be redundant and unnecessary. It could be removed along with their weather graphics channel, 3-3, and an entertainment diginet like Movies! could take their place. I read here on TVNewsCheck that Meredith has The Heartland Network (formerly TNN) on its Nashville station, WSMV, so I thought Meredith might be open to putting an entertainment network on a WFSB subchannel. It’s the least that they could do for the Hartford market considering Hartford always delivers such high ratings/revenue to their corporation.

    Roger Lyons says:

    November 8, 2013 at 8:31 pm

    I actually got directly in touch with KPHO management about it. They think Dyle will become a multichannel service. If it’s not successful, they said they may consider a subchannel network. The weather channel is a so-called “placeholder” of sorts. They’re still (in my opinion) wasting away the carriage the .2 has on multiple cable and telco systems on something people would watch regularly.

    Roger Lyons says:

    November 8, 2013 at 8:32 pm

    Or, should I say, COULD be used on something people will watch.

    Cheryl Daly says:

    November 9, 2013 at 5:42 pm

    Thanks, Observer, I appreciate your comments. I agree that professional entertainment is better than the five-day forecast on a multicast channel.

Bobbi Proctor says:

November 8, 2013 at 10:01 am

Sounds like a good program service to have access to. We now can watch and do watch several of these new secondary networks, but “Movies!” unfortunately one of them. Our local Meredith station is the only area station to run only one “channel” although for a few years they activated a second channel to carry additional NCAA games which was a good use of their .2 channel.

    Roger Lyons says:

    November 8, 2013 at 10:19 am

    Meredith runs a little-watched automated weather service on their .2 at KPHO. They used to do the whole NCAA multicasting thing as well until the extra games went to cable. Management is betting on Dyle to succeed, which I’m afraid might happen, even though I think there’s enough bandwidth to swap out the weather for Antenna TV.

Ellen Samrock says:

November 8, 2013 at 3:08 pm

What I find galling about this is that Weigel insists that a station have MVPD carriage to qualify as an affiliate for Movies!, but neither Cocola station has carriage of any kind. So what gives?

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