Me-TV Picks Up Big-Market Primary Slots

The classic TV multicast network from Weigel Broadcasting will be on the primary channels of KVNV New York and KJWP Philadelphia.

Weigel Broadcasting’s Me-TV is getting upgraded to full-power TV stations with must-carry on cable services and satellite TV providers in New York (DMA 1) and Philadelphia (DMA 4), the diginet announced Jan. 27.

The classic TV diginet is affiliating with PMCM TV’s KVNV New York (Middletown Township, N.J.) and KJWP Philadelphia (Wilmington, Del.), starting in the second quarter this year and on March 1, respectively.

Me-TV is currently seen in some parts of New York on NRJ TV’s WZME Bridgeport, Conn., and on Time Warner Cable. In Philadelphia, Me-TV currently airs on a subchannel of Maranatha’s WFMZ. Those affiliations will be dropped.

“We have been saying for a while that Me-TV is in its own category, in terms of these new networks,” says Neal Sabin, vice chairman of Weigel Broadcasting. “Having primary stations in New York and Philadelphia really underscores that point. “People will be able to see Me-TV no matter what cable or satellite company they have in the entire DMA.”

With the addition of its new full-power affiliates, Me-TV, which airs shows like M*A*S*H, will reach 90% of TV homes. Me-TV airs on primary stations in a few other markets, notably on Weigel’s WWME Chicago and WBME Milwaukee.

“Digital subchannels don’t have must-carry rights,” Sabin says. “Primary stations do. We’ve had terrific response from cable providers all over the country. It has been much harder to get on satellite. Must-carry [rules] eliminate that problem.”


Me-TV last April began subscribing to the national Nielsen Television Index ratings. So far this season, it’s averaging 490,000 viewers in primetime, according to Nielsen. That is comparable to cable networks like OWN and the Travel Channel.

This spring, Me-TV will be active in the upfront for the first time, Sabin says. “We have been very successful with direct-response advertisers. We have begun getting business from the spot marketplace. For the upfront, we’re not doing a giant show, but we will meet with individual advertisers.”

Robert McAllan, managing partner at PMCM TV, says Me-TV is perfect for KVNV and KJWP. “I think a family-friendly schedule is sorely missing from commercial TV today,” he says. “There’s nothing complicated about this. Me-TV fits the bill.”

Me-TV’s new affiliates in New York and Philadelphia have had quite a journey the past few years.

In 2009, McAllan purchased two VHF stations, KVNV Ely, Nev., and KJWY, Jackson, Wyo. His idea was to capitalize on the law that allows broadcasters to move stations from one state to another state if that second state doesn’t have a VHF station.

In 2009, neither New Jersey nor Delaware had a VHF station. KJWP’s community of license is Wilmington, Del., which is within the Philadelphia market.

Still, the FCC rejected the move. However, in December 2012, the U.S. Court of Appeals overruled the FCC, clearing the way for PMCM to build out the two stations.

McAllan’s plans to mix some original programming in with the Me-TV. “We have provisions to do some local programming, which we intend to do,” he says. “We’ll do some news presentations and some other shows.”

Comments (6)

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Howard Winer says:

January 27, 2014 at 10:20 am

Congratulations to both Neil and Robert. Me-TV is the best of the diginets, with proven audience appeal. This is a great move for both companies!

Don Richards says:

January 27, 2014 at 11:17 am

I think you’re going to see more stations put Me-TV on as the primary channel. It’s the perfect vehicle to reach baby boomers…and most local businesses would much prefer to reach a 50+ audience than an 18-49 audience.

Bobbi Proctor says:

January 27, 2014 at 11:27 am

Too bad the FCC makes a distinction between “primary” and “secondary” channels. The secondary channels often have, like with MeTV, better programming that the primary channel of some stations and certainly of most of the cable channels. Sure wish some of these secondary channels were listed in the TV listings in local papers. We can find the schedules online, but that is not always convenient. I can see why cable companies are reluctant to carry all of the sub-channels as those with four or five channels often have a pretty poor signal but then cable signals in general aren’t a s good anyway. ION seems to be an exception as their first and second channels look pretty good. MeTV, AntennaTV, PBS Create, Bounce, ThisTV and Cozi all have some pretty good programming worthy of PayTV carriage and listings in the newspaper.

John McDonald says:

January 27, 2014 at 5:38 pm

I’d LOVE to see Me-TV on a primary channel in Indy. Right now, it’s on a .3 of the NBC affiliate. U-Verse and satellite don’t carry it, so it’s either Xfinity or antenna. I’d bet that Dick Van Dyke reruns would get better ratings than anything (outside of football) on NBC right now.

Cheryl Daly says:

January 27, 2014 at 6:26 pm

If memory serves, TVNewsCheck had an article last year about some programs on Me-TV beating first-run programs on other channels in certain markets. A station in Florida was experiencing the ratings jump. Unfortunately, for some markets there is “no room at the inn.” Stations have either maxed out their subchannels with the multicast networks that already exist, or the stations have shown no interest in carrying anything on their subchannels except repetitive weather graphics or a standard definition version of their main channel. Not to steal Me-TV’s thunder about their latest station pick-ups, but in less than a week – Monday, February 3rd to be exact – Sony launches diginet “getTV”. The new terrestrial programming service has branded itself as “your new destination for classic movies”, with stars from Frank Sinatra to Shirley Temple. ( I won’t hold my breath expecting any Connecticut or western Massachusetts station to pick it up. I do hope that Sony will send the getTV feed to affiliates without an annoying lower corner logo left on the screen, and that local stations will have the good sense not to add their own logo.

    Roger Lyons says:

    January 27, 2014 at 7:29 pm

    We’ve had Me-TV here for nearly three years, and just got Antenna TV. Both have programs that are “timeless.” We also have two stations with “repetitive weather graphics” in a place where the sun shines 300+ days a year. Our market doesn’t have “Cozi TV” and probably won’t since NBC wants their own affiliates to add them and our local NBC station happens to be the one channel of “repetitive weather graphics” worth something. So much for that!