The format of classic TV shows that first appeared on Weigel's Chicago and Milwaukee stations will be offered in other markets as a multicast option.
Weigel Poised To Roll Out Multicast Me-TV
Weigel Broadcasting, owner of independent WCIU Chicago, is turning Me-TV, the programming format it developed at stations in Chicago and Milwaukee, into a multicast network of the same name and has begun looking for outlets in other markets.
The new channel (view promos at metvnetwork.com) will debut in other markets as early as January, according to a “tease release” issued this afternoon. A formal announcement is to come tomorrow.
The network has secured long-term licensing agreements for more than 50 series spanning the 1950s to the 1980s, including Perry Mason, I Love Lucy, The Dick Van Dyke Show, Happy Days, Bonanza and the Honeymooners.
“It’s a mash-up of America’s most loved television classics,” Weigel said in the release.
Me-TV would compete head-to-head with RTN, another classic TV multicast channel.
Weigel is a partner (with MGM) in another multicast channel, This TV Network, which also airs classic TV shows, but is based primarily on movies from the MGM library. “We think that we know something about digital subchannels from having worked on This,” said Weigel’s Neal Sabin.
Weigel is offering affiliates a barter split of the ad inventory, Sabin said. “We have been talking to other broadcasters, but haven’t closed anything yet.”
Sabin said he wants affiliates who see the network as more than filler. “We are looking for committed, interested partners who have a passion about classic TV.”
The network is going after baby boomers who have plenty of money to spend, he said. “We are not afraid to say our audience skews older.”
Me-TV currently airs of WWME-CA, a low -power station in Chicago; a subchannel of WCIU; and WBME Milwaukee.