This week TVNewsCheck published a three-part special report on the expansion of diginets (also known as multicast networks) like Me-TV, Bounce TV, Antenna TV and Ion Life that are carried primarily on the digital subchannels of TV stations across the country. You can find the report here, here and here. The first part includes a list of the top 25 digital broadcast networks ranked by TV households, which can also be found here.
There’s a lot of discussion of the success of classic TV and movie diginets in the report, in part because there are so many of those networks. Perhaps most interesting was the following tidbit from part one of the report:
Owned by Weigel Broadcasting, Me-TV in April ranked 19th among all national cable networks in adults 25-54, outperforming brands like CNN, TLC, Bravo and 79 other outlets, per Nielsen data.
That’s an impressive performance for Me-TV, which launched nationally in December 2010. The second part of the report suggests that CBS might be planning its own digital specialty network focusing on classic movies and/or TV. Some analysts are apparently concerned that there won’t be enough “quality reruns” to go around.
A similar three-part report was published by TVNewsCheck in July of last year, which makes it possible to compare the coverage of our favorite classic television digital specialty networks:
|July 2013*||June 2014|
*2013 figures rounded to the nearest whole number
As you can see, all of the networks have seen growth since July 2013, particularly Cozi TV and Retro TV.
My hope has always been that at some point, these networks are going to have to expand their schedules and start airing less popular shows. Not necessarily true obscurities. Think Our Miss Brooks rather than My Living Doll. Me-TV already airs Mr. Lucky and The Rebel while Cozi TV airs Life with Elizabeth, Mr. and Mrs. North and The Bold Ones. Not obscure shows by any stretch but not quite as well-known as Bonanza, The Bionic Woman and The Dick Van Dyke Show.