The FFC mandated transition to digital television allowed stations to begin broadcasting digital subchannels in addition to their primary channel. Depending on the market, subchannels are available over-the-air (i.e. 30.1, 30.2, 30.3) as well as on cable. Over the next few days I’ll be examining a number of what I call “classic television digital specialty networks” which are distributed primarily via digital subchannels. In most cases, affiliates have the option of taking some or all of the national feed, meaning their schedules may not match the national schedule.
According to its Wikipedia entry, Retro Television Network (RTN) launched in July 2005 on TV stations owned by Equity Broadcasting. The network began affiliating with other stations and station groups in 2006 or 2007. Luken Communications acquired RTN in June 2008. A year later, Luken rebranded RTN as RTV. Since 2013, the network has been known as Retro TV. It has more than 100 affiliates across the country.
Previously, license agreements with various distributors allowed the network to air shows like Get Smart, The Honeymooners, Bonanza, Bachelor Father, Leave It to Beaver and Run for Your Life. As of September 2016, Retro TV airs classic TV shows like The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet, The Beverly Hillbillies, Bonanza, Petticoat Junction, Route 66, Dragnet and The Jerry Lewis Show, The Joey Bishop Show, Police Surgeon, and The Doctors.
Retro TV also airs a number of more recent TV shows, including a variety of Canadian shows like Murdoch Mysteries, DaVinci’s Inquest, and Cold Squad. It airs Doctor Who as well.
A movie block airs weekdays from 1-3PM ET. Episodes of Mystery Science Theater 3000 air Saturdays from 8-10PM ET and Sundays from 4-6PM ET. Retro TV airs infomercials during the overnight hours between 2AM and 8AM as well as from 9-10AM on Sundays. Educational/informational programming airs from 10AM-1PM on Sundays.
I’ve never received Retro TV in any of its incarnations. I do not know if it features an on-screen bug or if it airs edited or sped-up episodes. If you’re a Retro TV viewer, hit the comments with your thoughts.
Revised September 23rd, 2016