August 24th, 2014 Update: According to a Facebook post, plans for The QUAD TV Networks have been placed on hold for 6-12 months due to the possibility of mergers between various cable and satellite TV companies.
A few days ago Variety published an article reporting that television executive Garth Ancier had formed a company called Zeus Media Partners that hopes to launch four different cable channels featuring classic television during the 2nd quarter of 2014. Each channel will air programming from a single decade, from the 1960s through the 1990s, and will be aired in high definition.
Entertainment Weekly picked up the story. In the comments, Ancier added some additional details:
Our hope is to showcase a broad variety of these shows on all 4 channels (60s, 70s, 80s, 90s)…not just the most popular, or the ones played most often on other channels like TV Land. We believe the decades curation is a unique way for viewers to re-discover their favorite shows in a simple, intuitive way.
Lynette did a nice job of giving you a brief glimpse of the networks – but let me elaborate. These 4 networks are free (advertiser supported) to cable and satellite operators, and so in most cases will be included in the least expensive tier to customers – in some cases, even “Lifeline” service. These channels will also live on your MPVD’s “TV Everywhere” offering – so you’ll be able to watch them on your iPad or anywhere.
Moreover, as Lynette notes, all of the networks will be in HD, not a constrained Standard Definition picture. That is technically impossible for the digital terrestrial broadcast networks like Me TV, Cozi, etc. which “ride along” with an HD network affiliate’s signal as sidebar channels (.2, .3, .4) to achieve.
Our hope is to upconvert and color-correct each of the masters that need repair, and present them in the original network length, with the original network breaks. We want the viewer to get the best possible picture and experience we can provide.
This isn’t a lot of information to go on but the lack of a channel dedicated to the 1950s is certainly cause for concern. If the shows are actually aired uncut that will be good news. I know next to nothing about the business of cable television, other than what I’ve read over the past year about cord cutting, but launching four channels at once certainly seems ambitious.
(Thanks to Bob for passing this along.)