View Full Version : The Promise of Secondary Channels Not Fulfilled
05-10-2009, 03:14 PM
Secondary channels had a lot of potential - their programming is relatively cheap and they had a large potential distribution venue as stations were looking to fill their digital sub-channels. I had expected a number of variety type channels to emerge. Instead Variety went belly up and RTN is repeating episodes (Buck Rogers and Battlestar Gallatica) that they showed just a few months ago and there does not seem to be any order to their airing. Twice RTN has shown episode 2 from a 2 episode cliff hanger of BG without showing episode 1. This (the network) is not bad, but it is mostly movies that can be found elsewhere. Instead we seem to be inundated with fishing, outdoor, and sports channels; one would think that more variety type networks would have been successful. Another exception is Create (on PBS), which is not bad. So what happened to the subchannel "revolution"?
05-13-2009, 10:35 AM
I think part of it was the ridiculous decision (IMO) to delay the DTV transition till June. You might see more of these subchannels post-transition.
It appears Variety TV may have only ever been a placeholder - most of its affiliates now carry Untamed Sports TV. Actually I'm quite surprised how many subchannels are carrying sports. Even most NBC affiliates now carry Universal Sports, and our local affiliate, WTHR, is even adding some local sports to the schedule as available.
I think Create isn't bad but it gets repetitive for me. I like it on Saturdays though when they do a theme day on a certain subject. I am interested to see how many PBS stations have picked up Spanish subchannel V-Me. And, I'm slightly disappointed how few stations have picked up PBS World. I'd really like to have PBS World, or perhaps Mhz WorldView.
Also I think ThisTV is promising, in terms of having an OTA "movie channel" - yes it probably will never have first-run movies but for OTA I think it's a decent package they've put together.
05-14-2009, 11:45 AM
Stations around here have a lot of digital subs. Mostly because they are in small markets and do not have dedicated systems.
In Wichita Falls/Lawton market WB, My TV (old UPN), Telemundo, and a weather station are sub channels. We only have 4 OTA full power stations.
In Ada/Ardmore (nearby) they have FOX HD as a sub channel to CBS HD since no FOX affiliate here. They actually carry both HD streams on one channel.
I suspect it is that way in a lot of smaller markets. Missing networks are being filled in with secondary DTV channels.
05-21-2009, 05:09 PM
I wish we could get ABC and RTN as subs.