Weigel Broadcasting has been planning national distribution of its classic television network, Me-TV, since getting all of its programming agreements in place a few months ago. Now it has signed to have Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios handle the national distribution.
That’s hardly a surprise, since MGM and Weigel previously worked together on the launch of THIStv, the national broadcast movie service. After only two years, Weigel says THIStv is distributed in more than 85% of the country and in 40 million cable households.
A local version of Me-TV has been successfully airing on Weigel Broadcasting’s WWME in Chicago. WWME and WBME, the Weigel station covering the Milwaukee/Racine metro area, have become the first affiliates of Me-TV, which boasts a classic TV lineup that includes “Cheers,” “M*A*S*H,” “The Dick Van Dyke Show” and “The Bob Newhart Show.”
“I believe Me-TV will be a perfect complement to THIStv. With this network launch, we are proud to become the clear leader in the digital broadcast space,” said Jim Packer, co-President of MGM Worldwide Television.
“Me-TV is a terrific companion service to THIStv, or as an option for a station that did not have the opportunity to affiliate with THIStv,” said Norman Shapiro, President of Weigel Broadcasting.
RBR-TVBR observation: Digital television has opened up lots of new opportunities for television station operators. Niche channels like this one allow local broadcasters to compete with cable for eyeballs and advertising that adds to the main channel.