|Type||Digital broadcast television network
(Movies, classic television series, children’s programs)
|Availability||Nationwide, though not in every market|
|Founded||July 28, 2008|
|Slogan||“It doesn’t get any better than THIS!”|
(both owning 50%)
|Key people||Neal Sabin;
Jim Marketti (creative director)
|Launch date||November 1, 2008|
|Picture format||480i (SD)|
This TV (also referred to as "This TV Network" or just "this" in on-air promotions) is an American television network that features a general entertainment format with a large emphasis in its programming on movies. It is a joint venture between film and television studio Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, and Chicago-based Weigel Broadcasting.
The network appears in many media markets via broadcast television stations (primarily on their digital subchannels), on select cable providers, and on free-to-air C-band satellite via SES-1 at 101 W in DVB-S format. This TV broadcasts 24 hours a day in the 480i standard definition broadcast format.
Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer and Weigel Broadcasting announced the formation of This TV on July 28, 2008, with a planned launch that autumn. The network had a formal on-air launch date of November 1, 2008, though some stations may have “soft launched” the network one day earlier – October 31, 2008 – to carry some Halloween-themed programming that the network provided.
The "This TV" name was chosen as a branding and marketing avenue for the network and its stations, with proposed slogans such as "THIS is the place for movies", "THIS is what you’re watching" and "It doesn't get any better than THIS!". This TV officially launched on November 1, 2008 at 9 p.m. Eastern Time with the 1986 Spike Lee film She’s Gotta Have It as the network’s first telecast.
This TV’s operations are overseen by Neal Sabin, who in his role as Weigel Broadcasting’s executive vice president launched Me-TV, a classic television network similar to This TV. Jim Marketti, president/CEO of Marketti Creative Group was hired in August 2008 as This TV’s creative director, focusing on the network's marketing and promotion. MGM handles sales for the network through its offices in New York City.
On May 13, 2013, Weigel Broadcasting announced that it would be parting ways with This TV in order to concentrate on Me-TV and a new digital network similar in format to This TV called Movies!. Tribune Broadcasting (which like Weigel, is headquartered in Chicago, and is the owner of rival digital network Antenna TV) will take over Weigel's share of This TV beginning in fall 2013.
This TV's program schedule relies on the extensive library of films and television programming currently owned by MGM and subsidiary United Artists (notably excluding the pre-May 1986 MGM film and television library, the a.a.p. library, Gilligan's Island and its animated spin-offs, and the U.S. rights to the RKO Pictures library, whose rights are currently held by Turner Entertainment and Time Warner).
No originally produced programming appears on the network, although the use of on-air presenters had been considered for This TV's movie broadcasts. The network does not utilize a split-screen credit sequence or feature voiceovers promoting upcoming network programming during the closing credits and is also devoid of informercial programming. However, the network does display an on-screen logo bug during its programs, and affiliates are inclined to include regional descriptors reflecting the station's primary broadcast area underneath the logo. Films broadcast on the network do feature commercial interruption, and breaks during programming primarily consist of direct response advertisements for products featured in informercials and particularly during This TV's children's programming, public service announcements. The network's continuity announcer is Milwaukee radio personality and Miller Park PA system announcer Robb Edwards.
This TV's daily schedule consists largely of feature films, which are aired Monday through Thursdays 10 a.m.–5 a.m., Fridays 10 a.m. to Saturday mornings 10 a.m. ET, Saturdays 1 p.m.–7 a.m. ET, and Sundays 12–9 p.m. and 11 p.m.–4 a.m. ET (sometimes starting earlier or ending later depending on the length of the films). The film roster does not concentrate on films from any specific era, meaning any film from the Depression era to contemporary times and films made for either television, home video/DVD or theatrical release can be featured.
This TV also commonly features themed movie presentations, with the entire day's schedule consisting of films from a particular genre once a week throughout the month. The network also broadcasts a featured movie in primetime at 8 p.m. ET on Monday through Friday nights. The weeknight prime movie presentations are typically replayed later in the evening (usually at 12 a.m. ET, depending on the length of the film that preceeds it). Although the network does not advertise itself as a family-oriented television network, This TV uses audio ducking to remove most or all profanities featured within many more recent film titles, though other suggestive content is kept as is from the broadcast versions of the films. All films shown on the network are heavily edited, often for objectionable content, but also for time considerations (a film will have many scenes edited out in order to fit into a two hour timeslot with commercials) and often for both reasons. In addition, the network filler content between films in the form of Pink Panther cartoon shorts in instances where a film runs at least seven minutes short of its allotted air time.
Films featured on This TV consist of releases from network co-parent Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer and its subsidiaries United Artists (post-1952 films) and The Samuel Goldwyn Company (pre-1997 films), as well as films produced by now defunct film studios Orion Pictures (post-1981 films and its Orion Classics division), Cannon Group (except for those co-produced with Warner Bros.), American International Pictures, and the Mirisch Company (all of which were acquired by MGM); in addition, films produced by Polygram Filmed Entertainment (which was not acquired by MGM at the time Polygram folded in 1999, although MGM holds distribution rights to its pre-1996 films) are also featured on the network.
Most recently, Vampire in Brooklyn, which was released by Paramount Pictures became the first non-MGM film to be aired on the network on February 14, 2011. In addition to Paramount (through Trifecta Entertainment and Media), the network has acquired broadcast rights to classic movies from 20th Century Fox, Universal Pictures, including among them Abbott and Costello movies, Miramax Films, Sony Pictures Entertainment and Anchor Bay Entertainment.
Classic television series
The network's weekday early morning lineup features such vintage series as Highway Patrol, Sea Hunt, Mister Ed, The Patty Duke Show, Green Acres, The Outer Limits, and more recent series, Emily of New Moon and Stargate SG-1. The majority of these classic series air on weekdays just prior to the network's children's program block, with the exception of Sunday night airings of Stargate SG-1.
This TV also features a daily block of children's programming each morning (including shows that meet the FCC's E/I content requirements) that is handled by Toronto-based Cookie Jar Entertainment and also features Weigel's Chicago-based program originally meant for local viewing, Green Screen Adventures. The block's non-E/I programming are branded under the banner name "This is for Kids", while the E/I programming is branded under the name "Cookie Jar Toons". Children's programs featured in the blocks include library content from CJE entities DiC Entertainment and Cinar Films, as well as recent originally produced content by Cookie Jar.
This differs from two other children's program blocks from Cookie Jar Entertainment that feature E/I-compliant children's programming: Cookie Jar Kids Network, a block that was discontinued in 2012 that featured mostly Cinar-produced programming from the 1990s, formerly known as the DiC Kids Network until a September 2009 rebranding; and the CJE-run Cookie Jar TV Saturday morning block for CBS (incidentally, most of the current programming featured in the Cookie Jar Toons block on Saturday mornings, as of January 2011, has previously been or is currently broadcast on CBS's Cookie Jar TV block under that block's current name or under its previous names "KEWLopolis" and "KOL Secret Slumber Party").
In addition to Weigel-owned stations in Chicago (WCIU) and Milwaukee (WDJT-TV), This TV reached agreements with several ownership groups to add the network to some of its stations in 2009. The group list includes stations owned by Sinclair Broadcast Group, Post-Newsweek Stations, Fisher Communications, Hearst-Argyle Television, Tribune Broadcasting, Raycom Media and Belo. This TV's affiliation agreement with Tribune Broadcasting was renewed in May 2010, a move that brought the network to additional Tribune-owned stations in markets such as Los Angeles, New York, Miami, and San Diego and would help This TV's coverage reach 85% of the U.S., making This TV the largest subchannel network by percentage of the population reached (sister network Me-TV has since surpassed This TV in this category). A number of NBC affiliates added This TV as a replacement for the now defunct NBC Weather Plus service, which closed at the end of 2008. Additionally, Equity Media Holdings selected This TV as a replacement for Retro Television Network on some of its stations after Equity dropped its relationship with RTN in January 2009 due to payment disputes; the Equity-owned stations were since sold, with several disaffiliating with This TV or going off the air completely.
Stations that carry This TV have the option to air select programming from the network on their main channels; they also have the option to preempt This TV programming, either via a secondary affiliation deal with another network or with locally produced programming, or in the most used case, moving network programming to the This subchannel to accommodate local sports or breaking news coverage on the main channel. With Tribune Broadcasting taking over operational responsibilities for the network, This TV will become one of the few television networks to move its flagship station from one station to another; the network will move from WCIU to a digital subchannel of Tribune's Chicago flagship WGN-TV (currently the largest Tribune-owned station that does not carry This TV) beginning in the fall of 2013.
- Movies!, a similar digital broadcast network, that is a joint venture between Chicago-based Weigel Broadcasting and the Fox Entertainment Group, specializing in feature films only.
- Me-TV, a sister digital broadcast network, owned by Weigel Broadcasting and distributed by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, specializing in classic TV series from the 1960s to the 1980s.
- Retro Television Network, a similar digital broadcast network owned by Luken Communications specializing in classic TV series from the 1950s to the 1970s.
- Antenna TV, a digital broadcast network owned by Tribune Broadcasting specializing in classic TV programming and some feature film content.
- Bounce TV, a similar digital broadcast network specializing in films and select classic programming aimed at the African-American community
- "SES 1 at 101.0°W". Lyngsat. February 27, 2013. Retrieved April 1, 2012.
- MGM Launches This TV Channel, Strong On Kids' Shows, Movies from MediaPost Publications, July 29, 2008
- "MGM, Weigel Launching This TV Diginet", from TVNewsDay, July 28, 2008
- MGM Takes Digital Leap, Variety.com, July 28, 2008
- Weigel, MGM Hope "This" Thing's a Hit, Broadcasting & Cable October 27, 2008
- Source: Network profile on backchannelmedia.com, viewed on 31 October 2008[dead link]
- "MGM Oldies in New Digi-Channel", Broadcasting & Cable, July 28, 2008 issue
- Marketti Named Creative Director at This TV, Broadcasting & Cable, September 8, 2008
- Malone, Michael (May 14, 2013). "Tribune Replaces Weigel As Partner on This TV". Broadcasting & Cable. Retrieved May 17, 2013.
- Siegel, Fern (May 13, 2013). "Tribune To Program MGM's This TV". MediaPost. Retrieved May 17, 2013.
- "Monday, February 14, 2011". This TV. Retrieved February 17, 2011.
- "MGM Secures Over 40 Station Partners for "THIS", MGM press release from December 1, 2008
- "Belo’s WFAA, KTVK Add This TV". Broadcasting & Cable. September 22, 2009. Retrieved 2009-09-26.
- Tribune Teams with MGM's This TV For the Long-Term, Broadcasting & Cable, May 25, 2010
- "Exclusive: MGM Launching New Digital Channel", Broadcasting & Cable, July 28, 2008