CBS To Launch Classic TV Digital Channel


The CBS Television Stations group and Weigel Broadcasting have unveiled plans for Decades, a national entertainment programming service for distribution across local television stations’ digital subchannels. It also will appear on local cable systems and other multichannel video programming distribution services. A second-quarter 2015 debut is planned with the 16 CBS-owned stations serving as the launch group.

DecadesThe channel will mine the CBS library to air such series as I Love Lucy, Star Trek, Happy Days and Cheers; TV movies; and CBS News and Entertainment Tonight news archives. In a twist, the content presented each day will reflect that day’s theme or commemorative event: The service will feature Decades Retrospecticalsm, a daily one-hour program produced around the news events and cultural touchstones of a specific day, week or other time frame or theme.

Weigel, which also has digital channels MeTV and the Movies! Network in cooperation with the Fox TV Stations, will secure affiliation agreements under the deal.

“Viewers will ‘Relive, Remember & Relate’ to the events that touched their lives and generations past,” said Weigel president Norman Shapiro. “The events, themes and programming possibilities are endless.”

The CBS deal comes after Thursday’s news that it launched CBS All Access, a $5.99-a-month service that will offer streams of broadcasts from the 14 stations that the network owns and VOD for current, previous and classic shows. CBS said that initiative was also built in collaboration with the network-owned local stations.

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