Montgomery, AL – The “Big Switch” to digital only broadcasting has opened up new opportunities for TV stations hoping to expand their programming choices. TV broadcasters are using digital sub-channels to facilitate that growth.
In television broadcasting, digital sub-channels are used to transmit more than one independent program simultaneously from the same digital television station on one channel.
On July 20, WCOV TV channel 20 (Montgomery, Alabama’s FOX affiliate) launched THIS TV on their OTA (over-the-air) digital sub-channel 20.3. The network’s program schedule relies on an extensive library of films and vintage TV shows like The Patty Duke Show, Mr. ED, and The Outer Limits. THIS TV Network, which launched nationally November 1, 2008, airs 24 hours a day in 480i standard definition and is made up of over 55 affiliates nationwide.
WCOV owner David Woods believes THIS TV will enhance his station’s potential to attract movie lovers, and the price is definitely right as far as the viewers are concerned.
“We are broadcasters and believe in over the air, free TV. With the transition to digital, broadcasters are now able to offer multiple channels. We felt a free over-the-air movie channel would be well received. We hope to attract an audience that enjoys movies,” Woods said. “We chose THIS TV because it is owned primarily by MGM. MGM has over 4,000 movies in their vaults. They have the ability to offer an enormous amount of high quality, star-studded movies. We felt that a free movie channel would have mass appeal to the viewers.”
Woods said the station is in the process of having the new network added to local cable lineups.
“We are also working with the cable companies to get carriage. Most of the cable systems that carry WCOV FOX 20 should be adding THIS TV in the next few weeks,” he stated.
WCOV has no current plans to expand their sub-channel lineup in the near future.
“Due to bandwidth limitations, it might be a while before we have the capacity to add a fourth channel. We currently broadcast the FOX Accuweather Channel (24 hour weather) and THIS TV. High-Definition TV (HDTV) requires an enormous amount of bandwidth, thus we only have enough room for two good Standard-Definition TV (SDTV) channels.” Woods added.
Article by Marc Parker
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