NEW YORK and CHICAGO – The CBS Television Stations group, a division of CBS Corporation (NYSE: CBS.A and CBS), and Weigel Broadcasting today announced plans to launch DECADES, a new national entertainment programming service for distribution across local television stations’ digital subchannels – broadcast channels that utilize a local station’s available spectrum to provide a companion to that station’s primary channel. For example, in the New York market, WCBS-TV will continue to be available digitally as Channel 2.1 and DECADES will be available as Channel 2.2. In addition to being available as an over-the-air broadcast channel, DECADES will appear on numerous local cable systems and other multichannel video programming distribution services along with the stations’ primary channels.
Utilizing a library of more than 100 classic television series, including select titles from the CBS library such as I LOVE LUCY from the 1950s, STAR TREK from the 1960s, HAPPY DAYS from the 1970s and CHEERS from the 1980s, as well as a wide selection of theatrical and made-for-television movies and footage of historical news events from the archives of CBS News and ENTERTAINMENT TONIGHT, DECADES will provide viewers with a new way to experience our shared historical and cultural past.
As the ultimate TV time machine, DECADES will differentiate itself from other subchannel programming services by varying the classic series and movies that appear on the network every day.
“DECADES is the most ambitious and creative subchannel programming service that has ever been created,” said Peter Dunn, President, CBS Television Stations. “We are thrilled to partner with Weigel Broadcasting, the leaders in this space, to make smart use of our stations’ spectrums and our companies’ considerable programming assets. This service will be a tremendous new business for CBS and all of the other stations across the country that participate, regardless of their primary network affiliation.”
“DECADES takes the digital broadcast network platform to a new level. Viewers will ‘Relive, Remember & Relate’ to the events that touched their lives and generations past. The events, themes and programming possibilities are endless. We are truly honored to be chosen as the company to develop the CBS Television Stations’ diginet product, and look forward to the launch of DECADES next year,” stated Norman H. Shapiro, President of Weigel.
DECADES will take viewers into a daily time capsule presentation of entertainment, popular culture and news. The service will feature DECADES RETROSPECTICALSM, a daily one-hour program that will be produced around the news events and cultural touchstones of a specific day, week or other time frame or theme. The TV series and movies presented each day will reflect that day’s theme or commemorative event.
For example, DECADES will look back at classic series such as HAPPY DAYS and its “jump the shark” episode, explain its historical significance and then broadcast that episode. Viewers will also be taken back in time to rediscover events that shaped our world, such as the assassination of President John F. Kennedy, Neil Armstrong walking on the moon, the Beatles’ U.S. debut on THE ED SULLIVAN SHOW and the birth of software and technology companies like Microsoft and Apple. DECADES will connect these events to what people were watching on television, seeing at the movies and experiencing as a nation.
DECADES is expected to debut during the second quarter of 2015, with the 16 CBS-owned stations that are part of the CBS Television Network serving as the new service’s launch group. This includes the CBS stations serving New York City (WCBS), Los Angeles (KCBS), Chicago (WBBM), Philadelphia (KYW), Dallas (KTVT), San Francisco (KPIX), Boston (WBZ), Detroit (WWJ), Minneapolis-St. Paul (WCCO and its satellite stations KCCO and KCCW), Miami (WFOR), Denver (KCNC), Sacramento (KOVR), Pittsburgh (KDKA) and Baltimore (WJZ).
Weigel will be responsible for securing affiliation agreements with other stations across the country.
About CBS Television Stations
CBS Television Stations consists of 29 owned-and-operated stations, including 16 that are part of the CBS Television Network, eight affiliates of The CW Network, three independent stations and two MyNetworkTV affiliates. Among its stations are WCBS-TV and WLNY-TV (New York), KCBS-TV and KCAL-TV (Los Angeles), WBBM-TV (Chicago), KYW-TV and WPSG-TV (Philadelphia), KTVT-TV and KTXA-TV (Dallas-Ft. Worth), KPIX-TV and KBCW-TV (San Francisco), WBZ-TV and WSBK-TV (Boston), WUPA-TV (Atlanta), WWJ-TV and WKBD-TV (Detroit), WTOG-TV (Tampa-St. Petersburg), KSTW-TV (Seattle), WCCO-TV (Minneapolis), KCNC-TV (Denver), WFOR-TV and WBFS-TV (Miami), KOVR-TV and KMAX-TV (Sacramento), KDKA-TV and WPCW-TV (Pittsburgh), WJZ-TV (Baltimore), as well as WCCO-TV’s satellite stations KCCO-TV (Alexandria, Minn.) and KCCW-TV (Walker, Minn.).