|Type||Digital broadcast television network
|Availability||Nationwide via OTA digital television|
|Founded||January 28, 2013|
|Owner||Fox Television Stations
(21st Century Fox),
(both owning 50%)
(Vice Chairman, Weigel Broadcasting)
(Chief Executive Officer, Fox Television Stations)
|May 27, 2013 |
(transmitted in either 16:9 widescreen or 4:3 letterbox)
Movies! (stylized as "MOVIES!") is an American digital multicast television network that is owned as a joint venture between Chicago-based Weigel Broadcasting and the Fox Television Stations subsidiary of 21st Century Fox. The network features an emphasis in its programming on feature films.
It is available in several markets through digital subchannel affiliations with broadcast television stations, as well as through carriage on the digital tiers of select cable providers through a local affiliate of the network. Movies! provides programming 24 hours a day and broadcasts in the 16:9 widescreen picture format, available in either in standard-definition or high definition depending on the station's preference.
The network competes with This TV, a similarly formatted network originally operated by Weigel (whose operational stake in that network was later taken over by Tribune Broadcasting on November 1, 2013) and Sony Pictures Entertainment's over-the-air movie network GetTV; feature films compose the primary source and children's programming the ancillary source of programming on both networks, though This TV also broadcasts classic television series. Unlike Movies! and GetTV, all of This's content is transmitted solely in the 4:3 aspect ratio and made up of mainly pan-and-scan television cuts meant for syndication, which Movies! only uses if contractually or technically necessary.
On January 28, 2013, Fox Television Stations and Weigel Broadcasting announced the formation of Movies!, with plans to launch the network on Memorial Day 2013. Movies! officially launched on May 27, 2013, at 8:10 a.m. Eastern Time, initially debuting on the subchannels of each of the network's co-parents: five Fox and 11 MyNetworkTV owned-and-operated stations owned by Fox Television Stations, and two stations owned by Weigel. Its programming was inaugurated by a ten-minute clip introducing the network, followed by the first film to be telecast on Movies!, the 1975 Western Take a Hard Ride.
Described as presenting "a variety of theatrical motion pictures in a new, viewer and advertiser friendly format, not seen on broadcast television to date", films featured on Movies! consist primarily of releases from 20th Century Fox, however titles from Sony Pictures Entertainment (including Columbia Pictures and TriStar Pictures) and Paramount Pictures are also shown on the network. The film roster concentrates mainly on classic films from the 1920s to the 1980s. The network broadcasts a featured movie presentation titled "Icons @ 8," each night at 8:00 p.m. Eastern Time; described by the network in its promotions for the block as a "nightly celebration of cinema," the primetime showcase airs films featuring iconic movie stars from the "Golden Age" of cinema onward; it also broadcasts other themed presentations including a Saturday night block of films aimed at a female audience and a daily morning block of Westerns. Movies! presents many of its features in their original aspect ratio (widescreen or full screen) whenever possible, which are either presented in the 16:9 or 4:3 letterbox depending on the affiliate's preference in transmitting the subchannel.
Films that are broadcast on the network are edited for graphic profanity and inappropriate violent or sexual content, but are not edited for running times to fit in a set time block; start and end times for films airing on the network are influenced by a combination of the film's original running time and the commercial breaks inserted within the broadcast (which is limited to 12 minutes per hour), with airtimes for films varying between the conventional top-and-bottom-of-the-hour scheduling (e.g., 6:30 a.m. or 8:00 p.m.) and incremental airtimes in margins of five minutes (e.g., 2:10 p.m. or 3:55 a.m.) that more closely mirror the scheduling structures of premium cable channels than those of other advertiser-supported networks (this scheduling format, which still results in a particular film's running time to be somewhat longer than the original runtime of its theatrical release depending on the content edits, was replicated by GetTV when it launched in February 2014).
Movies! also airs a three-hour block of programs aimed at children each Saturday morning, which were originally distributed for syndication and designed to meet requirements imposed by the Federal Communications Commission on the amount of educational children's program content that a broadcast station must air each week (currently featuring So You Want To Be, Tomorrow/Today and Better Planet TV). This allows its affiliates to carry the network's full schedule without having to purchase E/I programming from the syndication market to comply with the rules.
As of July 2014, Movies! has current or pending affiliation agreements with television stations in 43 media markets encompassing 22 states and the District of Columbia, covering approximately 49% of the United States. Fox Television Stations and Weigel Broadcasting launched Movies! in markets served by a station owned-and-operated by the Fox network or its sister programming service MyNetworkTV. Not all of the Fox-owned stations carried Movies! at launch, WJZY in Charlotte (which came under Fox Television Stations ownership one month prior to the network's debut) did not begin carrying Movies! until July 1, 2014, due to an existing affiliation agreement with Antenna TV.
In Chicago, Illinois – where Fox Television Stations and Weigel Broadcasting each own television stations – Fox-owned WPWR-TV serves as that market's charter affiliate of the network, instead of one of Weigel's three stations in that market (WCIU-TV, WWME-CA and WMEU-CD). This makes Movies! the first Weigel-owned network in which the company's Chicago flagship stations do not serve as affiliates (WCIU formerly carried This TV under Weigel ownership before it moved to WGN-TV upon becoming part-owned by Tribune Broadcasting in November 2013, and Me-TV is carried on WWME-CA and relayed a subchannel of WCIU). WBND-LD in South Bend, Indiana – carries Movies! on their third digital subchannel, with WMLW-TV in the Milwaukee market carrying it from launch until August 2014. On August 4, 2014, Movies! moved to a new subchannel of Hearst Television ABC affiliate WISN-TV, displacing WMLW and the first agreement between Hearst and Weigel to carry Movies!; Hearst already carries sister network Me-TV in the majority of their markets. Several Hearst stations will begin carriage of the network by the end of the year and into 2015.
In addition to its carriage on the Fox- and Weigel-owned outlets at the network's launch, the network is also carried on the digital subchannels of television stations owned by other broadcasting companies. Soon after its launch, Movies! reached distribution agreements with several broadcasting groups to add the network on the subchannels of some of their stations. The first stations outside of the Fox and Weigel outlets to sign deals to carry the network were KFFV in Seattle, WLWC in Providence (both owned by OTA Broadcasting) and KPXJ in Shreveport (owned by KTBS, LLC) in October 2013, with the three stations adding the network between November 10 and December 10. The following month, in November 2013, Movies! signed affiliation agreements with nine stations owned by Bonten Media Group, Cocola Broadcasting and the Maranatha Broadcasting Company. Four additional stations (in Salt Lake City; Boise; Wausau; and Victoria, Texas), through deals with companies such as the Nexstar Broadcasting Group and Saga Communications, added or will begin carrying the network between May and October 2014.
- FX Movie Channel – a sister cable network, which until mid-2013 carried many of the 20th Century Fox films making up Movies!'s schedule under the "Fox Movie Channel" branding
- Me-TV – a sister digital broadcast network, owned by Weigel Broadcasting and distributed by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, specializing in classic television series from the 1950s to the 1980s
- Antenna TV – an American digital broadcast network owned by Tribune Broadcasting specializing in classic television programming and feature film content
- Bounce TV – an American digital broadcast network owned by Bounce Media LLC specializing in feature films and select classic programming aimed at the African-American community
- GetTV – an American digital multicast television network owned by Sony Pictures Entertainment specializing in pre-1970s classic feature films, mainly from the Sony Pictures Television library
- Retro Television Network – an American digital broadcast network owned by Luken Communications specializing in classic television series from the 1950s to the 1970s
- Malone, Michael (March 25, 2013). "This May Explain Why We Have a Shirtless 'Magnum, P.I.' on Our Cover Today". Broadcasting & Cable. Retrieved June 12, 2014.
- Staff (January 28, 2013). "Fox Stations, Weigel Launching Movies! – The 24-Hour Movie Network Will Debut on the Subchannels of 17 Fox O&Os This Spring". TVNewsCheck. Retrieved June 12, 2014.
- Malone, Michael (January 28, 2013). "Fox O&Os, Weigel Launch Movies! Digi-Net – Another Player in Crowded Entertainment Subchannel Space". Broadcasting & Cable. Retrieved June 12, 2014.
- Dudek, Duane (May 23, 2013). "Weigel Introducing New Movies! Channel Monday". The Dudek Abides (blog of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel). Retrieved June 12, 2014.
- [dead link] "Movies TV Network – Schedule". Movies!. Retrieved May 27, 2013.
- Feder, Robert (January 29, 2013). "Weigel Creates New Digital Network for Fox TV Stations". Time Out Chicago. Retrieved June 12, 2014.
- Gash, Chris (June 18, 2014). "Wily Indies Succeed on Digital Channels Where Majors Struggle". Variety. Retrieved July 8, 2014.
- Dudek, Duane (May 23, 2013). "Weigel introducing new MOVIES! channel Monday". Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. Retrieved July 8, 2014.
- "Movies! Network Signs Five New Affiliates". TVNewsCheck. June 10, 2014. Retrieved July 5, 2014.
- "Facebook status: We can't wait to launch our new "Movies! Milwaukee" network on August 4!". WISN-TV via Facebook. 25 July 2014. Retrieved 30 July 2014.
- Eck, Kevin (January 31, 2013). "Fox to Debut All Movie Network for Local TV Digital Subchannels". TVSpy (blog of Mediabistro.com). Retrieved June 12, 2014.
- "Movies! Adds Seattle, Providence, Shreveport". TVNewsCheck. October 8, 2013. Retrieved July 8, 2014.
- "The Movies! Diginet Adds Nine Affiliates". TVNewsCheck. November 7, 2013. Retrieved July 8, 2014.
- moviestvnetwork.com – Movies! official website