Retro Television Network
|Type||Broadcast television network|
|Slogan||"The Best in Classic Television!"|
|Owner||Luken Communications, LLC|
|Launch date||July 2005|
|Former names||RTN (2005-2009)
The Retro Television Network (RTV) is an American television network that airs classic television shows as well as more recently produced programs. Owned by Luken Communications, LLC, the network airs mainly on stations' digital subchannels.
The network was launched in 2005 under the RTN branding (which would be changed to RTV in June 2009 in a nod to the digital (DTV) switchover that occurred in June of that year). RTV would air a round-the-clock schedule of shows dating from the 1950s to the early 1990s along with rarely seen older programming.
RTV, during its ownership by Equity Media Holdings, featured some original talk programming (notably Unreliable Sources) during Monday-thru-Friday late-nights "Classic Hits All Day & Fresh Talk All Night") from Summer 2008 to the beginning of 2009. The network has also featured originally produced horror film showcases like like Wolfman Mac's Chiller Drive-In and Off Beat Cinema, and previously aired the daily talk show Daytime, a show produced at WFLA-TV, until WFLA owner Media General severed its ties with RTV in 2011.
By June 2011, when RTV's programming relationship with NBC Universal Television Distribution ended, the network would adjust its schedule to feature programming from other distributors (e.g. I Spy and Starsky and Hutch) as well as more recently produced programming (Cold Squad, Da Vinci's Inquest) as well as reality and documentary programming (including reruns of Cold Case Files). RTV also features a Saturday morning block of vintage cartoon programming.
RTN was launched in 2005 as a programming source for some individual stations owned by Equity Broadcasting, a chain of small (often low-powered) satellite-fed UHF TV transmitters controlled directly from Equity's headquarters in Little Rock, Arkansas. Equity had expanded quickly with many small stations in the early 2000s (decade), but by 2008 was struggling to meet its obligations.
In June 2008, financially troubled Equity Media Holdings sold RTN to Henry Luken, the company's largest shareholder for $18.5 million in cash. Equity's option to re-purchase the network for $27.75 million expired unexercised on December 24; Equity had filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy on December 8, 2008.
The network is now owned by Luken Communications, LLC.
RTV's current programming roster draws from various distributors including Classic Media, Genesis International, Peter Rodgers Organization, and Sony Pictures Television, as well as Stay Creepy Productions (which distributes Wolfman Mac's Chiller Drive-In) and John DiSciullo (the distributor of Off Beat Cinema). The network previously had large content deals with CBS Paramount until July 2008. NBC Universal Television Distribution replaced the CBS programs until June 2011.
Until 2011, RTV offered a customized schedule for each affiliate that wished to use one. By June 2011, when RTV's relationship with NBC Universal ended, the network moved towards one set national schedule, although affiliates may pre-empt some programming.
As of April 18, 2013, RTV's official website lists current or future carriage agreements with approximately 90 stations in the United States. While the network's primary strategy is carriage on digital subchannels of local broadcast stations, only 22 of their present carriage is on full powered stations. RTV is also seen on approximately 70 low-power digital stations and on free-to-air C-band satellite via SES-2 in DVB-S2 format.
Pre-digital transition, RTV was seen on a number of analog stations owned by Equity Media Holdings, the network's former owner. Some Equity stations mixed RTV programming with first-run and recent off-network syndicated programming or also carried another networks, such as MyNetworkTV or ION Television.
See also 
- "RTN Rebrands as RTV", from broadcastingcable.com 6/17/2009
- "Back from Basic," from BusinessTN, September/October 2009
- "Wolfman Mac interview", from Outsight Radio Hours, 3/27/2011
- Primetime All The Time on RTV: New line-up of program as of 6/27/11 Retrieved June 27, 2011
- "RTV Bringing Back Retro Saturday Morning TV", from TVNewsCheck, 8/5/2010
- Arkansas Business: "Creditor Files to Liquidate Equity Media, Claims Company Cannot Meet Payroll Obligations", 12/10/2008.
- Creditor Files to Liquidate Equity Media, Claims Company Cannot Meet Payroll Obligations
- RTV Changes Schedule, Loses Universal
- SES-2 at 87.0°W, LyngSat
- Free TV from United States, LyngSat