|Type||Digital broadcast television network
(Movies, children's programs)
|Availability||Nationwide via OTA digital television
(covering 70% of the U.S.)
|Founded||April 22, 2013|
|Headquarters||Culver City, California|
|Owner||Sony Pictures Television Networks
(Sony Pictures Television)
(SVP of U.S. networks, SPT/general manager)
(SVP of programming, SPT)
|February 3, 2014|
|Affiliates||List of affiliates|
GetTV (stylized as getTV) is an American digital multicast television network that is owned by the Sony Pictures Television Networks subsidiary of Sony Pictures Television. The network maintains an emphasis on movies, consisting of pre-1980s classic feature films (mainly sourced from the Sony Pictures Entertainment library), but also carries some limited children's programming.
The network is available in many media markets via the digital subchannels of broadcast television stations and on the digital tiers of select cable providers through a local affiliate of the network. GetTV provides programming 24 hours a day and broadcasts in 480i standard definition. The network competes with Movies!, a similarly-formatted multicast network which also carries feature films as its primary source of programming – as well as digital multicast networks that mix classic television series and films including This TV, Me-TV, Antenna TV, Cozi TV, Bounce TV and the Retro Television Network.
Sony Pictures Entertainment announced the formation of GetTV on April 22, 2013, with a formal launch scheduled for that fall. The network had originally announced on its website that it would launch in October 2013; the premiere date was later pushed back to February 3, 2014. GetTV launched at 4:00 p.m. Eastern Time on that date, initially debuting on the subchannels of 12 Univision and 14 UniMás stations owned and/or managed by Univision Communications; the inaugural program shown on the network was the 1957 comedy film Operation Mad Ball.
Due its ownership by Sony Pictures Entertainment, GetTV's program schedule relies primarily on a portion of the extensive library of films currently owned by network sister company Columbia TriStar Motion Picture Group, which comprises more than 3,500 films. Sony Pictures already maintains programming distribution agreements with Antenna TV (owned by Tribune Broadcasting) and Movies! (a joint venture between Weigel Broadcasting and Fox Television Stations), which allows those networks to carry films from the Sony library, in addition to a distribution deal with Antenna TV to broadcast television series to which Sony's television unit holds rights (mainly those produced by the various predecessors that existed prior to the company's 2002 consolidation of Columbia Pictures Television and TriStar Television).
Movies broadcast on the network do feature commercial interruption, and breaks inserted during its programming primarily consist of direct response advertisements for products featured in informercials as well as other smaller-scale advertising (such as law firms and mortgage providers) and, particularly during its children's programming, public service announcements. In addition, original programming does not appear on the network, although the use of on-air presenters has been considered for GetTV's film broadcasts. Like most digital multicast services, the network is also devoid of informercial programming. The network's continuity announcer is David Kaye, known for his voice roles in various animated series (including several of the Transformers series) and video games, as well as a promotional announcer for various television and radio stations across the U.S.
GetTV's daily schedule consists mainly of feature films, with the exception of a three-hour breakaway on Fridays for children's programming. Films featured on the network primarily consist of Columbia Pictures releases distributed through Sony Pictures Television; it also carries titles from other film studios, such as Universal Pictures (distributed through NBCUniversal Television Distribution).
The network's film roster concentrates on classic films from the 1930s to the 1960s (during the period commonly known as the "Golden Age of Cinema"), largely those released before the 1968 implementation of the Motion Picture Association of America's ratings system and the disestablishment of the Production Code; however on very rare occasions, the network airs select films made after 1970 (such as 1978's The Buddy Holly Story, which first aired on GetTV in October 2014). GetTV presents its feature film broadcasts mostly uncut (as such, some 1960s film titles are omitted for broadcast due to inappropriate content, in order to preserve the unedited nature of the network's film broadcasts) and uncolorized (with the only films presented in color being those that were natively filmed or post-produced in the format); movies are also televised in their original aspect ratio (either widescreen or full-screen) whenever possible, although widescreen films are shown in a letterboxed format since the network transmits in the 4:3 aspect ratio. Most films originally shot in the 'scope' 2.35:1 ratio are re-formatted and shown in the 1.85:1 ratio.
GetTV also commonly features themed movie presentations – especially during its primetime and late night schedule, starting at 7:00 p.m. Eastern Time each evening (except on Mondays, as films with late afternoon airtimes typically run into the timeslot on that night) – showcasing films that are based around either a particular film genre, theme or film actor during part or all of a given night's schedule, similar to the nighttime scheduling used by Turner Classic Movies (which also maintains rights to the Sony Pictures film library); these may be formatted as a double feature (that is either replayed later in the evening, as with the Tuesday and Saturday night lineups; or consists of a single film that is repeated immediately after the initial broadcast, as with the Sunday and Wednesday night lineups) or a showcase of four different films. Among its regular offerings, the network runs "Get Out of Town," a block of western films on Saturday afternoons and nights; "Get Groovy Tuesdays," a Tuesday night lineup of movies from the late 1950s and 1960s; "Afternoon Delight," a female-targeted weekday afternoon showcase featuring films starring legendary actresses; the "Icon of the Week," a Friday night block focusing on the earliest and best works of a well-known film star; and a Sunday evening showcase of a particular movie classic. The network also marks an actor's birthday (either antemortem or posthumously) or recent death with showcases of some of that star's films (including their earliest and lesser-known movies) during its nighttime lineup.
Similar to Movies!, films airing on GetTV are not edited for running times to fit in a set time block; as a result, start and end times for the network's film telecasts are influenced by a combination of the original runtime of a particular film and the commercial breaks inserted within the broadcast (as well as the start of educational children's program block in the case of the Friday morning schedule) – with airtimes varying between the conventional top-and-bottom-of-the-hour scheduling and incremental start times in five-minute margins that, as a whole, closely mirror the program scheduling of premium cable channels than that of other advertiser-supported television networks; even so, this scheduling format still results in the running time of a film's broadcast on the network to be longer than that of its original theatrical release.
In order to allow the network's affiliates to comply with the Federal Communications Commission's educational and informational programming requirements, GetTV carries a three-hour block of children's programs on Friday mornings that were originally distributed for syndication (currently featuring Real Life 101, Passport to Explore, Nature Adventures with Terri and Todd and Aqua Kids).
As of July 2014, GetTV has current or pending affiliation agreements with television stations in 64 media markets encompassing 35 states (including stations in 40 of the 50 largest Nielsen markets), covering approximately 70% of the United States. The network is offered to prospective affiliates through leasing arrangements, in which the network pays a monthly license fee to its stations for subchannel carriage, and handles all responsibility in selling advertising inventory – instead of the typical method for multicast services by securing affiliation deals through barter deals, with a network's affiliates sharing the duty of selling ads (as such, advertisements carried by most GetTV affiliates strictly are those broadcast by the network, with no locally provided content outside of federally mandated hourly station identifications).
When the network was first announced, GetTV entered into a channel lease agreement with Univision Communications, which launched the network in 24 markets served by a station owned by the group or operated through local marketing agreements with Entravision Communications – giving GetTV affiliates in 17 of the 20 largest U.S. television markets (including markets such as New York City, Los Angeles, Chicago, Dallas-Fort Worth and Miami). The network immediately sought carriage on the digital subchannels of television stations owned by other broadcasting companies; on April 1, 2014, the Cox Media Group became the first station group outside of the core Univision-owned outlets to sign select stations to carry GetTV on their digital subchannels; Cox-owned KIRO-TV in Seattle, WAXN-TV in Charlotte and KMYT-TV in Tulsa began carrying the network on that date, with WTEV-TV in Jacksonville following suit that summer.
Most notably, on June 23, 2014, the network reached a channel lease agreement with the Sinclair Broadcast Group; the deal gave GetTV affiliations with stations that Sinclair owns or operates (including several that formerly carried TheCoolTV and The Tube on a digital subchannel that had been silent immediately prior to joining the network) in 33 markets, increasing GetTV's reach to 70% of U.S. television households. 29 Sinclair stations added the network on July 1 with the others beginning to carry GetTV by the end of September 2014.
- Escape – a digital broadcast network, owned by Johnathan Katz (COO of Bounce TV), specializing in programming for women (similar to Lifetime), which also launched on Univision owned-and-operated (O&O) stations.
- Grit – a digital broadcast network, also owned by Katz and specializing in programming for men (similar to Tuff TV or Spike), which also launched on Univision O&O stations.
- Movies! – a digital broadcast network, owned by Fox Entertainment Group and Weigel Broadcasting, specializing in feature films from the 20th Century Fox film library.
- This TV – a digital broadcast network, co-owned by Tribune Broadcasting and Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, specializing in movies from the 1930s to the 2000s.
- Antenna TV – a digital broadcast network, owned by Tribune Broadcasting, that specializes in classic television programming and includes some feature film content from the Sony Pictures Entertainment library.
- Turner Classic Movies – a commercial-free cable and satellite network, owned by the Turner Broadcasting System, a subsidiary of Time Warner that specializes in classic films and includes feature film content from the Sony Pictures Entertainment library.
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