|Type||Digital broadcast television network
(Movies, classic television series, children's programs)
|Availability||Nationwide via OTA digital television
(covering 70% of the U.S.)
Dish Network (channel 373)
|Founded||April 22, 2013|
|Headquarters||Culver City, California|
|Owner||Sony Pictures Television Networks
(Sony Pictures Television)
(senior vice president of U.S. networks, SPT/general manager)
(senior vice president 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. Originally formatted as a movie-oriented service, the network has since transitioned into a general entertainment network featuring a mix of classic television programs and feature films (with its film content primarily consisting of classic movies largely made prior to the 1980s), much of which is sourced from the library of Sony Pictures Entertainment.
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 various other classic television/movie networks such as Movies!, This TV, MeTV, Antenna TV, Cozi TV, Bounce TV and the Retro Television Network.
Sony Pictures Entertainment announced the formation of GetTV on April 22, 2013; with an initial main focus on pre-1980s classic films, Sony scheduled the network's formal launch for that fall. On its website, the network had originally announced 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 twelve Univision and fourteen 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 in part on a portion of the extensive library of films currently owned by network sister company Sony Pictures 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).
GetTV began shifting away from its initial strict focus on classic films in October 2015, when the network added classic television programs from the 1950s to the 1970s to its schedule, first featuring mainly westerns on Saturday afternoons, and variety series on Monday and Wednesday nights during prime time and on Sunday mornings. The network formally switched to a general entertainment programming format on May 2, 2016, when it expanded its series content to its Monday through Friday daytime schedule and added a selection of sitcoms and drama series from the 1950s to the 1980s.
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.
The majority of GetTV's nighttime and weekend schedule consists primarily of feature films; films populated the majority of the network's schedule prior to May 2016, with the exception of a three-hour breakaway on Fridays for children's programming, and additional breakaways added in October 2015 for classic television series on Saturday afternoons, Sunday mornings and Monday nights. 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 reformatted in the 1.85:1 ratio for broadcast on the network.
GetTV also commonly features themed movie presentations – especially during its prime time and late night schedule, starting at 8:00 p.m. Eastern Time each evening (except on Mondays and Wednesdays, due to classic television series showcases that air during prime time 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 evenings, the "Icon of the Week," a Friday night block focusing on the earliest and best works of a well-known film star and "Silver Screen Favorites," a Sunday evening showcase of a particular movie classic. Prior to May 2016, the network also featured "Get Groovy Tuesdays," a Tuesday night lineup of movies from the late 1950s and 1960s; and "Afternoon Delight," a female-targeted weekday afternoon showcase featuring films starring legendary actresses. 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. This scheduling format was also carried over to the network's "Saturday Showdown" block when it debuted in September 2015.
Classic television series
In the fall of 2015, GetTV began to break from its all-movie format (outside of required children's programming content) to incorporate classic television series to its schedule, including series that have either not been syndicated in the past or have merely not been seen on broadcast television in decades.
On September 12, 2015, the network debuted the "Saturday Showdown", a weekly block of western series that serves an extension of GetTV's existing weekly western film block; the lineup initially debuted with mini-marathons of different series each Saturday afternoon for the remainder of the month – beginning with Nichols, Hondo (which began airing on September 19) and A Man Called Shenandoah (which began on September 26) – until all three series began airing in their regular time slots on October 3, joined by three other westerns, The Tall Man, Whispering Smith and Laredo.
Then on September 28, 2015, GetTV announced that it had reached respective agreements with World Nation Live Entertainment and Reelin' In the Years Productions to acquire the rights to The Judy Garland Show (which had not aired on television since it originally aired on CBS from 1963 to 1964) and a selection of about 50 episodes of The Merv Griffin Show, which would serve as the cornerstones of a new Monday night block of variety and talk programming (running from 8:00 to 11:00 p.m. Eastern Time, with same-night replay after the initial airing). The block, which debuted on October 12, also features musical variety specials and episodes from classic variety series (helmed by performers such as Andy Williams, Carol Channing, Pearl Bailey, Dionne Warwick and Jim Nabors) acquired through agreements with Legacy Entertainment and Paul Brownstein Productions.
On May 2, 2016, the network debuted a daily block of classic series from the 1950s to the 1970s as part of its weekday schedule (running from 7:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Eastern Time, with some of the programs airing only on Monday through Thursdays due to the network's Friday morning block of educational programs). The series – which include The Ghost & Mrs. Muir, Nanny and the Professor, The Restless Gun, S.W.A.T., Airwolf, Hardcastle and McCormick and In the Heat of the Night – are organized into distinct genre-based blocks of sitcoms (which air during the mid-morning), westerns (which air in the late morning and early afternoon), and action and crime drama series (which air during the mid- and late afternoon hours), and include select programs that have not been seen on television at least since their original network runs or have been syndicated on a fairly inconsistent basis.
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, as of May 2016[update], featuring Curiosity Quest, Awesome Adventures, and double episodes of Real Life 101 and Aqua Kids).
As of May 2016[update], GetTV has current or pending affiliation agreements with 92 television stations in 87 media markets encompassing 35 states (including stations in 47 of the 50, and all of the 25 largest Nielsen markets), covering approximately 73.24% 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 (now WJAX-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 from Deerfield Media and Cunningham Broadcasting (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. Several stations involved in the Sinclair agreement have opted to preempt certain GetTV programs to run to carry sports events from the company's American Sports Network syndication service in place of the network's national schedule during prime time (with some even switching to ASN event programming while a film is in progress) to accommodate regular programming on the main channel.
On February 1, 2016, Sony announced that it had reached a distribution agreement with Media General (which had announced days prior that it would merge with the Nexstar Broadcasting Group) for the network to be carried on stations owned and/or operated by the group in 20 markets (including San Francisco, Portland, Indianapolis, Grand Rapids and Harrisburg). WISH-TV in Indianapolis, WOTV in Grand Rapids and WHTM-TV in Harrisburg began carrying GetTV on that date, with additional Media General stations expected to add the network throughout the first quarter of 2016.
Separate from the network's broadcast affiliation agreements, on December 17, 2015, Sony Pictures Television announced that the satellite provider would begin carrying GetTV nationally on channel 373, available at minimum to subscribers of its "America's Top 120" programming tier. As a result of the deal, in which the network was added as part of a renewed carriage agreement with Dish Network for sister networks Sony Movie Channel and Cine Sony Television, GetTV became the first digital multicast network to be carried by Dish, which (as with other satellite and IPTV providers) has typically refrained from seeking agreements to carry subchannels programmed by individual local television stations.
- 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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- "getTV and Cine Sony Television Join DISH Lineup, DISH Renews Sony Movie Channel" (Press release). BusinessWire. December 17, 2015 – via Sony Pictures Television.