Decades (TV network)
Decades is an American digital broadcast television network that is owned as a joint venture between the CBS Television Stations subsidiary of ViacomCBS and Weigel Broadcasting. The network, which is primarily carried on the digital subchannels of television stations and on Cable TV through their cable providers, mainly airs classic television sitcoms and drama series from the 1950s through the 2000s, feature films from the same period, along with historical news and documentary programming.
|Type||Digital broadcast television network|
|Availability||Nationwide (available on OTA digital television, Cable TV)|
(U.S. coverage: 55%)
|Founded||October 21, 2014|
|Slogan||Relive. Remember. Relate.|
|January 16, 2015|
May 25, 2015
|1080i (HDTV; widescreen)|
|Affiliates||List of affiliates|
Through its ownership by Weigel, Decades is a sister network to MeTV, which focuses on classic television series from the 1950s to the 1990s and carries some programming from Decades corporate cousin CBS Television Distribution. As the network has access to theatrical films and television series remastered for high definition and widescreen presentation, the network is carried in 480i widescreen.
Since fall 2019, Decades is carried on Fox-owned stations in twelve markets as part of a multi-year agreement with Fox Television Stations.
On October 21, 2014, CBS Corporation and Weigel Broadcasting announced the launch of Decades, with plans to debut the network in 2015; through its part-ownership by CBS Corporation, Decades announced that owned-and-operated stations of the CBS television network would serve as its initial charter affiliates.
The network is the first national multicasting venture by CBS Television Stations; the group did not carry subchannels on any of its television stations prior to 2013 and at the time of the Decades announcement, only three of its stations even maintained subchannels (CBS O&Os WCBS-TV in New York City and KYW-TV in Philadelphia carried rolling news channels under the "CBS Plus" brand on their respective secondary subchannels, while independent station KTXA in Dallas-Fort Worth carried MeTV on its second subchannel). In addition, CBS Television Distribution had already maintained a content distribution agreement with Weigel Broadcasting's classic television network MeTV, which sourced much of its programming from that library.
Decades officially launched at 7:00 a.m. Eastern Time on May 25, 2015, with the series premiere of Through the Decades as its inaugural telecast. At the time, the network was available in over 45% of all American households with a television set.
Decades relies primarily on programming from the extensive content library owned by CBS Television Distribution, which includes the pre-2006 Paramount Television library – which CBS had acquired as a result of absorbing Paramount's syndication unit in 2006 through its split from Viacom into a separate company – along with series from Desilu Productions, Bing Crosby Productions, Don Fedderson Productions, QM Productions, Spelling Television and Republic Pictures Television. Decades also carries series and movies from NBCUniversal, Warner Bros., Disney (20th Century Fox), Sony Pictures Entertainment, Paramount Pictures, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, Lionsgate, Sonar Entertainment, the Peter Rodgers Organization, Shout! Factory, The Carsey-Werner Company and the public domain.
In order to stand out from other "retro-TV" multicast services (such as MeTV and Antenna TV), the Monday through Friday schedule initially featured a block of programming based on a daily theme, with interstitials to highlight the theme. Each six-hour block of programming was repeated four times a day and typically included a feature film, episodes of theme related TV programs, and biographical programs featuring celebrities, actors and actresses, musicians, athletes, and public figures of interest. The theme blocks were bookended with Through the Decades, an hour-long program hosted and narrated by Bill Kurtis (who formerly served as a presenter for Chicago CBS O&O WBBM-TV and CBS News) that explores the events and news from a particular day or period in history, using archival footage that CBS owns via services such as CBS News and CBS Television Distribution's syndicated newsmagazine program Entertainment Tonight.
The network's Saturday and Sunday schedule features "binge" blocks of classic television series. Beginning on Saturday at 1:00 p.m. (ET), forty-two consecutive hours are devoted to a particular series, which is usually sourced from either the CBS Television Distribution library of shows or a show Weigel Broadcasting has a contract to carry (such as one of the shows it broadcasts on MeTV).
Airings of The Dick Cavett Show were added to the schedule February 1, 2016 within the daily themed block, as appropriate. Episodes from Cavett's late-night ABC talk show from 1969 to 1974 as well as his later interview series on PBS, USA, and CNBC were all made available for airing.
On November 1, 2016, a major change was made to the programming lineup, with the daily programming block reduced to two airings daily (one from mid-morning to mid-afternoon, the other in overnight) as the 2:00 p.m. to midnight (ET) time period was converted to a "daily binge" with a different show airing each day. During the month of November, a different "cop show" was aired each weekday; in December, sitcoms were featured, and in January 2017, shows that aired in 1957, 1967, 1977, 1987 and 1997 were featured.
A further shift in direction from the original channel concept came on December 5, 2016, when the network added two daily airings of the NBC series Rowan & Martin's Laugh-In, the first breaking the daily binge in half at 6:00 p.m. (ET) and the same show repeating at the conclusion of the binge time block. The themed block was also modified to include a daily airing of The Dick Cavett Show at the starting point of each day's block.
On January 2, 2017, the weekday schedule was further altered by the addition of back-to-back airings of two episodes of Ripley's Believe it or Not! at 5:00 p.m. (ET); it is followed by two separate episodes of Laugh-In at 6:00 p.m. and 9:00 p.m., Through The Decades at 7:00 p.m. and 10:00 p.m. (but without the associated themed programming), and a different episode of The Dick Cavett Show from the one in the themed block airing at 8:00 p.m. The "daily binge" then resumes at 11:00 p.m. until the daily themed block replay at 2:00 a.m.
The weekend "binge" schedule remained unchanged through the late-2016/early-2017 weekday changes.
As of 2018, Decades has begun airing a collection of series that have lapsed into the public domain, namely The Great Gildersleeve, Topper, The Bob Cummings Show, Life with Elizabeth, The Loretta Young Show and Annie Oakley.
As with all digital multicast networks, Decades is required to carry three weekly hours of educational children's programs. Alex Paen's Missing, the news magazine America's Heartland and Animal Rescue air two episodes each Saturday morning to fulfill the requirement.
As of May 2015, Decades has current or pending affiliation agreements with 35 television stations covering at least 44% of the United States. Weigel Broadcasting handles the responsibility of affiliate distribution to stations outside the core CBS O&O group.
Decades is being offered to stations on a barter basis, in which the network and the local affiliate will share the responsibility of selling advertising inventory and split the allocated hourly commercial time; CBS affiliates and their owners hold the right of first refusal to carry the network in their local market, before it is offered to other network-affiliated stations. The network is also available on local cable television providers (most likely through their digital tiers, as is the case with most multicast networks) and other pay television services at the discretion of the affiliate's parent station.
CBS Television Stations initially planned to launch Decades on all 16 CBS owned-and-operated stations (including two that operate as satellite stations of Minneapolis O&O WCCO-TV); not all of the CBS Television Stations outlets were announced to carry Decades initially, as CW owned-and-operated stations in markets where CBS Corporation does not own a CBS O&O (such as Tampa and Seattle) were originally excluded from its initial list of affiliates; the standalone CW O&Os were later added as charter stations by late April 2015. In the Chicago market, where CBS Television Stations and Weigel Broadcasting each own television stations, the network was carried on CBS O&O WBBM-TV, instead of one of Weigel's three stations in that market – WCIU-TV, WWME-CA and WMEU-CD (a similar situation exists in that market with Movies!, in which WPWR-TV – owned by Weigel's partner in that network, Fox Television Stations – carries the network in lieu of any of Weigel's outlets); inversely, Weigel-owned WBME-CD carries the network in the Milwaukee market. WMYS-LD in South Bend, Indiana is the other Weigel-owned station to carry the network.
On January 9, 2015, Decades reached its first affiliation agreement with a station outside the core CBS group, through a deal with Media General for its Green Bay, Wisconsin ABC affiliate WBAY-TV (which was previously affiliated with CBS from 1953 to 1992). WBAY planned to carry the marathon blocks on its third subchannel as a replacement for the Live Well Network; however, on January 13, as a result of Disney–ABC Television Group's decision to temporarily continue Live Well Network's national operations, WBAY announced that its 2.3 subchannel would not switch to Decades until after LWN's new March 2015 shutdown date. It eventually picked up Ion Television as part of a group deal with WBAY owner Media General to carry the network in markets without an Ion station.
On September 3, 2018, Decades was replaced on CBS-owned stations with Start TV, a new Weigel-owned diginet focusing on crime dramas with female leads. Weigel states that they are still committed to Decades, and that their owned-and-operated stations will take over in Los Angeles and Chicago, though it isn't known if that will be maintained when the current deal with Fox Television Stations goes into effect, along with the fate of the network in markets with a CBS-owned station, but not a Fox O&O.
List of current affiliates
|City of license/Market||Station||Affiliate||Virtual
|Phoenix||KSAZ-TV||Fox||45.4 (10)||Fox Television Stations||October 2019||Previously on KASW from 2015 to 2018|
|Fort Smith||KFLU-LD||TCN||20.3 (20)||DTV America Corporation||March 2017|
|Fresno-Visalia||KFAZ-CA||Charge!||8.2 (18.2)||Cocola Broadcasting|
|Los Angeles||KAZA-TV||MeTV||54.2 (27.8)||Weigel Broadcasting||September 3, 2018||Previously on KCBS-TV 2/3/15 to 9/2/18|
|Los Angeles||KTTV||Fox||11.4||Fox Television Stations||Previously on KCBS-TV 2/3/15 to 9/2/18|
|Sacramento–Stockton–Modesto||Coming Soon (Per Decades website)||Previously on KOVR 2/3/15 to 9/2/18|
|San Francisco–Oakland–San Jose||KAXT-CD||1.2 (42)||Weigel Broadcasting||April 2019||Previously on KPIX-TV 2/9/15 to 9/2/18|
|Denver||TBD||TBD (Per Decades website)||Previously on KCNC-TV 1/23/15 to 9/2/18|
District of Columbia
|Washington||WRZB-LD||Escape||31.5 (32)||DC Broadcasting|
|Gainesville, Florida||WOGX||Fox||51.4 (31)||Fox Television Stations||Coming Soon (Per Decades website)|
|Jacksonville||WJAX-TV||CBS||47.3 (19)||Cox Media Group||June 1, 2015|
|Miami–Fort Lauderdale||Coming Soon (Per Decades website)||Previously on WFOR-TV 3/7/15 to 9/2/18|
|Orlando||WKMG-TV||CBS||6.5 (26)||Graham Media Group||December 12, 2016||Previously on 6.3 from 2016 to 2019|
|St. Petersburg–Tampa||WTVT||Fox||13.5 (12)||Fox Television Stations||Coming Soon||Previously on WTOG 3/7/15 to 9/2/18|
|Atlanta||WAGA-TV||Fox||5.5 (27)||Fox Television Stations||Coming Soon||Previously on WUPA 5/8/15 to 9/2/18|
|Toccoa–Athens||WGTA||MeTV||32.3 (24)||Marquee Broadcasting|
|Boise||KRID-LD||H&I||22.4 (22)||Idaho TV 22||July 1, 2017|
|Idaho Falls||KPVI-DT||NBC||6.2 (23)||Northwest Broadcasting||January 13, 2016|
|Chicago||WCIU-TV||Independent||26.6||Weigel Broadcasting||September 3, 2018||Previously on WBBM-TV 1/29/15 to 9/2/18|
|WMEU-CD||48.4 (32)||2017||Simulcast of WCIU-TV 26.6|
|Indianapolis (Wolcott, Indiana)||WSDI-LD||Quest||30.2||DTV America||Previously on WBXI-CD in 2018|
|South Bend||WMYS-LD||MyNetworkTV||69.3 (39)||Weigel Broadcasting||Previously TouchVision|
|Louisville||WBNA||Ion Television||21.5 (8)||Evangel World Prayer Center||Previously Qubo|
|Wichita||KSCW-DT||The CW||33.2 (12)||Sunflower Broadcasting, Inc.|
|Lafayette||K18JF-D||Cozi TV||20.7 (21)||HC2 Holdings||Launch Date TBD|
|New Orleans||WWL||CBS||4.3 (36)||Tegna|
|Bangor||WABI-TV||CBS||5.3 (13)||Gray Television||October 1, 2015|
|Baltimore||Coming Soon (Per Decades website)||Previously on WJZ-TV 13.2 until 9/2/18|
|Boston||Coming Soon (Per Decades website)||Previously on WBZ-TV 2/26/15 to 9/2/18|
|Detroit||WJBK||Fox||2.5 (7)||Fox Television Stations||October 2019||Previously on WWJ-TV 2/10/15 to 9/2/18|
|Roscommon||WURO-LD||Heroes & Icons||18.4 (18)||M33 Media LLC|
|Minneapolis–St. Paul||KMSP-TV||Fox||9.6 (9)||Fox Television Stations||Oct 16 2019||Previously on WCCO-TV 2/10/15 to 9/2/18|
|St. Louis||KNLC||MeTV||24.5 (14)||Weigel Broadcasting|
|Las Vegas||KHSV||H&I||21.2 (2)||Howard Stirk Holdings|
|Albany/Pittsfield||WNYA||MyNetworkTV||51.3 (13)||Hubbard Broadcasting||December 31, 2015|
|New York City||WNYW||Fox||5.5 (27)||Fox Television Stations||Coming Soon (Per Decades website)||Previously on WCBS-TV 1/16/15 to 9/2/18|
|Rochester||WBGT-CD||MyNetworkTV||46.5||Vision Communications||June 1, 2018|
|Olean||WVTT-CD/WWHC-LP||This TV||25.2||DTV America||June 1, 2018||Affiliation agreement signed under Vision Communications ownership|
|Saranac Lake||WYCI||H&I/MNTV||40.2 (34)||Cross Hill Communications||2018|
|Cincinnati||WOTH-CD||Movies!||20.2 (47)||Block Broadcasting|
|Cleveland||WBNX-TV||Independent||55.6 (30)||Winston Broadcasting Network||December 1, 2018|
|Columbus||WCBZ-CD||Ind.||22 (18)||Columbus Broadcasting Corp.||January 1, 2020|
|Tulsa||KUOC-LD||Buzzr||48.3 (48)||DTV America Corporation|
|Philadelphia||WDPN-TV||MeTV||2.6 (2)||Maranatha Broadcasting Company||September 3, 2018||Previously on KYW-TV 1/16/15 to 9/2/18|
|Pittsburgh||Coming Soon (Per Decades website)||Previously on KDKA-TV 3/16/15 to 9/2/18|
|Greenville-Spartanburg||W31AZ-D||GEB Network||31.6 (15)||CAROLINA CHRISTIAN BROADCASTING|
|Jackson||WYJJ||Antenna TV||27.6 (27)||HC2 Holdings|
|Memphis||WQEK-LD||Cozi TV||36.2 (30)||HC2 Holdings||Previously on WHBQ-TV|
|Nashville||WJDE-LD||H&I||31.3 (31)||Evangel World Prayer Center of Kentucky Inc.||January 8, 2015||Previously HSN|
|Austin||KTBC||Fox||7.5 (7)||Fox Television Stations|
|Fort Worth–Dallas||KDFW||Fox||4.2 (35)||Fox Television Stations||Coming Soon (Per Decades website)||Previously on KTVT 2/3/15 to 9/2/18|
|Houston||KTXH||MyNetworkTV||20.3 (19)||Fox Television Stations||October 2, 2015||Previously MundoFox/MundoMax|
|Odessa/Midland||KWWT||MeTV||30.3 (22)||JB Broadcasting||2018|
|Cedar City/St. George||KCSG||H&I||8.2 (14)||Weigel Broadcasting||November 27, 2017||Previously Back Country TV|
|Bellingham||KVOS||H&I||12.4 (35.4)||Weigel Broadcasting||added January 17, 2018|
|Tacoma–Seattle||KFFV||MeTV||44.4 (44)||Weigel Broadcasting||September 3, 2018||Previously on KSTW 5/9/15 to 9/2/18|
|Crandon||WMOW||The CW||4.3 (12)||Quincy Media||September 2, 2015||Previously This TV|
|Eagle River||WYOW||ABC||34.3 (28)|
|Eau Claire||WQOW||18.3 (25)|
|La Crosse||WXOW||19.3 (28)|
|Milwaukee||WBME-CD||Independent||49.4 (24)||Weigel Broadcasting||January 16, 2015||Previously TouchVision|
|Wausau||WAOW||ABC||9.3 (9)||Quincy Media||September 2, 2015||Previously This TV|
- Buckman, Adam (July 26, 2016). "Diginets Keep Growing, Despite Auction Cloud". TVNewsCheck. NewsCheck Media. Retrieved November 7, 2016.
- Ted Miller (January 9, 2015). "Web Archive: DECADES launches January 16 on WBAY-TV 2.3". WBAY-TV. Media General. Archived from the original on January 10, 2015. Retrieved January 10, 2015.
- Cynthia Littleton (October 21, 2014). "CBS to Launch Retro Digital Channel Focused on Pop Culture, History". Variety. Penske Media Corporation. Retrieved October 21, 2014.
- Petski, Denise (July 10, 2019). "Fox Television Stations To Carry Weigel Broadcasting's Decades TV Network Beginning in Q3". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved July 10, 2019.
- Michael Malone (October 21, 2014). "CBS Stations, Weigel Partner on Oldies Digi-Net Decades". Broadcasting & Cable. NewBay Media. Retrieved November 11, 2014.
- Mike Farrell (October 21, 2014). "CBS, Weigel Ready 'Decades' Digi-Net". MultiChannel News. NewBay Media. Retrieved November 7, 2014.
- Chris Foran (January 13, 2015). "TV flashback: Weigel to add new nostalgia channel in Milwaukee". Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. Journal Communications. Retrieved January 13, 2015.
- Robert Feder (May 25, 2015). "Decades opens 'daily time capsule' today". RobertFeder.com. Chicago Tribune (Tribune Publishing).
- Robert Feder (January 15, 2015). "Bill Kurtis to guide viewers 'Through the Decades' in daily series". RobertFeder.com. Chicago Tribune (Tribune Publishing). Retrieved January 16, 2015.
- "New 'Decades' Channel Launches On Memorial Day". CBSChicago.com. CBS Interactive. May 22, 2015. Retrieved May 22, 2015.
- "'The Dick Cavett Show' Returns on CBS' Decades Digital Channel". Variety.com. January 18, 2016. Retrieved January 3, 2017.
- "Decades Network Has Cop Show Binge in November". SitcomsOnline.com. October 31, 2016. Retrieved January 3, 2017.
- "'Rowan and Martin's Laugh-In' arrives on Decades this Monday, December 5". Decades.com. December 1, 2016. Retrieved January 3, 2017.
- "CBS To Launch Classic Digital Channel". Deadline Hollywood. Penske Media Corporation. October 21, 2014. Retrieved November 11, 2014.
- "WBAY Facebook page". Facebook. January 13, 2015. Retrieved January 14, 2015 – via WBAY-TV.
- "Weigel To Launch 'Start TV' Female Diginet". TVNewsCheck. NewsCheckMedia LLC. July 18, 2018. Retrieved July 18, 2018.
- "Decades TV Network". Decades.
- Mark K. Miller (August 20, 2015). "WAOW Wausau Adding Decades Diginet". TVNewsCheck. NewsCheck.