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.[2][3] 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.

TypeDigital broadcast television network
AvailabilityNationwide (available on OTA digital television, Cable TV)
(U.S. coverage: 55%)[1]
FoundedOctober 21, 2014 (2014-10-21)
SloganRelive. Remember. Relate.
Key people
Launch date
January 16, 2015 (2015-01-16)
(soft launch)
May 25, 2015 (2015-05-25)
(official launch)[2]
Picture format
1080i (HDTV; widescreen)
AffiliatesList of affiliates
Official website

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.[4]


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.[5][6]

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.

On January 13, 2015, Weigel Broadcasting confirmed that its Milwaukee CBS affiliate WDJT-TV would carry the network on its fourth digital subchannel[7] (replacing the digital news service TouchVision).

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.[8]


Decades relies primarily on programming from the extensive content library owned by CBS Television Distribution,[5] 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.[3][5][9]

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).[10]

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.[11]

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;[12] 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.[13] 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.[8] Weigel Broadcasting handles the responsibility of affiliate distribution to stations outside the core CBS O&O group.[3]

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.[3] 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.[14]

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.[7] 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;[2] 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.[15] 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.[16] 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[17] Affiliate Virtual
Owner Launch Date Notes


PhoenixKSAZ-TVFox45.4 (10)Fox Television StationsOctober 2019Previously on KASW from 2015 to 2018


Fort SmithKFLU-LDTCN20.3 (20)DTV America CorporationMarch 2017


Fresno-VisaliaKFAZ-CACharge!8.2 (18.2)Cocola Broadcasting
Los AngelesKAZA-TVMeTV54.2 (27.8)Weigel BroadcastingSeptember 3, 2018Previously on KCBS-TV 2/3/15 to 9/2/18
Los AngelesKTTVFox11.4Fox Television StationsPreviously on KCBS-TV 2/3/15 to 9/2/18
SacramentoStocktonModestoComing Soon (Per Decades website)Previously on KOVR 2/3/15 to 9/2/18
San FranciscoOaklandSan JoseKAXT-CD1.2 (42)Weigel BroadcastingApril 2019Previously on KPIX-TV 2/9/15 to 9/2/18


DenverTBDTBD (Per Decades website)Previously on KCNC-TV 1/23/15 to 9/2/18

District of Columbia

WashingtonWRZB-LDEscape31.5 (32)DC Broadcasting


Gainesville, FloridaWOGXFox51.4 (31)Fox Television StationsComing Soon (Per Decades website)
JacksonvilleWJAX-TVCBS47.3 (19)Cox Media GroupJune 1, 2015
MiamiFort LauderdaleComing Soon (Per Decades website)Previously on WFOR-TV 3/7/15 to 9/2/18
OrlandoWKMG-TVCBS6.5 (26)Graham Media GroupDecember 12, 2016Previously on 6.3 from 2016 to 2019
St. PetersburgTampaWTVTFox13.5 (12)Fox Television StationsComing SoonPreviously on WTOG 3/7/15 to 9/2/18


AtlantaWAGA-TVFox5.5 (27)Fox Television StationsComing SoonPreviously on WUPA 5/8/15 to 9/2/18
ToccoaAthensWGTAMeTV32.3 (24)Marquee Broadcasting


BoiseKRID-LDH&I22.4 (22)Idaho TV 22July 1, 2017
Idaho FallsKPVI-DTNBC6.2 (23)Northwest BroadcastingJanuary 13, 2016


ChicagoWCIU-TVIndependent26.6Weigel BroadcastingSeptember 3, 2018Previously on WBBM-TV 1/29/15 to 9/2/18
WMEU-CD48.4 (32)2017Simulcast of WCIU-TV 26.6


Indianapolis (Wolcott, Indiana)WSDI-LDQuest30.2DTV AmericaPreviously on WBXI-CD in 2018
South BendWMYS-LDMyNetworkTV69.3 (39)Weigel BroadcastingPreviously TouchVision


LouisvilleWBNAIon Television21.5 (8)Evangel World Prayer CenterPreviously Qubo


WichitaKSCW-DTThe CW33.2 (12)Sunflower Broadcasting, Inc.


LafayetteK18JF-DCozi TV20.7 (21)HC2 HoldingsLaunch Date TBD
New OrleansWWLCBS4.3 (36)Tegna


BangorWABI-TVCBS5.3 (13)Gray TelevisionOctober 1, 2015


BaltimoreComing Soon (Per Decades website)Previously on WJZ-TV 13.2 until 9/2/18


BostonComing Soon (Per Decades website)Previously on WBZ-TV 2/26/15 to 9/2/18


DetroitWJBKFox2.5 (7)Fox Television StationsOctober 2019Previously on WWJ-TV 2/10/15 to 9/2/18
RoscommonWURO-LDHeroes & Icons18.4 (18)M33 Media LLC


MinneapolisSt. PaulKMSP-TVFox9.6 (9)Fox Television StationsOct 16 2019Previously on WCCO-TV 2/10/15 to 9/2/18


St. LouisKNLCMeTV24.5 (14)Weigel Broadcasting


Las VegasKHSVH&I21.2 (2)Howard Stirk Holdings

New York

Albany/PittsfieldWNYAMyNetworkTV51.3 (13)Hubbard BroadcastingDecember 31, 2015
New York CityWNYWFox5.5 (27)Fox Television StationsComing Soon (Per Decades website)Previously on WCBS-TV 1/16/15 to 9/2/18
RochesterWBGT-CDMyNetworkTV46.5Vision CommunicationsJune 1, 2018
OleanWVTT-CD/WWHC-LPThis TV25.2DTV AmericaJune 1, 2018Affiliation agreement signed under Vision Communications ownership
Saranac LakeWYCIH&I/MNTV40.2 (34)Cross Hill Communications2018


CincinnatiWOTH-CDMovies!20.2 (47)Block Broadcasting
ClevelandWBNX-TVIndependent55.6 (30)Winston Broadcasting NetworkDecember 1, 2018
ColumbusWBNS-TVCBS10.3 (21)Tegna
ColumbusWCBZ-CDInd.22 (18)Columbus Broadcasting Corp.January 1, 2020


TulsaKUOC-LDBuzzr48.3 (48)DTV America Corporation


PhiladelphiaWDPN-TVMeTV2.6 (2)Maranatha Broadcasting CompanySeptember 3, 2018Previously on KYW-TV 1/16/15 to 9/2/18
PittsburghComing Soon (Per Decades website)Previously on KDKA-TV 3/16/15 to 9/2/18

South Carolina

Greenville-SpartanburgW31AZ-DGEB Network31.6 (15)CAROLINA CHRISTIAN BROADCASTING


JacksonWYJJAntenna TV27.6 (27)HC2 Holdings
MemphisWQEK-LDCozi TV36.2 (30)HC2 HoldingsPreviously on WHBQ-TV
NashvilleWJDE-LDH&I31.3 (31)Evangel World Prayer Center of Kentucky Inc.January 8, 2015Previously HSN


AustinKTBCFox7.5 (7)Fox Television Stations
Fort WorthDallasKDFWFox4.2 (35)Fox Television StationsComing Soon (Per Decades website)Previously on KTVT 2/3/15 to 9/2/18
HoustonKTXHMyNetworkTV20.3 (19)Fox Television StationsOctober 2, 2015Previously MundoFox/MundoMax
Odessa/MidlandKWWTMeTV30.3 (22)JB Broadcasting2018


Cedar City/St. GeorgeKCSGH&I8.2 (14)Weigel BroadcastingNovember 27, 2017Previously Back Country TV


Bellingham KVOS H&I 12.4 (35.4) Weigel Broadcasting added January 17, 2018
TacomaSeattleKFFVMeTV44.4 (44)Weigel BroadcastingSeptember 3, 2018Previously on KSTW 5/9/15 to 9/2/18


CrandonWMOWThe CW4.3 (12)Quincy MediaSeptember 2, 2015Previously This TV
Eagle RiverWYOWABC34.3 (28)
Eau ClaireWQOW18.3 (25)
La CrosseWXOW19.3 (28)
MadisonWKOW27.3 (26)
MilwaukeeWBME-CDIndependent49.4 (24)Weigel BroadcastingJanuary 16, 2015Previously TouchVision
WausauWAOWABC9.3 (9)Quincy MediaSeptember 2, 2015[18]Previously This TV


  1. Buckman, Adam (July 26, 2016). "Diginets Keep Growing, Despite Auction Cloud". TVNewsCheck. NewsCheck Media. Retrieved November 7, 2016.
  2. 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.
  3. Cynthia Littleton (October 21, 2014). "CBS to Launch Retro Digital Channel Focused on Pop Culture, History". Variety. Penske Media Corporation. Retrieved October 21, 2014.
  4. 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.
  5. Michael Malone (October 21, 2014). "CBS Stations, Weigel Partner on Oldies Digi-Net Decades". Broadcasting & Cable. NewBay Media. Retrieved November 11, 2014.
  6. Mike Farrell (October 21, 2014). "CBS, Weigel Ready 'Decades' Digi-Net". MultiChannel News. NewBay Media. Retrieved November 7, 2014.
  7. Chris Foran (January 13, 2015). "TV flashback: Weigel to add new nostalgia channel in Milwaukee". Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. Journal Communications. Retrieved January 13, 2015.
  8. Robert Feder (May 25, 2015). "Decades opens 'daily time capsule' today". Chicago Tribune (Tribune Publishing).
  9. Robert Feder (January 15, 2015). "Bill Kurtis to guide viewers 'Through the Decades' in daily series". Chicago Tribune (Tribune Publishing). Retrieved January 16, 2015.
  10. "New 'Decades' Channel Launches On Memorial Day". CBS Interactive. May 22, 2015. Retrieved May 22, 2015.
  11. "'The Dick Cavett Show' Returns on CBS' Decades Digital Channel". January 18, 2016. Retrieved January 3, 2017.
  12. "Decades Network Has Cop Show Binge in November". October 31, 2016. Retrieved January 3, 2017.
  13. "'Rowan and Martin's Laugh-In' arrives on Decades this Monday, December 5". December 1, 2016. Retrieved January 3, 2017.
  14. "CBS To Launch Classic Digital Channel". Deadline Hollywood. Penske Media Corporation. October 21, 2014. Retrieved November 11, 2014.
  15. "WBAY Facebook page". Facebook. January 13, 2015. Retrieved January 14, 2015 via WBAY-TV.
  16. "Weigel To Launch 'Start TV' Female Diginet". TVNewsCheck. NewsCheckMedia LLC. July 18, 2018. Retrieved July 18, 2018.
  17. "Decades TV Network". Decades.
  18. Mark K. Miller (August 20, 2015). "WAOW Wausau Adding Decades Diginet". TVNewsCheck. NewsCheck.
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