The digital subchannel revolution

Digital broadcast network The Tube folded last September and went belly up. But that hasn’t stopped digital networks from emerging and vying for station’s subchannels.

Whether its classic TV or Hispanic-targeted programming, digital broadcast networks could change the face of broadcast television as we know it.

And this revolution will be televised.

At the recent NATPE convention, digital networks were in full force, vying for stations’ attention – Retro Television Network, LATV, World Championship Sports Network, .2Network, and Mexicanal.

The digital networks are targeting niche audiences – Latinos, movie buffs, sports fans, and classic TV junkies – and they are taking advantage of the government’s mandated translation of analog broadcasting to digital.

Many of those stations are “multiplexing” – i.e. using digital subchannels. For example, WTTW has 11, 11.1 (HD),11.2 (simulcast of regular programming), 11.3 (Create), and 11.4 (Spanish language.)

This article from TVNewsday examines the revolution and the challenges that lie ahead for the digital nets (i.e. getting ratings above a 1.)