Chicago-based Tribune Co. actually likes something crosstown rival Weigel Broadcasting Co. has – This.
Tribune announced today it has signed a long-term deal to add This TV in several markets (including WPIX in New York) and renewing existing deals in others (KTLA in Los Angeles.)
This TV is a joint venture between Weigel Broadcasting (which owns WCIU here, and airs This on one of its subchannels) and MGM. The channel consists of programming culled from the MGM library, mostly movies but also a few television shows in off-peak time periods, including Patty Duke and The Outer Limits. The channel launched on November 1, 2008.
With the new Tribune deals, This TV adds Miami (WSFL), St. Louis (KPLR), San Diego (KSWB) and Grand Rapids (WXMI) in addition to WPIX.
Existing deals were renewed in Philadelphia (WPHL), Washington D.C. (WDCW), Denver (KWGN), Hartford (WTIC) and New Orleans (WGNO) in addition to KTLA.
Tribune also has deals with Latino-targeted LATV, whose subchannels appear on WPIX, WGN in Chicago and KDAF in Dallas. The This TV deal does not affect LATV’s presence on WPIX.
With the new deals, This TV is now cleared in 85 percent of the country and is also now eligible for national ratings, which it reached a deal with Nielsen recently.
The oddity in all of “this” is Tribune (with WGN) and Weigel (with WCIU) are rival competitors here in the Chicago market, but at least they’re friendly: WGN usually buys time on WCIU to air White Sox, Cubs, and Bulls games in prime-time (and in a few cases early and late-fringe) due to conflicts with CW network programming.