Big diginet fun




NBC to launch Non-Stop Network; Bounce expands to N.Y. and L.A.

Significant developments regarding digital subchannels on Thursday:

– Don’t you wish it would stop? NBC announced it was overhauling its strategy for its nine-station Non-Stop digital subchannels, which is on the .2 (Channel 4.2, Channel 5.2, etc.) of all-NBC-owned stations except the Hartford/New Haven market, where Non-Stop has yet to launch. Instead of programming the stations locally (or in NBC’s California stations’ case, regionally), NBC plans to air programming in-pattern, hence the name The Non-Stop Network. Local programs would continue to air – in Chicago, this would consist of the simulcast of Roe & Conn’s radio show from WLS-AM; The Talk (no relation to the CBS daytime talk show of the same name); and repeats of WMAQ-TV’s newscasts.

The move is being made to attract more stations outside the NBC group (not to mention more national advertising) and to compete with ABC’s Live Well Network. which is in nearly half the country thanks to deals with ABC O&Os, Belo, and Scripps stations.

No word on when the change would occur. Current syndicated NBC Non-Stop programming includes such gems as LX.TV, 24/7: Secrets Of The City, Open House, and Non-Stop Foodies (whatever that is.) When the national version does launch, can NBC move Whitney here as well? If fits in perfectly with the rest of the channel’s unwatchable syndicated programming – much like its parent network.

– Meanwhile, it seems CBS and Fox’s stance against digital subchannels may be softening a bit. On Thursday, new African-American targeted diginet Bounce has signed the digital subchannels of New York’s WWOR and Los Angeles’ KCOP, boosting Bounce’s U.S. coverage in African-American homes to 70 percent.

Bounce targets the adult 25-54 demo, putting in direct competition with cable TV’s TV One, which also targets this segment of the African-American audience.

This marks the first time Fox has put programming on its digital subchannel tiers. If Bounce is successful, Fox may put the diginet on the subchannels of its My Network TV stations (except here in Chicago, where Bounce already has a deal with Weigel Broadcadting’s WWME on its digital subchannel tier.)

Just a few weeks ago, CBS-owned WCBS-TV in New York City announced its was creating a local news and information subchannel, becoming the first CBS-owned station – CBS, independent, or CW- to do so. CBS plans to utilize the resources of its sister radio properties (WCBS-AM, WINS, and WFAN) to contribute to the new channel.  If this is successful, other CBS stations may follow suit.