It's Official: NBC Stations Getting Cozi
NBC Owned Television Stations confirmed today that it is launching early next year a multicast channel mixing classic TV with hit movies and original national and local programming.
Chicago TV blogger Robert Feder had the scoop on Cozi TV last week.
The 24/7 channel will be carried on the 10 NBC O&Os and the group is actively seeking affiliates in other markets.
Cozi TV is actually a relaunch of the Nonstop Network, a multicast channel with national original programming and a smattering of original local programming. The Nonstop Network, in turn, was a roll up of local Nonstop channels that several NBC stations had launched.
Cozi TV retains some of the DNA of the original Nonstop concept. Stations may preempt the national programming to run news, sports and other programming of local interest, says Meredith McGinn, VP of multi-station local programming for NBC Owned Television Stations, who will lead the new network. "This is a local station. We want broadcasters to embrace this channel as their own and to localize it."
Nonstop was a "great testing ground," McGinn says. "We proved that compelling shows like Talk Stoop can work and resonate in the market and in sales. We are proud to keep in on the schedule."
Cozi TV is entering a multicast market that is already crowded with channels that rely to one extent or another on classic TV shows or movies.
"Imitation is the sincerest form of television," says Neal Sabin of Weigel Broadcasting, which owns Me-TV and distributes MGM's ThisTV. Me-TV schedules classic TV. ThisTV is mostly movies.
"We set out to make Me-TV the definitive destination for classic TV. Maybe there is a niche in the marketplace for a channel with some classic TV, some first-run programming and some movies," Sabin says.
According to Sabin, Me-TV and ThisTV reach more than 80% of TV homes. From carriage on the NBC stations, Cozi TV starts with a reach of nearly 27%.
Cozi TV is different than the other channels, McGinn says. "We are combining genres. They seem to be segmented.... And we have been willing to invest in some fantastic series that they haven't been."
NBC is offering other broadcasters five minutes of barter time each hour to carry the network, McGinn says.
McGinn is also promising to heavily promote the channel. "We are focusing on creating a great experience for the audience," she says. "We are going to be producing vignettes and interstitials in addition to regular promos to make sure the audience is engaged in the content and is just having fun every time they come to the channel."
The Cozi TV's classic TV shows will come from the libraries of NBCUniversal and other top syndicators, McGinn says. The press release included these titles: Magnum, P.I., The Bionic Woman, Highway to Heaven, Lone Ranger and The Six Million Dollar Man.
Cozi TV will also air a wide range of movies, showcasing iconic actors spanning generations, including legends Rock Hudson and Doris Day as well as contemporary actors like George Clooney and Drew Barrymore.
“We’re excited to make a significant investment in well-known premium movie titles and TV shows — many of which haven’t been seen in years — as well as high quality original programming to create Cozi TV,” said Valari Staab, president of NBC Owned Television Stations in a statement.
“This new network will provide local stations an opportunity to give their viewers rare access to some of the greatest hits of all time with minimal distraction from their main focus of delivering local news and information.”