Sony Pictures TV To Launch Movies Diginet
Sony Pictures Television is jumping into the subchannel business with the digital network GetTV, which will launch this fall on Univision stations in 24 markets, including in 17 of the top 20 DMAs. It will be available in 44% of U.S. TV homes. Sony is actively selling GetTV to other station groups.
The diginet will air old movies from Sony’s library of some 3,500 films, including Lawrence of Arabia and The Bridge on the River Kwai.
“The over-the-air market provided a significant growth opportunity for our channels business,” Andy Kaplan, president of worldwide networks at Sony Pictures Television, said in a statement. “We recognize the demand for premium content that appeals to audiences of all ages, which is exactly what GetTV will offer.”
Sony does not have plans to air original programs on GetTV, but Michael Kokernak, publisher of the Subchannel Report newsletter, thinks it may be setting the groundwork for that.
“What Sony’s announcement really means — forget about classic movies — is that networks like Me-TV, This TV, Antenna TV and GetTV are destined to have original content,” Kokernak says. “They’re all going to go original eventually. It’s just a matter of when.”
Sony is joining other Hollywood studios launching subchannels on over-the-air broadcasters’ secondary channels. MGM, for instance has This TV and, in partnership with Weigel Broadcasting, Me-TV. Both subchannels air mostly classic TV shows.
ABC has Live Well Network, a lifestyle network airing mostly original content like cooking show My Family Recipe Rocks. NBC has Cozi TV, which airs classic TV shows such as Magnum P.I. but also original programs like reality show Being Mandela. Weigel is partnering with Fox on Movies!
GetTV will be Univision’s second venture into English-language subchannels. It has begun to launch African-American diginet Bounce TV in some of its markets.
“Univision has such strong ratings that there is a high, if not a definite possibility that all the GetTV channels will be on cable television,” Kokernak says.