Nexstar Media will launch the multicast network Rewind TV on September 1st and offer a menu of sitcoms from the 1980s and 1990s to nearly 50 million TV households (around 40% of the US).
First-cast shows include The Drew Carey Show, Murphy Brown, Growing Pain, Wings, Sabrina, The Teenage Witch, Who’s The Boss, and Family Ties?
The new network is set to complement Nexstars Antenna TV, which specializes in tariffs for the 1960s and 1970s, including midweek reruns of the Tonight Show starring Johnny Carson.
A number of multicast networks have lit up in the last 15 to 20 years following the transition of the TV industry to high definition signals and the corresponding increase in digital capacity. The networks, most of which are owned by local television groups, can be viewed wirelessly without a pay-TV subscription, and some reach more than 90% of US households. Many of the networks are also widely promoted by MVPDs and digital retailers, even though their operation is a fraction of the cost of broadcast or cable networks. Popular multicasters are MeTV, Bounce, Laff and the recently reactivated Court TV.
“This year marks the 10th anniversary of Antenna TV and continues to grow and attract new audiences,” said Sean Compton, president of Nexstar’s networking division. “To complement Antenna TV’s strong following with Baby Boomers, we created Rewind TV to give Gen X viewers a network dedicated to their own nostalgic comedy classics.”
Nexstar, the No. 1 owner of local television networks in the US, acquired Tribune Media in 2019. Tribune, where Compton was previously an executive, worked in the multicast space. The company launched Antenna and has a 50% stake in This TV, now operated by Byron Allens Entertainment Studios.