MeTV’s good news bad news for Fairfield County.

Make no mistake; this writer is a fan of MeTV, Memorable Entertainment Television, the Chicago-based digital subchannel doing what TV Land used to do before caving to corporate boss Viacom.  Locally in Fairfield County, there are multiple options for MeTV, carried part-time over Bridgeport-based WZME channel 43-1, which is owned by NRJ TV, a small company with a small budget…

Over the air…43-1

Optimum…channel 77

Charter…22

Comcast (Danbury)…27

DIRECTV, Dish Network and AT&T Uverse…43

Verizon FiOS…19

Just today according to TVNewsCheck, MeTV is about to get a major upgrade in where it’s carried in two of the top ten markets, one of which is New York.  But here is the strange thing.  You see since the FCC was founded first as the Federal Radio Commission, TV and radio stations with some exceptions east of the Mississippi River have a “W” in their call letters. The exceptions come from PA’s KDKA in Pittsburgh and Philly’s KYW.  Speaking of Philadelphia, that is the other market to get a MeTV upgrade from its airing on WFMZ 69-4.  WFMZ is a locally-owned independent station serving Allentown, PA with a heavy local news emphasis.  MeTV is expected to leave those respective signals once the new stations sign-on the air and that could mean an interesting dilemma.

The two stations to carry MeTV in the two big East Coast markets have K’s in their call letters.  They are KVNV 3.1 New York located in Middletown Township, N.J and KJWP 2.1 Philadelphia, located in Wilmington, Delaware, which hasn’t had a physically based TV station since the days of WDEL-TV, which would lose its commercial license to become Philadelphia PBS station WHYY-TV 12.

KVNV and KJWP are owned by PMCM and their journeys to where they are about to come have been wild. According to KVNV’s Wikipedia page, the channel, currently licensed to Ely, NV began as a relay to Las Vegas NBC station KVBC.

In 2008, PMCM sought permission to move the station from Ely to Monmouth County, New Jersey, as part of a legal loophole allowing any VHF station moving to a state with no FCC-licensed commercial VHF stations (New Jersey would be one of them since WWOR despite its Secaucus city of license and 9 Broadcast Plaza studio basically is looking to move back to New York and into sister station WNYW Fox 5’s 205 E. 67th Street building) to receive automatic permission to move. After the digital television transition of five years ago, Delaware and New Jersey lost VHF signals. PMCM or Press Communications, LLC looked to move KJWY, now KJWP, to Delaware under the same rule. The FCC denied the request in a December 18, 2009 letter.

The Commission denied PMCM’s application for review in a Memorandum Opinion and Order released on September 15, 2011.  But, the denial was reversed by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit in December 2012. As a result KVNV applied for a construction permit to move to Middletown Township although the planned transmitter location is at New York City’s Condé Nast Building, late last May. When KVNV completes its move to the New York City area during the second quarter of the year, the station will become the market’s Me-TV affiliate, replacing WZME and a digital channel on Time Warner Cable in New York City; the station also intends to introduce local programming, including news programs so as to keep its license as per the FCC.  But from what I have read, MeTV is expected to be on the air about 98% of the time.

As a result, and since KVNV is a must-carry, all cable systems in the NYC market, as well as satellite systems will start airing this station, and that includes Optimum for all its customers.  And on that it brings up an interesting dilemma especially for viewers and customers in Fairfield County, of which this writer is.

I had a little Facebook chat with the TeeVee Guyd, which looks at the digital sub-carrier scene and I asked if this channel when it signs on, comes on Cablevision.  The answer is yes.  I was told KVNV should be on channel 3 when it launches or should land below channel 30 on the line-up if channel 3 isn’t available, but KVNV has the right to request the channel 3 position on cable because of their must-carry status.

In Fairfield County, 3 has been WFSB, except for that near two week period last month. The possibility exists of once again WFSB, or in this case, WFSB 3.4, the Fairfield County signal showing only local temperatures and ads for businesses in the county which is a part of the New York TV market, leaving Optimum again.  Once you drive into New Haven County, you get the Hartford/New Haven stations, although on some county cable systems, some of the major NYC TV stations (2,4, 5, 7, 9, 11, 13) come in.

On Optimum, there are some channels available below that magic number of 30…

20 (ex WTXX/WCCT)

25 (ex-WTIC)

26(??)

Those channels have been deleted, but could be available. Once you hit 27 that’s where the cable side begins. There are broadcast signals above 30 like WMBC 63 Newton, NJ, a waste of a signal of mainly infomercials, long form local news and leased-time programs from Asian countries.

As for when KVNV will be on the system… “There’s nothing for Cablevision reps to report, other than what is already know from today’s news release. The issue for them is this is a local station thing, not a cable network they are adding. Cablevision will soon be adding a local station (KVNV), that’s it. Me-TV is just what’s programmed on KVNV (when they go on the air)” TeeVeeGuyd said.

What will become of WFSB?  Will it be the sacrificial lamb again, and this time for MeTV?

STAY TUNED.

UPDATE: February 20, 2014…I just realized something.  Fairfield County once KVNV comes on takes WZME away from MeTV.  And taht also means the rest of Connecticut.  Which means it may be up to a station in the Hartford/New Haven market to pick up the slack.  Again, the writer chatted by Facebook to The TeeVeeGuyd.

Question is though, which Hartford New Haven station would take it?

WFSB doesn’t have a 3.2 but has 3.3 and 3.4 (Fairfield County for Cablevision) subchannels. But will Meredith take it?

WTNH could add an 8.3 to Bounce on 8.2; or sister station WCTX MyTV9 which has no subchannels. But will LIN who owns ‘CTX and ‘TNH join Me-TV?

WCCT 20.2 has ThisTV;

WHPX and the Ion stations are full…OUT

WVIT 30.2 is COZI-TV…OUT as it’s NBC-owned and I like Cozi TV (though on WNBC 4.2)

WTIC Fox CT 61.2…OUT as they have Antenna TV and like WCCT is Tribune-owned.

I think 8, or 59 could add MeTv (with 3 being the wild card) and name the station MeTV Connecticut or MeTV C-T.

And the webmaster of the Facebook page said…”No station is out of the question. Given what happened in Dallas, where a CBS-owned station added Me-TV, anything is possible. Me-TV is too strong a diginet AND surrounds CT with affiliates (save for Springfield). If anyone can get a strong affiliate in CT, it’s Me-TV.”

UPDATE: July 3rd, 2014

The Tee Vee Guyd on Facebook is reporting KVNV when it goes on the air July 31st the station may change its call letters to WJLP, with Me-TV as its primary and sole affiliation. At that time, Bridgeport’s WZME 43 will likely cease airing Me-TV, ceding to channel 3 leaving the majority of CT without MeTV unless the Media General deal with WTNH/WCTX goes through.  And Media General does have MeTV on most of its stations. Time Warner Cable NYC announced they will drop their direct feed of Me-TV on August 1st. It is assumed KVNV/WJLP will launch on all area providers, including Cablevision.  But for viewers in SW CT, will it mean good-bye WFSB again?

Like I said before…STAY TUNED.

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