Decades (TV network)

Type Digital broadcast television network
Country United States
Availability Nationwide (available on OTA digital television)
(U.S. coverage: 55%)[1]
Founded October 21, 2014 (2014-10-21)
Slogan Relive. Remember. Relate.
Owner CBS Television Stations
Weigel Broadcasting
Parent CBS Corporation
Weigel Broadcasting
Key people
Launch date
January 16, 2015 (2015-01-16)
(soft launch)
May 25, 2015 (2015-05-25)
(official launch)[2]
Picture format
480i SDTV; widescreen)
Affiliates List of affiliates
Official website

Decades is an American digital broadcast television network that is owned as a joint venture between the CBS Television Stations subsidiary of CBS Corporation and Weigel Broadcasting.[2][3] The network, which is primarily carried on the digital subchannels of television stations, mainly airs classic television sitcoms and drama series from the 1950s through the 2000s, feature films from the same period, along with historical news and documentary programming.

Through its ownership by Weigel, Decades is a sister network to MeTV, which focuses on classic television series from the 1950s to the 1990s and carries some programming from Decades corporate cousin CBS Television Distribution. As the network has access to theatrical films and television series remastered for high definition and widescreen presentation, the network is carried in 480i widescreen.


On October 21, 2014, CBS Corporation and Weigel Broadcasting announced the launch of Decades, with plans to launch the network in 2015; through its part-ownership by CBS Corporation, Decades announced that owned-and-operated stations of the CBS television network would serve as its initial charter affiliates.[4][5]

The network is the first national multicasting venture by CBS Television Stations; the group did not carry subchannels on any of its television stations prior to 2013 and at the time of the Decades announcement, only three of its stations even maintained subchannels (CBS O&Os WCBS-TV in New York City and KYW-TV in Philadelphia carried rolling news channels under the "CBS Plus" brand on their respective secondary subchannels, while independent station KTXA in Dallas-Fort Worth carried MeTV on its second subchannel). In addition, CBS Television Distribution had already maintained a content distribution agreement with Weigel Broadcasting's classic television network MeTV, which sourced much of its programming from that library.

On January 13, 2015, Weigel Broadcasting confirmed that its Milwaukee CBS affiliate WDJT-TV would carry the network on its fourth digital subchannel[6] (replacing the digital news service TouchVision).

Decades officially launched at 7:00 a.m. Eastern Time on May 25, 2015, with the series premiere of Through the Decades as its inaugural telecast. At the time, the network was available in over 45% of all American households with a television set.[7]


Decades relies primarily on programming from the extensive content library owned by CBS Television Distribution,[4] which includes the pre-2006 Paramount Television library – which CBS had acquired as a result of absorbing Paramount's syndication unit in 2006 through its split from Viacom into a separate company – along with series from Desilu Productions, Bing Crosby Productions, Don Fedderson Productions, QM Productions, Spelling Television and Republic Pictures Television. Decades also carries select series from NBCUniversal Television Distribution, Warner Bros. Television Distribution, the Peter Rodgers Organization, Shout! Factory, and The Carsey-Werner Company, plus movies from CBS, Paramount Pictures, Warner Bros., the Sony Pictures Motion Picture Group, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, Lionsgate, and Sonar Entertainment.

In order to stand out from other "retro-TV" multicast services (such as MeTV and Antenna TV), the Monday through Friday schedule features a block of programming based on a daily theme, with interstitials to highlight the theme. Each six-hour block of programming is repeated four times a day and typically includes a feature film, episodes of theme related TV programs, and biographical programs featuring celebrities, actors and actresses, musicians, athletes, and public figures of interest. The theme blocks are completed with Through the Decades, an hour-long program hosted and narrated by Bill Kurtis (who formerly served as an anchor for Chicago CBS O&O WBBM-TV and CBS News) that explores the events and news from a particular day or period in history, using archival footage that CBS owns via services such as CBS News and CBS Television Distribution's syndicated newsmagazine program Entertainment Tonight.[3][4][8]

The network's Saturday and Sunday schedule features "binge" blocks of classic television series. Beginning on Saturday at 1 p.m., forty-two consecutive hours are devoted to a particular series, which is usually sourced from either the CBS Television Distribution library of shows or a show Weigel Broadcasting has a contract to carry (such as one of the shows it broadcasts on MeTV).[9]


As of May 2015, Decades has current or pending affiliation agreements with 35 television stations covering at least 44% of the United States.[7] Weigel Broadcasting handles the responsibility of affiliate distribution to stations outside of the core CBS O&O group.[3]

Decades is being offered to stations on a barter basis, in which the network and the local affiliate will share the responsibility of selling advertising inventory and split the allocated hourly commercial time; CBS affiliates and their owners hold the right of first refusal to carry the network in their local market, before it is offered to other network-affiliated stations.[3] The network is also available on local cable television providers (most likely through their digital tiers, as is the case with most multicast networks) and other pay television services at the discretion of the affiliate's parent station.[10]

CBS Television Stations initially planned to launch Decades on all 16 CBS owned-and-operated stations (including two that operate as satellite stations of Minneapolis O&O WCCO-TV); not all of the CBS Television Stations outlets were announced to carry Decades initially, as CW owned-and-operated stations in markets where CBS Corporation does not own a CBS O&O (such as Tampa and Seattle) were originally excluded from its initial list of affiliates; the standalone CW O&Os were later added as charter stations by late April 2015. In the Chicago market, where CBS Television Stations and Weigel Broadcasting each own television stations, the network is carried on CBS O&O WBBM-TV, instead of one of Weigel's three stations in that market – WCIU-TV, WWME-CA and WMEU-CD (a similar situation exists in that market with Movies!, in which WPWR-TV – owned by Weigel's partner in that network, Fox Television Stations – carries the network in lieu of any of Weigel's outlets); Weigel-owned WDJT will carry the network in the Milwaukee market.[6] WMYS-LD in South Bend, Indiana is the other Weigel-owned station to carry the network.

On January 9, 2015, Decades reached its first affiliation agreement with a station outside of the core CBS group, through a deal with Media General for its Green Bay, Wisconsin ABC affiliate WBAY-TV (which was previously affiliated with CBS from 1953 to 1992). WBAY planned to carry the marathon blocks on its third subchannel as a replacement for the Live Well Network;[2] however, on January 13, as a result of Disney–ABC Television Group's decision to temporarily continue Live Well Network's national operations, WBAY announced that its 2.3 subchannel would not switch to Decades until after LWN's new March 2015 shutdown date.[11] It eventually picked up Ion Television as part of a group deal with WBAY owner Media General to carry the network in markets without an Ion station.

List of affiliates

City of license/Market Station[12] Affiliate Virtual
Owner Notes Replacing network (if applicable)
Phoenix KASW The CW 61.2 (49) Nexstar Broadcasting Group November 9, 2015
Los Angeles KCBS-TV CBS 2.2 (43) CBS Television Stations February 3, 2015
SacramentoStocktonModesto KOVR 13.2 (25)
San FranciscoOaklandSan Jose KPIX-TV 5.2 (29) February 9, 2015
Santa Barbara Cable Only TBA Cox Communications Coming Soon
Denver KCNC-TV CBS 4.2 (35) CBS Television Stations January 23, 2015
Jacksonville WJAX-TV CBS 47.3 (19) Cox Media Group June 1, 2015
MiamiFort Lauderdale WFOR-TV 4.2 (22) CBS Television Stations March 7, 2015
St. PetersburgTampa WTOG The CW 44.2 (44)
Tallahassee, Florida WCTV CBS 6.2 Gray Television
Atlanta WUPA The CW 69.2 (43) CBS Television Stations May 8, 2015
ToccoaAthens WGTA H&I 32.2 (24) Marquee Broadcasting
Chicago WBBM-TV CBS 2.2 (12) CBS Television Stations January 29, 2015
South Bend WMYS-LD MyNetworkTV 69.3 (39) Weigel Broadcasting TouchVision
Sioux City KMEG CBS 14.2 (39) Sinclair Broadcast Group
Louisville WBNA Ion Television 21.5 (8) Evangel World Prayer Center Qubo
Wichita KSCW-DT The CW 33.2 (12) Sunflower Broadcasting, Inc.
Lafayette KLWB (TV) MeTV 50.3 (50) Delta Media Launches TBD
New Orleans WWL CBS 4.3 (36) Tegna
Bangor WABI-TV CBS 5.3 (5) Diversified Communications October 1, 2015
Baltimore WJZ-TV CBS 13.2 (13) CBS Television Stations
Boston WBZ-TV CBS 4.2 (30) CBS Television Stations February 26, 2015
New Bedford (Providence, Rhode Island) WLWC The CW 28.3 (22) OTA Broadcasting, LLC
Detroit WWJ-TV CBS 62.2 (44) CBS Television Stations February 10, 2015
Alexandria KCCO-TV CBS 7.2 (7) CBS Television Stations March 10, 2015
Duluth KBJR-TV NBC 6.3 (19) Quincy Media September 2016
MinneapolisSt. Paul WCCO-TV CBS 4.2 (32) CBS Television Stations March 10, 2015
Walker KCCW-TV 12.2 (12)
Las Vegas KHSV H&I 21.2 (2) Howard Stirk Holdings
Albany/Pittsfield WNYA MyNetworkTV 51.3 (13) Hubbard Broadcasting December 31, 2015
New York City WCBS-TV CBS 2.2 (33) CBS Television Stations January 16, 2015 CBS New York Plus
Charlotte WCNC-TV NBC 36.3 (22) Tegna, Inc. April 28, 2016
New BernGreenville WCTI-TV ABC 12.2 (12) Bonten Media Group February 3, 2015 Live Well Network
Cincinnati WOTH-CD Movies! 20.2 (20) Block Broadcasting
Columbus WBNS-TV CBS 10.2 (21) Dispatch Broadcast Group
Portland KOIN CBS 6.3 (40) Media General March 10, 2016
Philadelphia KYW-TV CBS 3.2 (26) CBS Television Stations January 16, 2015 CBS Philly Plus
Pittsburgh KDKA-TV 2.2 (25) March 16, 2015
Memphis WHBQ-TV Fox 13.3 (13) Cox Media Group June 15, 2015
Nashville WJDE-LD H&I 31.3 (31) Evangel World Prayer Center of Kentucky Inc. January 8, 2015 HSN
Bristol, Virginia & Bristol, Tennessee/Tri-Cities WCYB-TV NBC 5.3 (5) Bonten Media Group May 12, 2015 Live Well Network
Fort WorthDallas KTVT CBS 11.2 (19) CBS Television Stations February 3, 2015
Houston KTXH MyNetworkTV 20.3 (19) Fox Television Stations October 2, 2015 MundoFox/MundoMax
Roanoke WDBJ CBS 7.3 (18) Gray Television April 27, 2015
TacomaSeattle KSTW The CW 11.2 (11) CBS Television Stations May 9, 2015
Spokane KREM CBS2.3 (20)Tegna April 27, 2016
Crandon WMOW The CW 4 (4.3) Quincy Media September 2, 2015 This TV
Eagle River WYOW ABC 34 (34.3)
Eau Claire WQOW 18 (18.3)
La Crosse WXOW 19 (19.3)
Madison WKOW 27 (27.3)
Milwaukee WDJT-TV CBS 58.4 (46)[6] Weigel Broadcasting January 16, 2015 TouchVision
Wausau WAOW ABC 9 (9.3) Quincy Media September 2, 2015[13] This TV


  1. Buckman, Adam (July 26, 2016). "Diginets Keep Growing, Despite Auction Cloud". TVNewsCheck. NewsCheck Media. Retrieved November 7, 2016.
  2. 1 2 3 Ted Miller (January 9, 2015). "Web Archive: DECADES launches January 16 on WBAY-TV 2.3". WBAY-TV. Media General. Archived from the original on January 10, 2015. Retrieved January 10, 2015.
  3. 1 2 3 4 Cynthia Littleton (October 21, 2014). "CBS to Launch Retro Digital Channel Focused on Pop Culture, History". Variety. Penske Media Corporation. Retrieved October 21, 2014.
  4. 1 2 3 Michael Malone (October 21, 2014). "CBS Stations, Weigel Partner on Oldies Digi-Net Decades". Broadcasting & Cable. NewBay Media. Retrieved November 11, 2014.
  5. Mike Farrell (October 21, 2014). "CBS, Weigel Ready 'Decades' Digi-Net". MultiChannel News. NewBay Media. Retrieved November 7, 2014.
  6. 1 2 3 Chris Foran (January 13, 2015). "TV flashback: Weigel to add new nostalgia channel in Milwaukee". Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. Journal Communications. Retrieved January 13, 2015.
  7. 1 2 Robert Feder (May 25, 2015). "Decades opens 'daily time capsule' today". Chicago Tribune (Tribune Publishing).
  8. Robert Feder (January 15, 2015). "Bill Kurtis to guide viewers 'Through the Decades' in daily series". Chicago Tribune (Tribune Publishing). Retrieved January 16, 2015.
  9. "New 'Decades' Channel Launches On Memorial Day". CBS Interactive. May 22, 2015. Retrieved May 22, 2015.
  10. "CBS To Launch Classic Digital Channel". Penske Media Corporation. October 21, 2014. Retrieved November 11, 2014.
  11. "WBAY Facebook page". Facebook. January 13, 2015. Retrieved January 14, 2015 via WBAY-TV.
  12. "Decades TV Network". Decades.
  13. Mark K. Miller (August 20, 2015). "WAOW Wausau Adding Decades Diginet". TVNewsCheck. NewsCheck.

External links

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