More than a dozen local stations that carry Weigel Broadcasting’s flagship digital network Me TV will end their affiliation agreement next week, The Desk has learned.
A spokesperson for Weigel Broadcasting affirmed 12 affiliates that are owned by Sinclair Broadcasting Group and two stations owned by the E. W. Scripps Company will stop carrying Me TV programming on a digital broadcast channel on Wednesday, August 31.
The following broadcast channels will no longer affiliate with Me TV after next Wednesday, according to Weigel (the list is longer than 14 channels because some are satellite stations of a main broadcast station, but have different call letters and channel assignments)…:
- KAEF (Channel 23) in Eureka, California
- KATU (Channel 2) in Portland, Oregon
- KDBC (Channel 4) in El Paso, Texas
- KECI (Channel 13) in Missoula, Montana
- KRCR (Channel 7) in Redding, California
- KTVM (Channel 6) in Butte, Montana
- KTXS (Channel 12) in Abilene, Texas
- KDBZ-CD (Channel 6) in Bozeman, Montana
- WJAC (Channel 6) in Johnstown, Pennsylvania
- WCIV (Channel 4) in Charleston, South Carolina
- WGBA (Channel 26) in Green Bay, Wisconsin
- WJAR (Channel 10) in Providence, Rhode Island
- WLEX (Channel 18) in Lexington, Kentucky
- WRSP (Channel 55) in Springfield, Illinois
- WTOV (Channel 9) in Steubenville, Ohio
In some areas, Weigel has reached a new agreement with other stations to keep Me TV on free, broadcast television as well as on cable outlets. In Portland, viewers with an over-the-air antenna may still be able to receive Me TV will be able to watch it for free by tuning to a digital subchannel of either KJYY (Channel 29) or KJWY (Channel 21), and it will also be carried on Comcast Cable Channel 1197. The channel moves takes place Thursday, September 1.
In Charleston, Me TV will move to WGWG (Channel 4) and to Comcast Cable Channel 227, starting on Monday, September 12, while in El Paso, the network will remain on AT&T U-Verse Channel 136.
For customers in other areas where Me TV will not be offered by a broadcast station, there are three options to watch the service.
Nationally, Me TV is carried by Dish Network on their traditional satellite service, where it can be watched on Channel 247. The feed offered on Dish Network is the same as the national feed offered to local Me TV broadcast affiliates.
Streaming options include Frndly TV and Philo
Two streaming services also carry Me TV: Frndly TV offers the channel as part of a budget-conscious service that also includes several other Weigel-owned channels, including Heroes & Icons, Story Television and Decades. The service also offers access to live streams of A&E, the History Channel, Lifetime, the Weather Channel Vice, Hallmark and around three dozen other cable networks.
Frndly TV offers three subscription packages to choose from, and every channel it offers is available in all three tiers, though each package contains different features. The Basic package costs $7 a month and allows viewers to stream one channel on one device in standard definition. The Classic package costs $9 a month, allows for two simultaneous streams, bumps up the picture quality to high definition and includes an unlimited cloud DVR that stores recorded shows for three months. The Premium package includes the same features as the Classic package, except it expands the number of live simultaneous streams to four and keeps recorded shows for nine months at a cost of $11 a month.
There are a few limitations with Frndly TV: While the service offers an unlimited cloud DVR in two of its packages, there is not a lot of on-demand programming from the networks it carries. Instead, customers are given the opportunity to view programming that has aired 72 hours in the past — but they can’t skip commercials like they can with other services. Customers get a seven-day free trial of Frndly TV when they sign up; the free trial can be accessed by clicking or tapping here.
Customers who want more channels or features should consider getting Philo, a budget-friendly streaming service that recently started offering Me TV and other Weigel-owned channels as part of its service.
In addition to the Weigel networks, Philo offers channels from Warner Bros Discovery (Discovery, Animal Planet, HGTV, Science Channel, TLC), Paramount Global (Comedy Central, Nickelodeon, MTV), AMC Networks (AMC, IFC, BBC, We TV), A&E Networks (A&E, History Channel, Vice) and others for $25 a month.
That price also includes an unlimited, cloud-based DVR that stores shows for at least a year, and all networks are available in high-definition. Like Frndly TV, Philo customers get seven days to try out the service for free; the trial can be accessed by clicking or tapping here.
Me TV offers a good selection of high-quality, classic television programming, including “M.A.S.H.,” “The A-Team,” “Green Acres,” “The Andy Griffth Show,” “I Love Lucy,” “The Honeymooners,” “Hogan’s Heroes,” “The Twilight Zone,” “Alfred Hitchcock Presents,” “Columbo,” “Perry Mason” and the cheesy cult horror film franchise “Svengoolie.” The network also offers a line-up of Saturday morning cartoons.
Editor’s note: An earlier version of this story said Frndly TV does not carry on-demand programming across any of its networks. The service carries a limited amount of on-demand programming beyond the 72-hour look back feature. Additionally, a second television station owned by E.W. Scripps was added to the list of affiliates dropping Me TV after a spokesperson confirmed the move following the initial publication of this article.