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Weigel, DirecTV ink deal for national distribution of Me TV

The cult horror movie program "Svengoolie" as it appeared on Weigel-owned Me TV.
The cult horror movie program “Svengoolie” as it appeared on Weigel-owned Me TV. (Graphic by The Desk)

DirecTV and Weigel Broadcasting have inked a distribution agreement that brings the retro television channel Me TV to viewers across the nation.

The deal makes DirecTV the only satellite company to offer Me TV from coast to coast. Dish Network offered the channel to its subscribers until last December. Customers of DirecTV Stream also have access to Me TV, the companies announced on Monday.

“Me TV is Memorable Entertainment Television, making it a uniquely valuable addition to the DirecTV channel line-up,” Neal Sabin, the vice chairman of Weigel, said in a statement. “We couldn’t be happier to seal this deal, which allows us to add Me TV beyond the existing markets and deliver some of the most cherished and timeless television ever made to DIirecTV subscribers coast-to-coast.”

A person familiar with the deal said it is a win for both sides, because DirecTV can better manage local distribution rights while Weigel gains the ability to tap into DirecTV’s reach, which could attract more national ad buyers.

“This agreement provides Weigel additional reach to grow its viewership and sponsors, while furthering DirecTV’s national and local programming interests,” Linda Burakoff, the senior vice president of content and programming at DirecTV, said on Monday. “We continue to work creatively, and respectfully, with Weigel and other broadcasters to identify our mutual priorities, and then develop them together to expand our customers, sponsors and future prospects.”

The deal also expands carriage of Me TV on AT&T U-Verse, where the retro network has been offered since it launched in 2012. AT&T U-Verse customers gained the ability to watch Me TV in high-definition three years later.

Me TV offers classic comedies and dramas like “The Andy Griffith Show,” “All in the Family,” “Batman,” “The Brady Bunch,” “Gunsmoke,” “Leave it the Beaver,” “MASH,” “Matlock” and “Perry Mason.” Several years ago, Me TV launched a new cartoon block on Saturday mornings that include classic animation like “The Flintstones,” “The Jetsons” and “Bugs Bunny and Friends.” It is also the flagship network for the parody horror franchise “Svengoolie,” which has a significant cult following.

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About the Author:

Matthew Keys

Matthew Keys is the publisher of The Desk and reports on the business and policy matters involving the broadcast television, streaming video and radio industries. He previously worked for Thomson Reuters, Disney-ABC, Tribune Broadcasting and McNaughton Newspapers. Matthew is based in Northern California, has won numerous awards in the field of journalism, and is a member of IRE (Investigative Reporters and Editors).