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Frndly TV retracts statement on MeTV Toons carriage

The service will carry the channel shortly after it launches in mid-June, but isn't ready to announce distribution plans just yet.

The service will carry the channel shortly after it launches in mid-June, but isn't ready to announce distribution plans just yet.

The electronic program guide of Frndly TV. (Screen capture by The Desk)
The electronic program guide of Frndly TV. (Screen capture by The Desk)

Low-cost streaming service Frndly TV has retracted a statement made on social media that it would carry the soon-to-launch retro cartoon channel MeTV Toons when it becomes available in late June.

The statement was made in response to a comment left on Frndly TV’s Facebook page, in which a spokesperson appeared to confirm the streaming service would carry MeTV Toons when it launches on June 25.

“We will be carrying this in our lineup — stay tuned!” the spokesperson said. Hours later, an official with Frndly TV followed up in a series of Facebook messages saying the affirmation was made in error, and that the streaming service could not comment on whether it will carry MeTV Toons at launch.

Frndly TV is one of two streaming TV platforms that carries channels from Weigel Broadcasting, the media company developing MeTV Toons. The $8-per-month service offers Weigel’s flagship MeTV channel, along with sister networks like Heroes & Icons, Story Television and Catchy Comedy.

MeTV Toons is growing out of a retro cartoon block that airs weekends on MeTV. Shows like “Betty Boop,” “Scooby Doo,” “Huckleberry Hound,” “Tom & Jerry,” “Top Cat” and “Speed Racer” are listed among some of the shows that will be offered on MeTV Toons when it debuts.

Weigel says MeTV Toons will be carried on its owned-and-operated stations as a digital sub-channel in key parts of the country, including New York City, Los Angeles, Chicago, Dallas, Houston and St. Louis. The broadcaster is still working to clear the channel in other parts of the country.

Frndly TV could serve as an important national distribution partner for the channel, and will likely offer it shortly after it launches, according to a Weigel executive who spoke on background. For now, Weigel is prioritizing broadcast partnership in order to clear the channel in other major metropolitan areas, the executive said.

Philo, which offers Weigel channels as part of a $25-per-month package that includes networks from Paramount, AMC and others, is also expected to carry the channel sometime this summer, the executive affirmed. Earlier this month, a Philo spokesperson didn’t comment directly on its plans to carry MeTV Toons, but did say the company “is always working on bringing the best content to Philo.”

“Hopefully we will have an update as it gets closer to the launch date of the channel,” the Philo spokesperson said.

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About the Author:

Matthew Keys

Matthew Keys is a nationally-recognized, award-winning journalist who has covered the business of media, technology, radio and television for more than 11 years. He is the publisher of The Desk and contributes to Know Techie, Digital Content Next and StreamTV Insider. He previously worked for Thomson Reuters, the Walt Disney Company, McNaughton Newspapers and Tribune Broadcasting.
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