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Decades (TV network)


Decades is an American digital broadcast television network that is owned as a joint venture between the CBS Television Stations subsidiary of ViacomCBS and Weigel Broadcasting. The network, which is primarily carried on the digital subchannels of television stations and on Cable TV through their cable providers, 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.

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 November 1, 2016, a major change was made to the programming lineup, with the daily programming block reduced to two airings daily (one from mid-morning to mid-afternoon, the other in overnight) as the 2:00 p.m. to midnight (ET) time period was converted to a "daily binge" with a different show airing each day. During the month of November, a different "cop show" was aired each weekday; in December, sitcoms were featured, and in January 2017, shows that aired in 1957, 1967, 1977, 1987 and 1997 were featured.

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. 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.

On January 9, 2015, Decades reached its first affiliation agreement with a station outside 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; 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. 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.