Sony Pictures Television Networks on Monday launched a new TV network focused on airing Hollywood movies from the 1930's to 60's.
The network called getTV, will air in 24 markets, including Los Angeles on channel 46.2 at KFTR-DT, Ontario. Nationwide it will be available on cable and free-to-air on some Univision Television Group-owned stations as well as others that will be announced later.
There are a lot of entertainment choices these days, from streaming a movie on Netflix or watching reality TV shows on various channels. But Jeff Meier, the head of programming for getTV, said there was a shortage of channels covering the classic movies of Hollywood.
"There are tons of great content that isn't getting seen as much as it should," Meier said.
Meier said the network will show movies that haven't been on TV in a decade or two. getTV will look at movies within Sony Pictures' collection as well as those that can be licensed from other movie companies. He said the team considers thousands of movies, and only show 80 to 90 each month.
Meier said potential viewers could be baby boomers who watched the movies when they were kids, and people in their 40's who grew up watching the films on TV on Saturdays and Sundays.
Robert Thompson, director of the Bleier Center for Television and Popular Culture at Syracuse University, said Turner Classic Movies has been successful at showing classic films while providing insight into them. Turner Classic Movies is available in more than 85 million homes.
Thompson said there is demand for classic movies and the great thing is there is inventory already out there that's been produced.
"It’s a lot easier to start a new channel, we’re going to put a bunch of movies on, because it’s already made," compared to Oprah Winfrey starting the Oprah Winfrey Network with new material, Thompson said.
getTV could also set Sony Pictures apart from Netflix, which lets customers stream and check out movies and TV shows for a subscription. Meier said he believes many of the movies on getTV aren't on Netflix.
Movie companies have raised the licensing fees for movies it provides to Netflix. That has made an impact on Netflix's bottom line.
getTV kicked off at 1 p.m. on Monday, with the 1957 movie "Operation Mad Ball."