Digital sub channels are a reality in broadcast TV these days. They have even come to some of the smaller and mid-size markets like the Fargo-Grand Forks-Moorhead market that serves eastern North Dakota, part of Canada and northwest Minnesota. These channels, which are made possible by the fact that all TV stations are now required to broadcast digital signals, allow stations to split their signals and offer different programming streams on different parts of the same channel.
There is now a variety of over the air channels available in the Fargo-Grand Forks-Moorhead market and people really don’t need cable or satellite to watch a variety of TV channels. What we’ll do here is take a look at what’s available and make some proposals about what else could come in and add some more variety to what is already here.
While public broadcasters can offer up to eight channels per federal law, there does not appear to be any channels taking advantage of it. Prairie Public Television offers PBS and local programming on its main channel; an educational channel called Learn; World, which offers programming and news form around the globe; and, since Minnesota is right next store, The Minnesota Channel, which offers programming from Minnesota Public Television, so there’s no need to change there.
WDAY has ABC on its main channel, The CW on a sub channel, and weather maps and WDAY radio simulcast on another channel. This would seem to offer some variety of programming, plus weather information. There is no real need to change anything.
ThisTV, a 24-hour broadcast movie and old TV show channel used to be on a sub channel of NBC channel 11. That was changed for MeTV, a classic TV network in early 2013. The same company also owns CBS channel four. Since MeTV and ThisTV are both owned by Weigel Broadcasting, and the two local network outlets are owned by the same company, why not offer MeTV on one and ThisTV on another for some more variety?
KCPM, Channel 33 offers prime time MyTV network programming, which consists of second run prime time dramas and a syndicated schedule on channel 33 in Fargo. Since this is essentially a rebroadcast of a South Dakota, it doesn’t seem that there will be any change there.
That leaves the Fox affiliate, KVRR, channel 15. This right now has no digital sub channel and goes off the air from midnight to 7 AM. Here’s some ideas for them: There are two other classic TV networks, RetroTV and Antenna TV, either of those could be good. America One offers a variety of entertainment and sports programs, including outdoor sports, which are big in North Dakota and Minnesota.
These are just a few ideas for a different and more varied over the air line-up for the Fargo-Grand Forks-Moorhead market.