The history of television is filled with networks trying to get a toe-hold in the near monopoly that has largely been held by the major three networks eve r since the transition from radio to TV broadcasting from Fox, which started out modestly in the 1980s to become a force in nearly every media market in America, including the Fargo-Grand Forks-Moorhead market and The CW, which was born out of a merger between the late WB and UPN Networks (seen local on digital sub channel 6.2 in the Fargo-Grand Forks-Moorhead market). There is one other failed attempt that deserves mention that had a brief niche in the Fargo-Grand Forks-Moorhead market.
The NTA Film Network had a very brief existence in the late 1950s. The company was formed by a pair of film companies, National Telefilm Associates and 20th Century Fox. This network got 100 stations to become affiliates and it produced original programming and provided second-run Paramount films for a very brief run in the late 1950s. In fact, it can really be said that this network really only had a couple of years of existence. These years were 1956-1959.
KXJB in Fargo was one of its affiliates as was KBMB in Bismarck, North Dakota.
NTA acted more like a syndicator, in that it mailed films to affiliate stations. Part of the agreement, however, was that each station agreed to air the films at the same time.
It really only got one unified season in. This was the 1958-1959 TV season. Its schedule started at 6:30 PM Central Friday night. It ran the somewhat innovative Western, Man Without a Gun about a newspaperman who brought bad guys. It also had the show, This is Alice, the stories of a little girl. It also ran a show based on the movie, How to Marry a Millionaire. It then provided second-run 20th Century Fox movies as Premier Performance.
The problems with being an affiliate are pretty apparent. The network could only guarantee one solid night of programming leaving a lot of holes to be covered by either syndication, or original programming to be covered. It would have been hard for stations to try to carry NTA programming and not agreeing to run programming for Friday night.
NTA soldiered on for a few more years into the mid-1960s as a syndicator, more like companies as Ziv. It is still an interesting side trail in the history of network television.