TBD (also referred to unofficially as TBD-TV) is an American free-to-air television network that is owned by the Sinclair Television Group subsidiary of the Sinclair Broadcast Group and operated by Jukin Media. Targeting millennial audiences, the network focuses on internet-based series and other digital content (including showcases of user-generated music, animation and comedy videos, eSports, and compiled half-hour and hour-long episodes of short-form web series), along with some feature films.
|Type||Free-to-air television network|
|Availability||Nationwide, via digital terrestrial television|
(covering 71.32% of all U.S. television households)
|Founded||December 7, 2016|
|Slogan||What's next (primary)|
TV for People Who Love the Internet (secondary)
|Owner||Sinclair Television Group|
(Sinclair Broadcast Group)
(operated by Jukin Media)
|February 13, 2017|
|480i (SDTV, widescreen)|
(downgraded to letterboxed 4:3 on some affiliates)
|Affiliates||List of TBD affiliates|
The development of TBD is traced to a visit by Sinclair Broadcast Group management to the Santa Monica, California headquarters of the Tennis Channel in early 2016 (Sinclair purchased the cable network in January of that year). While touring Tennis Channel's main control room, company executives spotted a monitor carrying the foreign feed of The QYOU, a Dublin-based digital media company and online video service headed by co-founders Curt Marvis and Scott Ehrlich, which curates various online video content aggregated from various producers for European audiences. Seeing the QYOU feed sparked a conversation among the executives about developing a similar service for television viewers in the United States, which Sinclair proceeded to bring to concept.
The company formally announced the planned launch of TBD on December 7, 2016. TBD is the second of three digital broadcast networks that Sinclair has developed and launched during the 2010s: it previously launched the science fiction-focused network Comet in October 2015, and around the time of the TBD announcement, it also disclosed plans to launch action-adventure network Charge!, a joint venture with Comet partner MGM Television that debuted on February 28, 2017 (since January 2016, Sinclair has also operated a 24-hour feed of the American Sports Network, which is otherwise structured as an ad hoc syndication service aired on an event-driven basis on either the primary channel or subchannel of carrier stations that maintain a conventional entertainment format). To assemble programming and help provide creative support for TBD, Sinclair has retained the services of The QYOU, marking the first venture into advertiser-supported broadcast television for the company, which already operates a pay television service in Europe; The QYOU has not ruled out developing a similar subscription television service in the U.S. or ad-supported networks modeled after TBD in other countries.
In its press release announcing TBD's launch, Sinclair expressed that the network would be "reinvigorating traditional television for today’s millennial audience," a demographic cohort that tends to enjoy video content via online sources other than traditional broadcast or cable television, although some within the demographic do supplement online content with over-the-air television. The network's more contemporary programming (digital-first series and videos) and younger-skewing target audience makes TBD unique in comparison to many other digital multicast networks that feature classic television programs and movies aimed toward older audiences or niche audiences based on gender, ethnicity or genre interest. As part of that reach to millennials, TBD takes a "screen agnostic" approach to delivery, appearing not only on broadcast television, but through an online platform and eventually through apps for smartphones, tablets and smart TV devices (the network's website provides a live stream of its programming, exempting advertising and interstitial segments aired during breaks within and between programs).
The "TBD" name came in a sort of roundabout way for Sinclair: early in the network's conception, Scott Shapiro, Sinclair's vice president of corporate development, referred to it by the abbreviation for "to be determined." Realizing that Sinclair's 2014 acquisition of Allbritton Communications included ownership of the TBD.com domain name (which was used for Allbritton's former Washington, D.C.-area news site and also briefly for its associated regional cable news channel NewsChannel 8), the network was officially bestowed the TBD name and TBD.com domain as, according to Sinclair's press release announcing its launch, "TBD's entertainment promise is always 'To Be Determined.'" TBD commenced broadcasting as a "soft roll-out" on February 13, 2017 on the subchannels of two Sinclair stations: Fox affiliate WLUK-TV in Green Bay, Wisconsin and CBS affiliate WTVH in Syracuse, New York (the latter of which is operated by Sinclair through a shared services agreement with WTVH owner Granite Broadcasting).
On October 16, 2018, Sinclair signed an agreement with Jukin Media to assume operational responsibilities for TBD, effective immediately. The agreement will also result in content supplied by Jukin being expanded on TBD’s programming lineup.
TBD's schedule features various web-originated films, scripted and unscripted series, showcase programming, and featurettes – featuring a wide range of topical and themed categories including but not limited to science, fashion, lifestyle, travel, music, comedy, gaming, eSports, and viral content – through deals with various online content producers and distributors which license their content for broadcast on TBD including: Canvas Media Studios, Jukin Media, Filmhub (formerly Kinonation), Legendary Entertainment (including content from subsidiaries Nerdist Industries and Geek and Sundry), Whistle Sports Network (which also provides short segments aired during certain commercial breaks) and Zoomin.TV.
From the network's launch, through its partnership with The QYOU, TBD carried daily "preview" blocks of the service's daypart-based video compilation programs, which regularly aired four times per day each weekday, including during the overnight and morning hours seven days a week and during the afternoon and early evening on weekdays (and initially, Saturdays until September 2017). (TBD did not carry sample blocks of The QYOU's weekend programming, opting instead to air rebroadcasts selected from the weekday QYOU blocks that the network aired over the prior week in the morning and late night on Saturdays and Sundays.) In September 2017, TBD began scaling back the daily QYOU blocks carried within its schedule, ceding certain weekday prime time and weekend mid-afternoon time slots to the network's other entertainment programs. As a result of an agreement reached between QYOU Media and Sinclair Digital Group to terminate their content agreement for TBD, the network ceased carrying all QYOU programming on September 17, 2018. (The time periods occupied by the QYOU sampler blocks were replaced with additional airings of existing short-form-content-focused compilation programs in TBD's inventory, with feature films replacing QYOU Prime's former weekday early evening slot.)
The network also carries some traditional full-length films and documentaries – which air as part of the "TBD Movie of the Day," airing seven days a week at midday, weekdays in early prime and overnight, and on Thursday evenings – that were acquired through an agreement with independent film distributor Gravitas Ventures. Wraparounds and other bumper segments may be employed at some point (to serve as a transition between shows or videos), as well the possible utilization of direct contributions from viewers.
Sinclair is also negotiating agreements with other web content producers, distributors and application developers to provide programming for the network. Another possible content avenue for TBD may come via resources from the news-producing stations among Sinclair's stable of 172 owned-or-operated television stations and their websites, which would bring the various local lifestyle and various features that they produce to a national audience through TBD, as well as through its digital news service Circa News.
The network currently holds exclusive responsibility for advertising sales, setting aside three to six minutes per hour of advertising inventory within its program breaks; advertising on TBD at present consists mainly of public service announcements and some direct response advertising (the remaining time is usually filled by Whistle Sports-produced interstitials), though the network encourages prospective national sponsors to develop experimental advertisements tailored to appeal toward the network's key demographic. Sinclair plans to review allowing TBD's affiliates to be able to lease time for inserting station promotions and commercials for local businesses in the future.
On May 7, 2018, TBD began carrying KidsClick, a multiplatform children's programming endeavor launched the previous year featuring long-form and short-form animated content from various production studios. The move resulted in TBD transitioning into being the block's national subchannel carrier, which had been asserted by Tribune Media-owned This TV since the three-hour morning cartoon block debuted in July 2017. (TBD became the exclusive network carrier of KidsClick on July 1, 2018, as a result of This TV discontinuing carriage of the block, one month before the collapse of the proposed merger between Tribune and Sinclair.) The block was discontinued less than ten months later on March 31, 2019.
As of March 7, 2017, TBD has current and pending affiliation agreements with 55 television stations in 45 media markets (all of which are owned or operated by Sinclair) across 25 states and the District of Columbia. The network has a combined national reach of 22.44% of all households in the United States (or 70,129,858 Americans with at least one television set).
Along with WLUK and WTVH, Sinclair's "soft rollout" of TBD during the week of February 13, 2017, saw the network added to digital subchannels of three other stations owned by Sinclair directly: KDSM-TV/Des Moines, KABB/San Antonio and KUNP/La Grande-Portland, Oregon. The network is being rolled out in three phases to work out any technical and transmission issues; 52 stations owned or operated by Sinclair became TBD charter affiliates at the conclusion of the first phase of affiliate rollout in early March 2017 (most of which joined the network on February 28). Other stations among those which Sinclair owns or operates (including stations it operates through sharing agreements with third-party licensees, and partner groups Deerfield Media, Howard Stirk Holdings, and Cunningham Broadcasting) are expected to begin carrying TBD during the late winter and spring of 2017, either on newly created subchannels or existing ones that were affiliated with Grit, GetTV or other competing multicast networks through affiliation agreements with Sinclair that are pending expiration.
Sinclair's launch of TBD – as well as Comet and Charge! before and after it – is part of the company's aim toward "expanding our business with new digital multicast networks that leverage our broadcast spectrum and household reach," as expressed by the company's President and CEO, Christopher Ripley, in the press release announcing TBD's launch. The "soft rollout" on Sinclair stations during the first half of 2017 is also intended to work out any technical and transmission issues. Once those issues are worked out and TBD begins to gain footing, Sinclair will begin offering the network to individual stations and station groups in markets where Sinclair does not have a broadcast presence.
Some of Sinclair's stations (as well as others not owned by Sinclair or its partner groups that are affiliated with the syndication service) may elect to use the TBD subchannel as an alternate outlet for the American Sports Network, pre-empting certain afternoon and/or evening programs within the national TBD schedule to carry sports events not carried by the main channel of its CW and MyNetworkTV affiliates or independent stations. Among its current affiliates, WRLH-TV in Richmond, Virginia – which carries the network on its DT2 subchannel – does not carry TBD's full programming schedule, airing the MyNetworkTV prime time lineup in place of TBD programs that air from 8:00 to 10:00 p.m. Eastern Time weeknights (such an arrangement, which dates to the subchannel's prior affiliation with This TV, is necessary because the Richmond market lacks enough available commercial stations for MyNetworkTV to maintain a standalone main channel affiliation).
On Friday the company said Chief Operating Officer David Amy, who has served in that role and as executive vice president since 2014, will become vice chairman and oversee human resources, corporate marketing and the networks group.
KFLU-LD is a low-powered television station licensed to and located in Fort Smith, Arkansas, USA. The station is owned by DTV America Corporation of Sunrise, Florida, and is affiliated with Bounce TV. The station’s digital signal is broadcast on UHF channel 20.KFPB-LD
KFPB-LD is a television station licensed to Globe, Arizona.KFRE-TV
KFRE-TV, virtual channel 59 (UHF digital channel 36), is a CW-affiliated television station serving Fresno, California, United States that is licensed to Sanger. The station is owned by the Sinclair Broadcast Group, as part of a duopoly with Visalia-licensed Fox affiliate KMPH-TV (channel 26). The two stations share studios on McKinley Avenue in eastern Fresno (one mile (1.6 km) southwest of Fresno Yosemite International Airport); KFRE's transmitter is located on Bear Mountain (near Meadow Lakes).KMEG
KMEG is a CBS-affiliated television station licensed to Sioux City, Iowa, United States. It broadcasts a high definition digital signal on UHF channel 32 (or virtual channel 14 via PSIP) from a transmitter in unincorporated Plymouth County, Iowa east of James and US 75 along the Woodbury County line. Owned by Waitt Broadcasting, KMEG is operated by the Sinclair Broadcast Group under a shared services agreement (SSA), making it a sister station to dual Fox/MyNetworkTV affiliate KPTH (channel 44). The two outlets share studios along I-29 (postal address says Gold Circle) in Dakota Dunes, South Dakota.KRCG
KRCG, virtual channel 13 (VHF digital channel 12), is a CBS-affiliated television station licensed to Jefferson City, Missouri, United States and serving the Columbia–Jefferson City television market. The station is owned by the Sinclair Broadcast Group. KRCG's studios and transmitter are located on U.S. 54 in the nearby town of New Bloomfield.KSCC
KSCC, virtual and UHF digital channel 38, is a Fox-affiliated television station licensed to Corpus Christi, Texas, United States. The station is owned by the Sinclair Broadcast Group. KSCC's studios are located on Leopard Street in Corpus Christi, and its transmitter is located southeast of Robstown.
Because KSCC is a full-power television station, its signal covers the Corpus Christi metropolitan area, as well as outlying towns as far as Raymondville and George West. The coverage area is far greater than that of the market's original Fox affiliate, low-powered K47DF (channel 47, now a Telemundo affiliate).
On cable, KSCC can be seen on Charter Spectrum and Grande Communications channel 11.
KSCC is also used to provide full-market over-the-air standard definition digital coverage of two co-owned low-powered analog stations (on its two subchannels): KXPX-LP (simulcast over KSCC-DT2) and KTOV-LP (simulcast over KSCC-DT3).KUNW-CD
KUNW-CD, channel 2, is the Univision affiliate for Yakima, Washington. Owned by Sinclair Broadcast Group, it began broadcasting in the Yakima DMA in 2007. It is operated out of the studios of sister station KIMA-TV. In July 2007, Fisher Communications began broadcasting a regional newscast at 6 and 11pm with anchors Jaime Mendez and Roxy de la Torre from Seattle and Portland respectively, containing content from Seattle, Portland, Yakima and the Tri-Cities. In 2008, the newscast was localized to each market with Iván García as the main anchor for Noticias Noroeste Yakima y Tri-Cities. On September 11, 2009, KUNW-LP began broadcasting a low-power digital signal (KUNW-LD) along with its analog signal. The call sign for the digital station was changed to KUNW-CD on March 16, 2012.
On November 1, 2012, the license for the analog station was surrendered to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), and the KUNW-LP call sign was deleted from the FCC's database.
KUNW's programming is also seen on two additional stations, both serving the Tri-Cities area of Richland, Pasco, and Kennewick, Washington:
An additional station, KWWA-CA channel 49, previously served Ellensburg, Washington. However, the station signed off April 17, 2008 after suffering antenna failure. Fisher opted to return the license to the FCC instead of repairing the antenna, and KWWA's license was canceled on June 4, 2008.On April 11, 2013, Fisher announced that it would sell its properties, including KUNW, KVVK, and KORX, to the Sinclair Broadcast Group. The deal was completed on August 8, 2013.KVSN-DT
KVSN-DT, virtual and UHF digital channel 48, is a Univision-affiliated television station licensed to Pueblo, Colorado, United States and also serving Colorado Springs. Owned by Entravision Communications, it is a sister station to low-powered, Class A UniMás affiliate KGHB-CD (channel 27, also licensed to Pueblo), which is simulcast on KVSN's second digital subchannel. KVSN's transmitter is located on Cheyenne Mountain.
KVSN is a semi-satellite of Boulder-licensed KCEC (channel 14, owned by the Univision Local Media subsidiary of Univision Communications but operated by Entravision under a local marketing agreement), airing the same broadcast schedule as its parent station, but with separate commercials targeting the Colorado Springs–Pueblo market. Master control and most internal operations are based at KCEC's studios on Mile High Stadium West Circle in Denver.KXPX-LP
KXPX-LP, channel 14, is a television station in Corpus Christi, Texas, United States. It is an affiliate of the TBD. KXPX is owned by the Sinclair Broadcast Group, along with Fox affiliate KSCC (channel 38) and MyNetworkTV affiliate KTOV-LP (channel 21).
Due to its low-power status, KXPX-LP does not currently operate a digital signal of its own, and at the present time, there are no plans to convert the station's signal to digital. Additionally, the station's broadcasting radius does not reach the entire Corpus Christi market. Therefore, the station can also be seen through a 16:9 widescreen standard definition digital simulcast via the second digital subchannel of KSCC. This signal broadcasts on virtual and UHF channel 38.2 from a transmitter in Corpus Christi.KYUU-LD
KYUU-LD, branded on-air as Treasure Valley CW, is a CW+-affiliated television station licensed to Boise, Idaho, United States. It broadcasts a low-powered, high definition digital signal on UHF channel 28 (or virtual channel 35 via PSIP) from a transmitter at the Bogus Basin ski area summit in unincorporated Boise County. The station can also be seen on Cable One channels 5 and 485. Owned by the Sinclair Broadcast Group, KYUU-LD is sister to CBS affiliate KBOI-TV (channel 2) and the two stations share studios on North 16th Street in downtown Boise.
In addition to its own digital signal, KYUU-LD is simulcast in standard definition on KBOI-TV's second digital subchannel (VHF channel 9.2 or virtual channel 2.2 via PSIP) from the same transmitter site.WCTI-TV
WCTI-TV is an ABC-affiliated television station licensed to New Bern, North Carolina, United States and serving Eastern North Carolina's Inner Banks region. It broadcasts a high definition digital signal on virtual and VHF channel 12 from a transmitter, north of Trenton, along NC 41. The station is owned by the Sinclair Broadcast Group, which also operates Greenville-licensed Fox affiliate WYDO (channel 14) through a shared services agreement (SSA) with owner Cunningham Broadcasting. However, Sinclair effectively owns WYDO as the majority of Cunningham's stock is owned by the family of deceased group founder Julian Smith. The two stations share studios on Glenburnie Drive in New Bern.WDKA
WDKA is a MyNetworkTV-affiliated television station licensed to Paducah, Kentucky, United States, serving Western Kentucky's Jackson Purchase region, Southern Illinois, and the Missouri Bootheel. It broadcasts a high definition digital signal on virtual and UHF channel 49 from a transmitter in Vienna, Illinois. Owned by the Sinclair Broadcast Group, WDKA is part of a duopoly with Cape Girardeau, Missouri-licensed Fox affiliate KBSI (channel 23) and the two stations share studios on Enterprise Street in Cape Girardeau.
WDKA can also be seen on KBSI's second digital subchannel (UHF channel 22.2, virtual channel 23.2) in standard definition from a transmitter north of Cape Girardeau in rural Cape Girardeau County.WDKY-TV
WDKY-TV, virtual channel 56 (UHF digital channel 31), is a Fox-affiliated television station serving Lexington, Kentucky, United States that is licensed to nearby Danville. Its transmitter is located southeast of Lexington. Owned by the Sinclair Broadcast Group, the station has offices on Euclid Avenue in Lexington's Chevy Chase neighborhood but broadcasts newscasts from the studios of Gray Television-owned CBS affiliate WKYT-TV (channel 27) on Winchester Road.
WDKY-TV can be viewed in the Lexington area on Charter Spectrum channels 7 (SD) and 910 (HD). Cable subscribers in Frankfort can view WDKY on Frankfort Plant Board channels 5 (SD) and 505 (HD).WEAR-TV
WEAR-TV, virtual channel 3 (UHF digital channel 17), is an ABC-affiliated television station licensed to Pensacola, Florida, United States and also serving Mobile, Alabama. The station is owned by the Sinclair Broadcast Group, as part of a duopoly with Fort Walton Beach-licensed MyNetworkTV affiliate WFGX (channel 35); Sinclair also operates Mobile-licensed NBC affiliate WPMI-TV (channel 15) and Pensacola-licensed independent station WJTC (channel 44) under a local marketing agreement with owner Deerfield Media.
WEAR and WFGX share studios (which also house master control and some internal operations for WPMI and WJTC) on Mobile Highway (U.S. 90) in unincorporated Escambia County, Florida (with a Pensacola mailing address); WEAR and WFGX also share transmitter facilities in unincorporated Baldwin County, Alabama east of Rosinton. On cable, WEAR is available on Comcast Xfinity, Mediacom and Cox channel 3.WHOI (TV)
WHOI is a Comet owned-and-operated television station licensed to Peoria, Illinois, United States and serving the North-Central Illinois television market. Owned by the Sinclair Broadcast Group, it broadcasts a digital signal on virtual and UHF channel 19 from a transmitter on North Stewart Street in Creve Coeur, a village in Groveland Township, Tazewell County. The station was the ABC affiliate for the market until 2016.WMSN-TV
WMSN-TV is a Fox-affiliated television station licensed to Madison, Wisconsin, United States. It broadcasts a high definition digital signal on UHF channel 49 (or virtual channel 47 via PSIP) from a transmitter in Madison's Middleton Junction section. Owned by the Sinclair Broadcast Group, WMSN maintains studios on Big Sky Drive on Madison's west side.WSET-TV
WSET-TV, virtual and VHF digital channel 13, is an ABC-affiliated television station licensed to Lynchburg, Virginia, United States, and also serving Roanoke. The station is owned by the Sinclair Broadcast Group. WSET's studios and offices are located on Langhorne Road in Lynchburg, and its transmitter is located atop Thaxton Mountain, near Thaxton, Virginia.WTGS
WTGS is a Fox-affiliated television station licensed to Hardeeville, South Carolina, United States, serving southern South Carolina's Lowcountry and southeastern Georgia's Coastal Empire, including Savannah. It broadcasts a high definition digital signal on virtual and UHF channel 28 from a transmitter on Fort Argyle Road/SR 204 in western unincorporated Chatham County, Georgia. Owned by the Sinclair Broadcast Group, WTGS shares studios with Savannah-licensed ABC affiliate and former sister station WJCL (channel 22, now owned by Hearst Television) in the Savannah Morning News building on Chatham Parkway in Savannah.WTTE
WTTE, virtual channel 28 (UHF digital channel 27), is a Fox-affiliated television station licensed to Columbus, Ohio, United States. The station's broadcast license is owned by Cunningham Broadcasting, while its operations are controlled via local marketing agreement (LMA) by the Sinclair Broadcast Group, WTTE's original owners and present proprietors of ABC affiliate WSYX (channel 6). However, Sinclair effectively still owns WTTE as the majority of Cunningham's stock is owned by the family of deceased group founder Julian Smith. Sinclair also operates Chillicothe-licensed CW affiliate WWHO (channel 53) through a separate shared services agreement with owner Manhan Media. The three stations share studios on Dublin Road in northwest Columbus, near the suburb of Grandview Heights; WTTE and WSYX also share transmitter facilities in the Franklinton section of Columbus.
U.S. broadcast categories
|Affiliates and stations|
1 Operated by Sinclair under an LMA.
United States broadcast affiliates
|Lists by channel|