Buzzr is an American digital multicast television network that is owned by Fremantle North America, a unit of the Fremantle subsidiary of RTL Group. The network serves as an outlet for the extensive library of classic game shows owned by Fremantle. Buzzr marks Fremantle's entry into North American television broadcasting; parent company RTL currently operates numerous TV channels in Europe.
|Type||Digital broadcast television network|
|Availability||Nationwide via OTA digital TV (U.S. coverage: 65%)|
Dish Network (channel 245)
C-band satellite (Galaxy 19 transponder 12)
|Founded||January 20, 2015|
|June 1, 2015|
|Affiliates||List of affiliates|
Buzzr's subchannel is seen in 62 U.S. television markets. The network is also available nationwide on free-to-air C-band satellite via Galaxy 19 in the DVB-S2 format.
The Buzzr brand was first used by Fremantle for a YouTube channel created and produced by its digital content studio Tiny Riot, which debuted in late 2014. The Buzzr YouTube channel features classic clips, and short-form adaptations of its game show properties (such as Family Feud and Password), with internet celebrities as contestants, primarily aimed towards millennials.
On January 20, 2015, FremantleMedia announced that it would launch Buzzr, a digital multicast network that would serve as an extension of the brand; the network, with the Fox Television Stations as its charter station group. Buzzr features classic game shows from the company's programming library. Thom Beers, former CEO of FremantleMedia North America, stated his interest in launching a network centered on its game show content after he joined the company in 2012, calling such a project a "top priority" for Fremantle as a way to help monetize the value of its library. The company intended to focus Buzzr toward older adults, with Beers citing that the "old-format game shows are really, really hard [for the younger viewership that the Buzzr YouTube channel targets] to watch."
The Buzzr television network debuted on June 1, 2015, with the launch preceded by a preview reel outlining its initial programming that aired in an eight-hour continuous loop, starting at 12:00 p.m. Eastern Time. The network formally launched that evening at 8:00 p.m. Eastern Time with the 1963 pilot episode of Let's Make a Deal as the first show to be broadcast.
In February 2016, Fremantle was sued by Codename Enterprises, a New York-based web development firm, for trademark infringement, dilution, and unfair competition, as it has done business under the name "Buzzr" since 2009. The suit argued that Fremantle's use of the brand on its YouTube channel had associated it with objectionable content, and alleged that Fremantle had displaced its own YouTube channel URL to point towards it.
In 2016, to celebrate the upcoming 75th year of the genre, the network created a story arc of the game show with new episodes of favorable classics, along with additional promotions and special marathons all year long. Additionally, that fall, FremantleMedia began leasing select episodes of Card Sharks with Bill Rafferty and Family Feud with Louie Anderson for weekend airings on their affiliates' main channels, though this practice ended after a single season.
In October 2016, FremantleMedia and Canadian video game company Ludia teamed up to create a slot machine app based on Buzzr's programming. The name of the app is called the "Buzzr Casino" based on their former prime-time programming block.
On March 27, 2017, Buzzr began airing paid programming from 6 to 8 AM on weekdays, and from 6 to 10 AM on weekends. On January 1, 2018, paid programming was also added to the 5 AM hour for both weekdays and weekends.
In June 2018, Buzzr launched a live stream hosted on their website, which mirrors the network broadcast.
Fremantle has a library of game shows, spanning 154 series and an estimated 40,000 episodes overall, from which it draws its programming. The network's regular lineup – with series produced from the 1950s to 2000 – includes such programs as To Tell the Truth, Password, Family Feud (encompassing episodes beginning with Richard Dawson as host and dating up to John O'Hurley's tenure), Let's Make a Deal (from Monty Hall's runs as host), What's My Line?, I've Got a Secret, Beat the Clock, Card Sharks, Body Language, and Match Game (including, beginning in 2019 for the first time since the show's first run, the Match Game-Hollywood Squares Hour). Reruns of The Price Is Right have been identified as a potential future series on the network but, to date, the only episodes to have aired on the network have been from the 1950s/1960s version, which were added in 2019. Most of the original episodes' content is intact (including product plugs), though in addition to the actual closings (which usually say either "A Mark Goodson/Bill Todman Production" or "A Mark Goodson Television Production"), the Fremantle logo is also seen at the end of its shows, in simularity to its Game Show Network reruns, with a very rare chance of showing its logos. (The product plugs are removed in the 70s syndicated episodes, in order to stay in the 22-minute minimum.) With Fremantle's acquisition of the Supermarket Sweep franchise, reruns of that series (from David Ruprecht's hosting run) were added in 2018.
As of 2018, almost all of Buzzr's lineup consists of game shows that originally had aired between 1973 and 1992 (Match Game, Password, Family Feud and Supermarket Sweep, in particular, air multiple episodes each day), with select blocks of 1950s and 1960s panel shows also being featured. Celebrity Name Game and Temptation are the only 21st-century game shows the network has aired. More obscure programs occasionally air as special program blocks, including the anthology series Lost and Found, featuring rare episodes, unsold pilots, and forgotten shows. On October 20, 2017, Buzzr debuted its first original program Game Changers. This documentary reviewed the history of the game show genre and featured interviews with game show personalities such as Alex Trebek, Wink Martindale and Drew Carey. Buzzr airs the bare minimum educational children's programming, leading out of its weekend morning infomercial blocks to minimize interruption; DragonflyTV, Aqua Kids and Wild at the San Diego Zoo each air twice weekly. Other than these, the only non-game show related programming on Buzzr thus far was between September 14, 2017 and October 6, 2017, when episodes of Richard Simmons Dream Maker briefly appeared on the schedule, and a marathon of The Great Christmas Light Fight in November, 2018.
In 2017, Buzzr began streaming its programming to Amazon Prime Video and Twitch; the Amazon Prime Video offering provides video on demand, while the Twitch feed offered a linear feed separate from the over-the-air telecast. As of January 2019, the Twitch feed became inactive. Buzzr also provides some game show programming to Nosey, a site offering video-on-demand of daytime television reruns. The local Buzzr affiliate sub-channel is carried in some areas on the streaming service LocalBTV as well. In 2018, as part of their third birthday celebration, Buzzr started live streaming on their official website, with that feed matching the over-the-air telecast, filling holes in markets that do not have an over-the-air affiliate and making the network available to everyone in the United States for the first time. Later that year, Buzzr was added to Pluto TV. In 2019, Stirr, a free over-the-top service launched by Sinclair Broadcast Group, included Buzzr among its offerings. Both Stirr and Pluto carry different advertising on their services during Buzzr's commercial breaks. In a preliminary assessment released July 2019, Stirr stated that Buzzr was the most-watched national channel on the service and the second-most-watched over all (second only to the combined viewership of its Stirr City local channels). On April 22, 2019, it has been announced (via Facebook) that Buzzr would not be returning to Twitch.
As of February 2016[update], Buzzr has current subchannel affiliation agreements with television stations in 53 media markets encompassing 26 states and the District of Columbia, covering over 60% of media markets in the United States.
Fox Television Stations was announced as the network's initial affiliate group, airing Buzzr on 12 Fox owned-and-operated stations (including a satellite station of Orlando O&O WOFL, whose sister station WRBW serves as that market's affiliate) and five MyNetworkTV owned-and-operated stations. Buzzr has affiliates in all 10 of the largest and 15 of the 20 largest U.S. television markets (including New York City, Los Angeles, Chicago, Philadelphia, San Francisco, Boston-Manchester and Dallas–Fort Worth), with an initial reach of 37% of U.S. television homes. In four of the network's launch markets (New York City, Los Angeles, Dallas–Fort Worth, and Phoenix), Buzzr is affiliated with stations whose subchannels the network occupies were previously affiliated with Bounce TV; as a result of a March 2014 agreement with Univision Communications, Bounce TV moved its affiliations in those markets to Univision-owned stations in late May 2015, shortly before Buzzr launched.
Debmar-Mercury (which serves as the distribution partner for the current syndicated run of the Fremantle-produced Family Feud) was hired by FremantleMedia to handle responsibility for the recruitment of affiliates through agreements with other broadcasting companies. The network hopes to expand its charter affiliate footprint to reach markets covering 50 million U.S. households with at least one television set.
In September 2016, Yes TV, a small Canadian television system with stations in Ontario and Alberta, began airing a Buzzr-branded programming block of classic game shows called "Buzzr After Hours" overnight Tuesday to Saturday from 1 to 3:30 a.m. (formerly 1-4 a.m.) local time. When the block first aired, the schedule were episodes of To Tell the Truth, What's My Line? and I've Got a Secret followed by two episodes of either Card Sharks on Tuesday and Saturday, Double Dare on Wednesday, Beat the Clock on Thursday or Sale of the Century on Thursday nights. In April 2017, the block was reduced by a half hour following a schedule of two episodes of Match Game (78), episodes of Super Password and Tattletales followed by an episode of either Card Sharks, Double Dare, Beat the Clock or Sale of the Century. The third and last schedule adopted in October 2017 was Match Game (75), Super Password, Tattletales, Blockbusters (later replaced by Body Language) and Press Your Luck. Yes TV discontinued the block in September 2018.
In May 2017, Dish Network began carrying Buzzr on channel 245.
List of current affiliatesEdit
|City of license/market||Station||Virtual
|Montgomery||WDSF-LD||19.2||Replaced Dr. TV|
|Phoenix||KUTP||45.3||Fox Television Stations|
|Bakersfield||KCBT-LD||34.8||Cocola Broadcasting||Launch date TBD|
|Los Angeles||KCOP-TV||13.2||Fox Television Stations||Replaced Bounce TV|
|Oakland-San Francisco||KTVU||2.4||Fox Television Stations|
|Denver||KSBS-CD||3.3||Denver Digital Television, LLC|
|Sterling||KCDO-TV||3.3||Newsweb Corporation||Replaced HSN|
District of ColumbiaEdit
|Washington||WTTG||5.2||Fox Television Stations|
|Fort Myers||WGPS-LP||22.4||DTV America|
|Key West - Miami||WGEN-TV||8.3||Liberman Broadcasting|
|Orlando||WRBW||65.4||Fox Television Stations|
|West Palm Beach||WXOD-LD||33.1||DTV America|
|Atlanta||WAGA-TV||5.3||Fox Television Stations|
|Chicago||WFLD||32.3||Fox Television Stations||Relocated from WPWR-TV 50.4|
|Des Moines||KAJR-LD||36.5||DTV America|
|Sublette||KDGL-LD||23.2||High Plains Broadcasting, LLC.|
|Kansas City||KCKS-LD||25.1||Heartland Broadcasting, LLC.|
|Wichita||KGPT-CD||26.9||Great Plains TV|
|Bowling Green||WCZU-LD||39.2||DTV America|
|Louisville||W50CI-D||50.1||South Central Communications|
|Lafayette||K18JF-D||20.2||HC2 Holdings||Launch Date TBD|
|New Orleans||WQDT-LD||34.1||HC2 Holdings|
|Shreveport||KBXS-CD||14.1||L4 Media Group|
|Boston||WLVI-TV||56.2||Sunbeam Television||Replaced ZUUS Country|
|Detroit||WJBK||2.3||Fox Television Stations|
|Lake City-Cadillac||WMNN-LD||26.6||Freelancer Television Broadcasting|
|Minneapolis-St. Paul||KMSP-TV||9.4||Fox Television Stations||Replaced Bounce TV|
|St. Louis||KBGU-LP||33.1||Replaced MundoMax|
|Las Vegas||KGNG-LD||26.4||King Kong Broadcasting|
|Secaucus/New York City||WWOR-TV||9.3||Fox Television Stations||Replaced Bounce TV|
|Albany||WYBN-LD||14.1||Cable Ad Net New York Inc.||Replaced Youtoo America|
|Charlotte||WJZY-TV||46.7||Fox Television Stations|
|Valley City-Fargo||KRDK-TV||4.10||Major Market Broadcasting|
|Columbus-Marion||WOCB-CD||39.2||Cen. Ohio Assoc. of Christian Broadcasters|
|Portsmouth||WTZP-LP||50.3||Eagle Broadcasting Group, Inc.||Replaced Laff|
|Oklahoma City||KBZC-LD||42.3||DTV America Corporation|
|Philadelphia||WTXF-TV||29.4||Fox Television Stations|
|Pittsburgh||WOSC-CD||61.3||The Video House|
|State College-Johnstown||WHVL-LP||29.2||Channel Communications, LLC||Replaced YouToo America|
|White House-Nashville||WKUW-LD||40.1||DTV America||Replacing Dr. TV|
|Austin||KTBC||7.3||Fox Television Stations|
|College Station-Bryan-Waco||KZCZ-LD||34.5||DTV America|
|Dallas-Fort Worth||KDFI||27.3||Fox Television Stations||Replaced Bounce TV|
|Houston||KTXH||20.4||Fox Television Stations|
|San Antonio||KOBS-LD||19.2||DTV America Corporation|
|Salt Lake City||KBTU-LP||23.3||DTV America||Launched November 2016|
List of former affiliatesEdit
|City of license/market||Station||Virtual
|Owner||Dates of affiliation||Notes|
|Gary (Chicago, Illinois)||WPWR-TV||50.4||Fox Television Stations||February 2016 - June 10, 2018||Moved to WFLD 32.3|
|Cincinnati||WOTH-CD||20.3||Block Broadcasting||July 2013 - January 23, 2018||Replaced Antenna TV|
ceased broadcasting Jan. 2018
|Ogden-Salt Lake City||KUCW||30.3||Nexstar Media Group||July 3, 2015 - September 2, 2016||Replaced ZUUS Country in 2015|
Replaced by Escape in 2016
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