Buzzr is an American digital broadcast television network 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|
(classic game shows)
|Availability||Nationwide via OTA digital TV (U.S. coverage: 65%)|
Dish Network (channel 245)
C-band satellite (Galaxy 19 transponder 12)
Pluto TV (channel 164)
Stirr (channel 55)
Samsung TV plus (Channel 1139)
Distro TV (Channel 167)
|Founded||January 20, 2015|
|June 1, 2015|
|Affiliates||List of affiliates|
Buzzr's digital subchannel is seen in 62 U.S. television markets, cable television and is available as a channel on streaming services Pluto TV, Stirr, IMDb and Sling TV. 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 (as it was known then) 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 Zone. 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 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 and religious programming from 6:00 a.m. to 8:00 a.m. on weekdays, and from 6:00 a.m. to 10:00 a.m. on weekends. On January 1, 2018, paid and religious programming was also added to the 5:00 a.m. hour for both weekdays and weekends. However, Buzzr went back to airing game shows in the 5:00 a.m. hour on June 26, 2018.
In June 2018, Buzzr launched a live stream hosted on their website, which mirrors the network broadcast.
Fremantle's library of game shows spanned 154 series and an estimated 40,000 episodes overall at the time of its launch, from which Buzzr 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), What's My Line?, I've Got a Secret, Beat the Clock, Card Sharks, Body Language, Match Game (including, beginning in 2019, the Match Game-Hollywood Squares Hour, which, up until then, had never been shown in reruns) and the original 1950s & 1960s version of The Price Is Right hosted by Bill Cullen. In addition to the Mark Goodson-Bill Todman programs mentioned above, Buzzr's library includes the Al Howard Productions (Supermarket Sweep), Bill Carruthers (Press Your Luck), Reg Grundy (Sale of the Century) and Stefan Hatos-Monty Hall (Let's Make a Deal and Split Second) catalogs. It occasionally licenses games from other sources, including a syndication deal with Burt Sugarman to carry Whew! beginning in September 2021.
As of 2018, almost all of Buzzr's lineup consists of game shows that originally had aired between 1973 and 1993 (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 recent 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 one hour of educational children's programming (cut from three hours shortly after the FCC eliminated rules requiring digital subchannels to carry such programs in late 2019), leading out of its weekend morning infomercial blocks to minimize interruption; Chicken Soup for the Soul's Hidden Heroes and Marty Stouffer's Wild America air one episode each week. The channel carries two hours of infomercials each morning, a block that includes the televangelism series Through the Bible with Les Feldick (some of the online simulcasts of Buzzr do not carry the infomercials or Through the Bible due to restrictions on paid programming on those platforms). 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 and on November 28, 2019.
Buzzr uses a repetitive ad placeholder video to fill time during original programs' commercial breaks that are not used for actual paid or unpaid commercials. The music used during these filler spots is Cooking with Rhythm by Alan Fagan.
In 2017, Buzzr began streaming its programming to Amazon Prime Video and Twitch; the Prime Video offering provides video on demand, while Twitch offered a linear feed separate from the over-the-air telecast. The Twitch stream would be discontinued on April 22, 2019. Buzzr also provided some game show programming to Nosey, a site offering video-on-demand of daytime television in the United States reruns. The local Buzzr affiliate sub-channel is carried in some areas on the streaming services LocalBTV, Locast and iGoCast (the streaming platform of KCKS-LD) as well.
In 2019, Stirr, a free over-the-top service launched by Sinclair Broadcast Group, included Buzzr among its offerings. 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 overall (second only to the combined viewership of its Stirr City local channels).
On December 1, 2020, Buzzr launched a spin-off channel, The Price Is Right: The Barker Era, a 24/7 channel on Pluto TV exclusively carrying episodes of The Price Is Right from Bob Barker's hosting run. The episodes started with Season 11 in 1982, the first year where animal-based products (such as fur coats) were no longer offered on the show at Barker's request. In a statement on Buzzr's FAQ page, the company stated that this was the only way to distribute the reruns because of an exclusivity agreement with CBS that prohibits any network or outlet not owned by CBS or parent company ViacomCBS (Pluto TV is a ViacomCBS subsidiary) from televising The Price Is Right episodes from 1972 onward, meaning Buzzr could not carry the show over-the-air.
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, Florida 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, New Hampshire and Dallas–Fort Worth, Texas), 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, Arizona), 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 block programming 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||DTV America||Replaced Dr. TV|
|Anchorage||KDMD||33.7||Ketchikan Television||Launch date December 2020|
|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|
|San Diego||KSKT-CD||43.4||HC2 Holdings|
District of ColumbiaEdit
|Washington, D.C.||WTTG||5.2||Fox Television Stations|
|Fort Myers||WGPS-LD||22.4||DTV America|
|Orlando||WOFL||35.2||Fox Television Stations|
|West Palm Beach||WXOD-LD||24.1||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||KAGW-CD||26.9||Great Plains TV|
|Bowling Green||WCZU-LD||39.2||DTV America|
|Louisville||WBNA||21.4||Word Broadcasting Network|
|Lafayette||K21OM-D||20.5||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|
|Flint-Saginaw-Bay City-Midland||WFFC-LD||17.5||DTV America|
|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-LD||33.1||HC2 Holdings||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|
|Syracuse||WMJQ-CD||40.2||Rennard Comm. Corp.||Replaced HSN|
|Asheville-Hendersonville & Greenville, SC||WDKT-LD||31.7||GEB America|
|Columbus-Marion||WOCB-CD||39.2||Cen. Ohio Assoc. of Christian Broadcasters|
|Portsmouth||WTZP-LD||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|
|Bowling Green-Nashville||WCTZ-LD||35.1||HC2 Holdings|
|Knoxville||WEZK-LD||28.5||Living Faith Ministries, Inc.|
|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-LD||23.3||DTV America||Launched November 2016|
|Seattle||KCPQ||13.4||Fox Television Stations||Relocated from KUSE-LD 46.5|
List of former affiliatesEdit
|City of license/market||Station||Virtual
|Current ownership||Dates of affiliation||Notes|
|Denver||KSBS-CD||3.3||E. W. Scripps Company
(Was owned at the time by Denver Digital Television, LLC)
|2015-August 28, 2020||Replaced by NewsNet|
|Sterling||KCDO-TV||3.3||E. W. Scripps Company|
(Was owned at the time by Newsweb Corporation)
|Key West (Miami, Florida)||WGEN-TV||8.3||Liberman Broadcasting|
|Gary (Chicago, Illinois)||WPWR-TV||50.4||Fox Television Stations||February 2016 - June 10, 2018||Moved to WFLD 32.3|
|Charlotte||WJZY-TV||46.7||Nexstar Media Group||June 2015-September 2020||No replacement affiliate|
|Valley City-Fargo||KRDK-TV||4.10||Major Market Broadcasting||2015-2019||Replaced by GetTV|
|Cincinnati||WOTH-CD||20.3||Block Broadcasting||July 2015 - 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
- Game Show Network – An American cable network launched in 1994 and was the original licensor of the Goodson–Todman television library.
- GameTV – A Canadian general entertainment channel that primarily airs game shows and competition-related programming.
- Challenge (TV channel) – A British channel that airs game shows and entertainment programming.
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