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Buzzr is an American digital multicast television network that is owned by FremantleMedia North America, a unit of the FremantleMedia subsidiary of RTL Group. Buzzr 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 network sources its programming from the extensive library of classic game shows owned by FremantleMedia, some of which were (and are) part of the Game Show Network's (GSN) programming lineup.[3][4][5] The network marks Fremantle's first entry into North American broadcasting;[2] however, parent company RTL operates numerous TV channels in Europe.

Buzzr
Type Digital broadcast television network
(game shows)
Country United States
Availability Nationwide via OTA digital TV (U.S. coverage: 65%)[1]
Dish Network (channel 245)
Founded January 20, 2015; 2 years ago (2015-01-20)
Slogan Let's Play
Parent
Key people
  • Ron Garfield (EVP/GM)
  • Mark Deetjen (vice president of programming and operations)[2]
Launch date
June 1, 2015; 2 years ago (2015-06-01)[2]
Picture format
480i (SDTV)
Affiliates List of affiliates
Official website
www.buzzrplay.com

Contents

HistoryEdit

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.[4][6][7]

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.[8][9][10]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."[4]

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.[2][11][12][13]

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.[14]

In 2016, to celebrate the upcoming 75th year of the genre,[15] 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.

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"[16] 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.

ProgrammingEdit

FremantleMedia has a library of game shows, spanning 154 series and an estimated 40,000 episodes overall, from which it draws its programming.[17] 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.[3][4][5] Reruns of The Price Is Right have been identified as a potential future series on the network but, to date, have never aired.[18] 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 FremantleMedia logo is also seen at the end of its shows. With FremantleMedia's acquisition of the Supermarket Sweep franchise, reruns of that series (from David Ruprecht's hosting run) will be added in 2018.

As of 2017, almost all of Buzzr's lineup consists of game shows that originally had aired in the 1970s and 1980s (Match Game and Family Feud, in particular, air multiple episodes each day), with select blocks of 1950s and 1960s panel shows also being featured. 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.[19] With the exception of paid programming overnights and the FCC required Educational and Informational programming, 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.

Streaming servicesEdit

In 2017, three on-demand service sites were allowed for users to watch full episodes of classic game shows.

NoseyEdit

The new channel for Roku[20] has five classic game shows that you can watch for free including Family Feud (Dawson & Anderson), Match Game (Rayburn), Press Your Luck, To Tell the Truth (Collyer) & Card Sharks (Eubanks).

Amazon Prime VideoEdit

This has only fourteen[21]classic game shows that you can watch for free including Beat the Clock (Hall), Blockbusters (Cullen), Body Language, Card Sharks (Perry & Eubanks), Child's Play, Double Dare (Trebek), Family Feud (Dawson, Combs & Anderson), Match Game (Rayburn), Password Plus (Ludden), Press Your Luck, Super Password, Tattletales, I've Got a Secret (Moore) & What's My Line (Daly)

TwitchEdit

Various classic game shows can also be streamed online for free at Twitch[22].

AffiliatesEdit

As of February 2016, 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.[23]

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 DallasFort Worth), with an initial reach of 37% of U.S. television homes.[3][8][18] 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.[24]

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.[3][5][18][25] The network hopes to expand its charter affiliate footprint to reach markets covering 50 million U.S. households with at least one television set.[4]

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.[26] When the block first aired, the schedule was daily 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. As of July 2017, the current block has been reduced by a half hour currently following a daily schedule of two episodes of Match Game (7x), episodes of Super Password and Tattletales followed by an episode of either Card Sharks, Double Dare, Beat the Clock or Sale of the Century.

In May 2017, Dish Network began carrying Buzzr on channel 245.

List of current affiliatesEdit

City of license/market Station[3][27] Virtual
channel
Owner Notes

AlabamaEdit

Birmingham WUOA-LD 46.2 DTV America
Montgomery WDSF-LD 19.2 Replaced Dr. TV

ArizonaEdit

Phoenix KUTP 45.3 Fox Television Stations

ArkansasEdit

Fayetteville KAJL-LD 16.4 DTV America

CaliforniaEdit

Bakersfield KCBT-LD 34.8 Cocola Broadcasting Launch date TBD
Los Angeles KCOP-TV 13.2 Fox Television Stations Replaced Bounce TV
Monterey KYMB-LD 27.4 Cocola Broadcasting
Oakland-San Francisco KTVU 2.4 Fox Television Stations
Reedley-Fresno KVBC-LP 13.7 Cocola Broadcasting
Sacramento KSAO-LD 49.3

ColoradoEdit

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

FloridaEdit

Fort Myers WGPS-LP 22.4 DTV America
Jacksonville-Live Oak WKBJ-LD 20.1
Orlando WRBW 65.4 Fox Television Stations
Tampa-St. Petersburg WTVT 13.3
West Palm Beach WXOD-LD 33.1 DTV America

GeorgiaEdit

Atlanta WAGA-TV 5.3 Fox Television Stations

IdahoEdit

Boise KKJB 39.4 Cocola Broadcasting

IndianaEdit

Gary
(Chicago, Illinois)
WPWR-TV 50.4 Fox Television Stations
Indianapolis WUDZ-LD 28.1 DTV America

IowaEdit

Des Moines KAJR-LD 36.5 DTV America

KansasEdit

Garden City KDGL-LD 23.2 High Plains Broadcasting, LLC.
Kansas City KCKS-LD 25.1 Heartland Broadcasting, LLC.
Kansas City KMJC-LD
Topeka WROB-LD
Wichita KGPT-CD 26.9 Great Plains TV

KentuckyEdit

Bowling Green WCZU-LD 39.2 DTV America
Louisville W50CI-D 50.1 South Central Communications
East Bernstadt WOBZ-LD 9.1

LouisianaEdit

New Orleans WQDT-LD 34.1 DTV America

MassachusettsEdit

Boston WLVI-TV 56.2 Sunbeam Television Replaced ZUUS Country

MichiganEdit

Detroit WJBK 2.3 Fox Television Stations
Lake City-Cadillac WMNN-LD 26.6 Freelancer Television Broadcasting

MinnesotaEdit

Minneapolis-St. Paul KMSP-TV 9.4 Fox Television Stations Replaced Bounce TV

MissouriEdit

Joplin-Pittsburg KPJO-LP 49.4 DTV America
Kansas City KCKS-LD 25.1
St. Louis KBGU-LP 33.1 Replaced MundoMax

NevadaEdit

Las Vegas KGNG-LD 47.2 King Kong Broadcasting

New YorkEdit

Secaucus, NJ-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

New MexicoEdit

Albuquerque KRTN-LD 39.2 Ramar Communications

North DakotaEdit

Valley City-Fargo KRDK-TV 4.10 Major Market Broadcasting

OhioEdit

Cincinnati WOTH-CD 20.3 Block Broadcasting Replaced Antenna TV
Cleveland-Canton WEKA-LD 41.3 DTV America
Columbus-Marion WOCB-CD 39.2 Cen. Ohio Assoc. of Christian Broadcasters
Portsmouth WTZP-LD 50.3 Eagle Broadcasting Group, Inc. Replaced Laff

OklahomaEdit

Oklahoma City KBZC-LD 42.3 DTV America Corporation
Tulsa KUOC-LD 48.1

PennsylvaniaEdit

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

North CarolinaEdit

Fayetteville-Raleigh WNCB-LD 16.2 DTV America
Rock Hill, SC-Charlotte WMYT-TV 55.2 Fox Television Stations

TennesseeEdit

White House-Nashville WKUW-LD 40.1 DTV America Replacing Dr. TV

TexasEdit

Amarillo KLKW-LD 22.4 DTV America
Austin KTBC 7.3 Fox Television Stations
College Station-Bryan 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
Tyler KPKN-LD 33.1
Waco KZCZ-LD 34.5

UtahEdit

Salt Lake City KBTU-LP 23.3 DTV America Launched November 2016

WisconsinEdit

Milwaukee WTSJ-LP 38.2 DTV America

List of former affiliatesEdit

City of license/market Station Virtual
channel
Owner Dates of affiliation Notes

UtahEdit

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

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ Buckman, Adam (July 26, 2016). "Diginets Keep Growing, Despite Auction Cloud". TVNewsCheck. NewsCheck Media. Retrieved November 7, 2016. 
  2. ^ a b c d Padovano, Joanna (April 14, 2015). "FremantleMedia North America Hires for Buzzr Channel". World Screen. WSN Inc. Retrieved April 15, 2015. 
  3. ^ a b c d e "Fox O&Os Game For Latest Diginet: Buzzr TV". TVNewsCheck. NewsCheck Media. January 20, 2015. Retrieved January 23, 2015. 
  4. ^ a b c d e Spangler, Todd (February 10, 2015). "FremantleMedia Hits on 'Buzzr' YouTube Channel with Classic Game Show Reboots". Variety. Retrieved February 11, 2015. 
  5. ^ a b c "Fox TV Stations Bolsters Game Show Content With Buzzr TV". Deadline.com. Penske Business Media. January 20, 2015. Retrieved January 23, 2015. 
  6. ^ Albiniak, Paige (January 20, 2015). "Fox TV Stations Acquire Buzzr TV, New Multicast Net from FremantleMedia North America". Broadcasting and Cable. NewBay Media. Retrieved January 23, 2015. 
  7. ^ Todd Spangler (February 23, 2016). "FremantleMedia Sued Over 'Buzzr' Game-Show TV Network Name". Variety. Penske Media Corporation. Retrieved February 24, 2016. 
  8. ^ a b Wayne Friedman (January 20, 2015). "Buzzr TV Joins TV Diginet Race". MediaPost. MediaPost Communications. Retrieved January 23, 2015. 
  9. ^ Cynthia Littleton (January 20, 2015). "Fox Stations to Launch Game Show Digital Channel From FremantleMedia". Variety. Penske Media Corporation. Retrieved January 23, 2015. 
  10. ^ Michael Schneider. "Retro Game Shows Find a New Network Home". tvinsider. tvinsider.com. Retrieved January 27, 2015. 
  11. ^ Clive Whittingham (April 14, 2015). "Fremantle builds up Buzzr team". C21 Media. C21 Media Limited. 
  12. ^ "Monty Hall makes 'Deal' for classic games". USA Today. Gannett Company. June 1, 2015. 
  13. ^ Kondolojy, Amanda (June 1, 2015). "New Digital Multicast Network Buzr Launches Today, June 1, 2015". TV by the Numbers (Press release). Retrieved June 4, 2015. 
  14. ^ Spangler, Todd (February 24, 2016). "FremantleMedia Sued Over 'Buzzr' Game Show TV Network Name". Variety. Retrieved February 24, 2016. 
  15. ^ Celebrating 75 Years of the TV Game Show
  16. ^ Buzzr Casino @ Ludia.com
  17. ^ Megan Daley (January 20, 2015). "Fox Television Stations gets rights to classic game show library Buzzr TV". Entertainment Weekly. Time Inc. Retrieved January 23, 2015. 
  18. ^ a b c Alex Ben Block (January 20, 2015). "Fox TV Stations to Air Classic Game Shows From Buzzr TV's Massive Library". The Hollywood Reporter. Guggenheim Digital Media. Retrieved January 23, 2015. 
  19. ^ "Sneak Peek: Game Changers & Hosting". Buzzr. September 11, 2017. 
  20. ^ (Nosey) Game Shows by Buzzr
  21. ^ Amazon Prime Video Buzzr
  22. ^ Buzzr at Twitch
  23. ^ "Stations for Network - Buzzr TV". RabbitEars. Retrieved February 13, 2015. 
  24. ^ Jon Lafayette (March 4, 2014). "Exclusive: Bounce TV Extends Univision Deal". Broadcasting & Cable. NewBay Media. Retrieved March 4, 2014. 
  25. ^ Paige Albiniak (January 20, 2015). "Fox TV Stations Acquire Buzzr TV, New Multicast Net from FremantleMedia North America". Broadcasting & Cable. NewBay Media. Retrieved January 23, 2015. 
  26. ^ Yes TV (Crossroads Christian Communications) (June 16, 2016). "yesTV Announces Fall Lineup (press release)". Retrieved August 25, 2016. 
  27. ^ "Stations for Network - Buzzr TV". RabbitEars.info. Retrieved February 13, 2015. 

External linksEdit