Second Court TV Channel Going OTA

Remember when I told you that Court TV was relaunching as an over-the-air channel? Well, the popular true crime network is about to do it again with another OTA channel. E.W. Scripps Company recently announced its plans to rebrand its free OTV TV network Escape to Court TV Mystery. It’s all supposed to go own on September 30, 2019. The new network will show top-rated crime series like The First 48, Forensic Files, and FBI Files. Best of all, this will be an OTA channel so many cord-cutters with TV antennas will be able to watch it.

If you think what I just wrote is interesting, check out this trailer for Court TV Mystery:

The First Court TV OTA Channel

Before we go forward, let’s take a step back for a moment. If you read this blog, you might remember that Court TV launched an over-the-air channel on May 8, 2019. The true crime TV channel was expected to be available in these TV markets:

  • New York
  • Los Angeles
  • Chicago
  • Philadelphia
  • Dallas-Fort Worth
  • Houston
  • Miami-Fort Lauderdale
  • Denver
  • St. Louis
  • Seattle-Tacoma
  • Washington
  • Sacramento
  • Tampa, FL
  • Detroit
  • Cleveland
  • Cincinnati
  • Las Vegas
  • Tulsa, OK
  • Green Bay
  • Tucson
  • Boston
  • Orlando
  • Wichita
  • San Antonio
  • Albuquerque
  • Bakersfield

Are you a cord-cutter in one of these TV markets? Hopefully you’ve been enjoying Court TV for the past few months. If you have, you’ll probably be glad to know that another Court TV channel is coming to your local airwaves. It’s called…

…Court TV Mystery

Yes, that’s what it’s called. The channel’s name obviously banks on the Court TV brand, which is strong among true crime fans. (I can’t get enough of the stuff.) Rumor has it that a lot of Court TV-like content will have a home on Court TV Mystery. This gives millions of viewers additional access to the network’s popular true-crime programming. It’s safe to say that viewers can expect a lot of cross-promoting between the two channels for a strong overall Court TV brand.

This is huge news for fans of Court TV’s content, of course. It’s even bigger news for anyone with TV antennas. Scripps could have gone in many different directions with its rebranded channels. For example, they could’ve built a streaming service around it. I’m surprised they didn’t because everyone is getting into the niche streaming services game these days. Thankfully, Scripps understands the important part TV antennas still play in people’s entertainment options.

The Future of OTA Channels?

I wish there were more new networks dedicated to OTA TV. Perhaps these could replace some of the sub-channels that the FCC might be clearing in its ongoing “repack.” What will become of subchannels? Stuart Sweet opines about this in a blog post. In short, he believes that some subchannels could end up going away. While I have nothing against subchannels, I wouldn’t mind if some of them disappeared… as long as they were replaced with new OTA channels like the two from Court TV. Stick with me on this one cord-cutters, but I’m on to something…

…There’s a downside to subchannels. All that retro content reinforces the (false) belief that TV antennas a thing of the past. Cord-cutters know this isn’t true, of course, but the non-cord-cutting public has its misconceptions. If more networks invested in creating new OTA channels, it would bring more positive attention to OTA TV and cord-cutting in general. People would realize that TV antennas are more relevant now than they’ve ever been. More to the point, people would stop sending their hard-earned money to cable TV companies that don’t deserve it!