Sinclair/Tribune: TBD

With little notice or fanfare, Sinclair Broadcasting has already gained a foothold on Tribune-owned TV stations in the country’s three largest markets.

Despite the FCC’s delay of Sinclair’s $4 billion purchase of Tribune, the broadcast giant’s TBD subchannel (yes, it ironically stands for “To Be Determined”) has recently launched over Tribune’s WPIX channel 11.4 in New York, KTLA channel 5.5 in Los Angeles, and WGN channel 9.4 in Chicago.

The pending Sinclair-Tribune deal is particularly controversial because Sinclair is not only already the country’s largest TV station owner but also one of the loudest voices in conservative media.

TBD itself, however, is hardly a conservative pulpit. Instead, the channel features web content from such providers as Jukin Video, Legendary Digital Networks (Nerdist, and Geek & Sundry), Whistle Sports, Kinonation, Zoomin’ and Canvas Media Studios.

In addition to New York, Los Angeles and Chicago, viewers can watch TBD over-the-air in more than 100 other markets – or online at

In the future, viewers in Tribune markets might also gain access to Sinclair’s other subchannels: Comet TV, which focuses on classic sci-fi programming, and Charge!, an action-based channel.

TBD sports the tagline “What’s Next.” If you want to know what’s next either on-air on the live feed, check out the complete TBD schedule at

As an example of specific shows, tonight’s primetime lineup (ET) includes: 

  • YouTube’s FBE: React, with kids reacting to Poppy (YouTube screenshot, right) 
  • Nerdist’s Because Science, with Kyle Hill exploring “the important questions of the DC Universe,” such as “How does Superman’s heat vision work”?
  • YouTube’s The Extreme World Of Devin Super Tramp, featuring what’s described as a radio-controlled version of Fast & Furious
  • Whistle Sports BTS, with “highlights, trick shots, epic fails, behind-the-scenes and more”
  • This Week In Fails in which the “FailArmy watches the best fails of the week, reads your comments, and interacts with the fans.”


About Les Luchter

Les Luchter is a former managing editor of Multichannel News, editor-in-chief of Cable Marketing, and news editor of Broadcast Week.

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