Heroes & Icons (H&I) is an American digital broadcast television network owned by Weigel Broadcasting. Primarily carried on the digital subchannels of its affiliated television station in most markets, it primarily airs classic television series from the 1950s through the 2000s, with a focus on westerns, crime dramas, sci-fi, and action-oriented programming geared toward male audiences.
Watch on WBBZ-Digital Channel on-air 67.2
The network operates from Weigel Broadcasting’s headquarters on North Halsted Street in Chicago, Illinois, and is essentially an offshoot of MeTV – a general classic TV digital network also owned by Weigel.
The network was soft launched with limited advanced promotion on September 28, 2014, on the digital subchannels of Weigel-owned stations WWME-CD (channel 23.2) and WCIU-TV (channel 26.4) in Chicago, and WMLW-TV (channel 49.3) in Milwaukee. Heroes & Icons was created at the request of the affiliates of Weigel’s existing networks, in order to increase their programming options.
The network also launched in the South Bend, Indiana market, along with the major cable providers in the Chicago and Milwaukee markets (including Comcast Xfinity, RCN and Time Warner Cable) using existing carriage. Weigel opted to soft launch H&I in order to fine-tune its schedule, along with adding additional programming to the fledgling network. With the network having settled on a more stabilized schedule, Weigel moved the Heroes & Icons affiliation in Milwaukee to the third subchannel of CBS affiliate WDJT-TV (channel 58) on March 5, 2015, with This TV – which previously occupied the 58.3 space – moving to WMLW-DT3 in its place.
Fox Television Stations is expanding its relationship with Weigel beyond Movies! by adding the network to 11 major market stations in the fourth quarter 2015.
The All Trek programming block was launched on July 24, 2016 with all five live action Star Trek shows in sequence from the beginning on Sunday plus on Monday through Friday. Star Trek: The Animated Series leads off the Sunday All Star Trek programming.
Much like its sister network, MeTV, Heroes & Icons’ program schedule relies primarily on television series from the programming libraries of CBS Television Distribution, NBCUniversal Television Distribution and 20th Television, and also includes some feature film content. H&I targets a more niche audience than MeTV, carrying programming aimed at a generally male audience – featuring a mix of action series, police procedurals, westerns, science fiction, fantasy and military-themed programs (including several series that have previously aired on MeTV). The network features series from a wider timeline than that from which MeTV sources its programming, incorporating programs from the 2000s, in addition to those originally broadcast from the 1950s to the 1990s. H&I’s most direct competitor is Charge!, a network owned by Sinclair TV Group which maintains a schedule mainly made up of action shows and films.
In addition to carrying acquired programming, Heroes & Icons also carried an early morning simulcast of TouchVision (a multi-platform news service based out of Weigel’s Chicago headquarters) from September 29, 2014 to January 14, 2016. The network also carries a three-hour block of children’s programming on Sunday mornings in order to fulfill educational programming requirements mandated by the Federal Communications Commission.
On Monday, February 8, 2016, first run syndicated shows, Hercules: The Legendary Journeys and Xena: Warrior Princess, debuted on the network.
As of July 2016, Heroes & Icons has current affiliation agreements with television stations in 63 media markets encompassing 33 states, covering 69.21% of the United States. The network is carried on the digital subchannels of television stations in most of its markets (with current exceptions including St. George, Utah affiliate KCSG, which has widespread cable and satellite coverage in the Salt Lake City market and throughout Utah, and Evansville, Indiana affiliate WTSN-CD, which both carry the network on their primary digital channels). The network is also carried on cable television providers through their digital tiers at the discretion of the affiliate’s parent station in certain markets.
In South Bend, Indiana, where Weigel Broadcasting owns three television stations (ABC affiliate WBND-LD, CW affiliate WCWW-LD and MyNetworkTV affiliate WMYS-LD), the network is instead carried by former Fox affiliate WSJV through an agreement with that station’s owner Quincy Media (it took over the main signal on October 1, 2016 as that station winds down operations due to other factors, including the upcoming spectrum auction). The network added additional stations by early December 2014, which in addition to WSJV, included KCSG in Salt Lake City and a digital subchannel of Des Moines CBS affiliate KCCI.
On September 18, 2015, Weigel signed an affiliation agreement with Fox Television Stations to carry the network on subchannels of the group’s Fox and MyNetworkTV owned-and-operated stations in eleven markets (including New York City, Los Angeles, Dallas, San Francisco and Washington D.C.), beginning in the fourth quarter of 2015. Once all of the stations involved in the agreement affiliated with the network, H&I will expand its coverage to 52% of all U.S. households and availability in eight of the 10 largest Nielsen markets. In July 2018, Spectrum Cable System begin carry a national feed of Heroes and Icons where it no affiliates of H & I <ref=https://www.handitv.com/wheretowatch/>
||March 2, 2017
||Began formally broadcasting on March 20, 2017
||Pocatello Channel 15, LLC
||October 2, 2017
||CBS Television Stations
||October 6, 2016
|Secaucus (New York City)
||Fox Television Stations
||October 3, 2015
||Replaced Antenna TV, which moved to channel 13.2
||Byrne Acquisition Group, LLC
||September 29, 2014 (moved from WDJT-DT3 to WMLW-DT3 on January 8, 2018)