WWOR EMI Service
TypeCable and satellite network
CountryUnited States
OwnerEastern Microwave, Incorporated (uplinker, 1965–1996; Superstation programmer, 1990–1996)
Advance Entertainment Corporation (uplinker and Superstation programmer, 1996)
LaunchedJanuary 1, 1990; 34 years ago (1990-01-01)
ClosedDecember 31, 1996; 27 years ago (1996-12-31)

WWOR EMI Service was a New York City-based American cable television channel that operated as a superstation feed of Secaucus, New Jersey-licensed WWOR-TV (channel 9). The service was uplinked to satellite from Syracuse, New York, by Eastern Microwave, Inc., which later sold the satellite distribution rights to the Advance Entertainment Corporation subsidiary of Advance Publications, a Syracuse-based company that also owned various print, broadcast and cable television properties.

In the New York metropolitan area, the superstation feed was not carried on local cable providers but was available to satellite subscribers. Two exceptions to this took place; once on February 26, 1993, after the World Trade Center bombing, when the local WWOR's transmitter was knocked out for the day. Cable providers in the New York metro area used the superstation feed as a substitute until the transmitter returned to service. The other was on Long Beach Island in Ocean County, New Jersey. Although that area falls within the New York City market, the Comcast system serving that area carried WWOR EMI Service instead of the local feed, as they were unable to obtain a microwave link to be able to carry channel 9. Months after the end of the feed, that system began carrying the local feed, which by that point was uplinked to satellite.


In 1989, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) passed the "Syndication Exclusivity Rights rule" (or "SyndEx") into law. This law meant that whenever a local television station had the exclusive rights to broadcast a syndicated program, that particular program must be blacked out on any out-of-market stations that were carried by local cable providers. After the law was passed, EMI purchased the rights to programs that no stations had claimed exclusive rights to, and launched a special national feed for cable and satellite subscribers outside of the New York City market on January 1, 1990, called the "WWOR EMI Service". Most of the syndicated programs that WWOR-TV had the rights to show in the New York City market were covered up by the alternate programming shown on the national feed—with the exception of most sporting events, local newscasts and other WWOR-produced programming such as Steampipe Alley, The Joe Franklin Show, the overnight Shop at Home program, the annual Weekend with the Stars Telethon for United Cerebral Palsy, the annual Jerry Lewis MDA Labor Day Telethon for the Muscular Dystrophy Association, and a select number of programs that were not claimed as exclusive to any market. Most of the programs came from the libraries of Universal Television (whose parent company, MCA Inc., owned WWOR-TV at the time of the EMI Service's founding), MGM Television and Quinn Martin, along with some shows from the Christian Science Monitor's television service,[1] as well as some holdover shows that had aired on the local New York feed before the SyndEx law's passage.

In mid-1996, EMI sold the satellite distribution rights to WWOR and Boston's WSBK-TV to Advance Entertainment Corporation. On December 31, 1996, AEC discontinued the feed,[2] selling WWOR's former satellite transponder slot to Discovery Communications for the then six-month-old Animal Planet,[3] which Advance still presently owns in part.

See also


  1. ^ "Is Axel in or out?". The Boston Globe. 1989-12-29. p. 63. Retrieved 2021-11-23.
  2. ^ McConville, Jim. "N.Y.'s WWOR loses super status; satellite distributor discontinues service contract with television station", Broadcasting & Cable, January 6, 1997.
  3. ^ Paikert, Charles. "Discovery dogs WWOR; Animal Planet gets leg up on Open Slots", Multichannel News, January 6, 1997.