Merit Street Media begins its broadcast life

Merit Street Media, the news and entertainment media network founded by Dr. Phil McGraw, officially premieres April 2, 2024.

Merit Street claims it is “the largest network TV launch in decades,” with availability in over 80 million homes (by comparison, CNN is available in a similar number of U.S. homes as of 2024). 

That availability includes distribution via a mix of broadcast, cable, national satellite and OTT platforms.

The 80 million figure should be viewed with caution, however, especially when it comes to FAST platforms. It’s likely that Merit Street is counting every user (which itself could have varying definitions) who could potentially watch its stream in every market, service or provider, including digital platforms.

While that’s technically true, it’s a significant leap to believe that 80 million people will start watching the network right off the bat.

Cable and satellite subscribers can watch Merit Street Media across multiple platforms, including DirecTV on Channel 306, Dish on Channel 247 starting April 3, 2024, and U-verse TV Channel 168

Xfinity viewers in Pittsburgh, Boston, Philadelphia, New York, Washington, D.C. and Baltimore can watch on Channel 1097 with additional cities scheduled to join in May 2024.

Additionally, over 40 local broadcast stations nationwide carry Merit Street Media, which has a channel finder tool on its website.

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Later this month, Merit Street Media will become available exclusively on FAST on Samsung TV Plus. Plans for more rollouts are expected. 

Viewers can also tune in by downloading Merit+, the free app for live streaming and on-demand playback. Merit+ can be downloaded on iPhone and Android mobile devices, Apple TV, Android TV, Fire TV and Roku.

Here’s a list of programming available at launch, as described by Merit.

  • Morning on Merit Street” (weekdays, 8 to 10 a.m. eastern): A fresh approach to the morning news that combines information, enlightenment, entertainment and inspiration. With news you can use, the program will provide the latest news from overnight and that morning while also delivering actionable insights applicable to viewers’ daily lives. From health and fitness to parental advice and financial guidance, award-winning journalists Dominique Sachse and Fanchon Stinger lead a team committed to making your morning a rewarding daily experience. “The Pulse” segments throughout the show feature overnight and breaking news, while scheduled topics include cell phones in classrooms, the latest in Alzheimer’s studies, red light therapy, an interview with author Deepak Chopra, and the new generation of female NASA astronauts.
  • “Crime Stories with Nancy Grace” (weeknights, 6 to 7 p.m.): Nancy Grace, the outspoken and passionate former prosecutor, explores the inside stories of true crimes—ripped from today’s headlines— as well as cold cases waiting for new leads. In these all-new episodes, Grace aims to bring closure and justice to families still grappling with the pain of unresolved tragedies.
  • The News on Merit Street” (weeknights, 7 to 8p.m.): Takes a comprehensive approach to the day’s top headlines. In an era where news headlines are often misleading and sensationalized, “The News” pledges to fully investigate our world with a deeper dive into facts, figures, and history. Senior anchor Kris Gutierrez and co-hosts Lyndsay Keith and Loni Coombs will provide viewers with fact-based research to dispel misinformation every weeknight. Week one topics include cyber security threats, financial literacy, the collapse of public education, the fentanyl crisis, and an investigation into the lives of Americans struggling facing economic hardship.
  • “Dr. Phil Primetime” (weeknights, 8 to 9 p.m.): Join the TV legend back on stage in a new Dallas studio tackling today’s headlines and social issues in his iconic direct, honest, and no-nonsense way. April topics include the rise of antisemitism in America, DEI, teachers in danger from their students, extreme parenting, how China is threatening American life, and a two-part special where Dr. Phil personally visits the border at Eagle Pass to investigate the immigration crisis.
  • “Centuries Collide” (Saturdays 10 to 11 a.m. beginning April 6, 2024): Who was the first social media influencer? When was the computer invented? What was the first use of wireless technology? Would you believe each of these stories takes place centuries ago? And just who were the saints behind our favorite holidays? Host Cody Crouch invites you to explore fascinating moments in world history that made possible the technologies and traditions of the modern age.
  • “The Scott Rasmussen Show” (Sundays 10 to 10:30 a.m. beginning April 7, 2024): Public opinion pollster Scott Rasmussen provides weekly updates on the challenges and opportunities facing the nation from the perspective of everyday Americans. More than just politics, his data and analysis explore the hopes, dreams, and values that drive our nation. Each all-new show will feature a commentary featuring Rassmussen’s unique perspective, a deep dive into an issue or topic, and updates on how the public views current events.

Additional library programming daily and overnight includes classic episodes of “Dr. Phil,” packaged into “Dr. Phil – True Crime” and “Dr. Phil – Wake Up,” with parenting and family advice, “Bear Grylls: The Island,” “Somebody’s Gotta Do It” with Mike Rowe, and “Steve,” the talk show hosted by Steve Harvey.