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Dinges: New broadcast network debuts in January

Gary Dinges
Programming on the Justice Network will include “Alaska State Troopers.”

A new crime-focused TV network will sign on this January in cities across the country, including Austin.

The Justice Network will air as a digital subchannel on KVUE and other Gannett-owned stations.

Programming on the Justice Network will largely consist of repeats of shows that previously aired on other broadcast and cable networks, including “Alaska State Troopers,” “Body of Evidence,” “Dominick Dunne’s Power, Privilege and Justice,” “I, Detective,” “The Investigators,” “LA Forensics,” “Locked Up Abroad,” “Masterminds,” “Missing Persons Unit,” “Murder by the Book,” “Over the Limit” and “Psychic Detectives.”

Local affiliates will also contribute content, such as safety tips and details on wanted criminals and missing children.

“Recognizing that by 2013, half of the top 50-rated prime shows on television were justice-oriented programming, our management team saw the need to satisfy America’s obsession with justice,” said Steve Schiffman, Justice Network’s CEO. “We are proud to be a part of this unique network’s efforts to make a difference in people’s lives, fight crime and to keep communities safer.”

Sports network debuts

A new channel has popped up on the AT&T U-verse and DirecTV lineups.

Root Sports Southwest carries Houston Rockets and Houston Astros games, but don’t get too excited. As viewers found out on the network’s first day on the air, many of those games will be blacked out in large portions of Central Texas due to league rules.

U-verse subscribers can find Root Sports Southwest on channels 758 and 1758. On DirecTV, tune to channel 674.

Root Sports Southwest is the new name for what was Comcast SportsNet Houston. The channel filed for bankruptcy and was recently gobbled up by AT&T and DirecTV.

The change in ownership dramatically expands the network’s audience, which previously had been limited to Comcast subscribers and customers of a few very small cable companies in the Houston area.

Other programming airing on Root Sports Southwest includes “The Rich Eisen Show” and “The Dan Patrick Show,” as well as some college sports matchups.

Mayoral debates to air

Look for Time Warner Cable News’ debate featuring Steve Adler and Mike Martinez, the two candidates in Austin’s mayoral runoff, to air several times before election day.

The hourlong debate, which was recorded Wednesday, was moderated by Time Warner Cable News anchor Paul Brown.

Repeats of the debate are scheduled for 11 a.m. Dec. 2, 7 p.m. Dec. 7 and twice on Dec. 16 – at 11 a.m. and 6 p.m.

KVUE is also planning a debate that will air Dec. 3 at 11 a.m., with evening news anchors Terri Gruca and Tyler Sieswerda serving as moderators.

Election day is Dec. 16, with early voting set to run Dec. 1-12.

A poll released last week by the Austin Monitor shows Adler is favored by 56 percent of likely runoff voters, while Martinez was the choice of 35 percent of respondents.

Read my blog at or follow @gdinges on Twitter to get the latest updates on local radio and TV stations.