The agreement for the male- and female-targeted classic programming multicast channels set to launch this summer boosts coverage to 45% of the U.S.
Station group Raycom Media has signed to carry Katz Broadcasting’s new multicast networks Escape (targeted to women) and Grit (for men) as part of a new distribution agreement with announced today by Jeffrey Wolf, chief distribution officer for Escape and Grit.
Escape will target women 25-54 with a mix of theatrical motion pictures and off-network series anchored in stories of crime and mystery. Action-oriented Grit will reach men 25-54 and be built around the classic male hero archetype with a heavy focus on western, war and action theatrical motion pictures. Both networks will launch this summer.
Markets where Raycom will carry one or both of the networks include Cleveland-Akron, Ohio; Charlotte, N.C.; Cincinnati; West Palm Beach, Fla.; Birmingham, Ala.; Memphis; Louisville, Ky.; Knoxville, Tenn.; Honolulu; Tucson, Ariz.; Columbia, S.C.; and Huntsville, Ala.
This is the second major distribution agreement for the just-announced Escape and Grit. Univision Television Group has already committed to carry the two new networks in New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Dallas, Houston, Miami and others.
The Raycom owned-and-operated stations will push the coverage of both Escape and Grit to 45% of all U.S. television households. The two networks will announce more distribution agreements shortly.
“There is a new broadcast television landscape emerging and it resembles the origins of basic cable years ago,” Wolf said. “Distributing demo-specific networks Escape and Grit alongside the successful Bounce TV can help station groups and owners grow and prosper in this new world as consumers combine over-the-air television with over-the-top services. Raycom understands this very well and was the first station group to sign on to carry Bounce TV. We are thrilled to partner with them again on Grit and Escape.”
“We believe in what Katz Broadcasting is doing in creating demo-specific networks for the broadcast digital landscape,” said Raycom President-CEO Paul McTear. “Bounce TV has been a tremendous success in our local markets and has allowed us to better serve our communities. We anticipate that Escape and Grit will do the same.”
Escape and Grit are part of Katz Broadcasting, a new company established by current Bounce TV founder-COO and former Turner Broadcasting executive Jonathan Katz, who is President and CEO while continuing as COO of Bounce TV.