The deal covers 18 markets, makes multicast networks Grit available in 93 million households, Escape in 70 million and Laff in 64 million.
Katz Broadcasting has boosted distribution of its upstart digital over-the-air networks Grit, Escape and LAFF with a multimarket deal with E. W. Scripps television stations covering 18 markets, which brings Grit to 93 million homes and 80% of the U.S., Escape in 70 million homes/60% and Laff in 64 million households/55%.
In the multi-year agreement, Scripps will launch:
- Escape on its stations in: Detroit (WMYD); Indianapolis (WRTV); Kansas City (KMCI); Milwaukee (WTMJ); Cincinnati (WCPO); Buffalo, N.Y. (WKBW); Fort Myers, Fla. (WFTX); Green Bay, Wis. (WACY); Omaha, Neb. (KMTV); Boise, Idaho (KIVI); and Twin Falls, Idaho (KSAW).
- Laff in Nashville (WTVF); Milwaukee (WTMJ); Las Vegas (KTNV); Fort Myers, Fla. (WFTX); Green Bay, Wis. (WGBA); Tucson, Ariz. (KGUN); Omaha, Neb. (KMTV); Boise, Idaho (KIVI) and Twin Falls, Idaho (KSAW).
- Grit in Tampa, Fla. (WFTS); Kansas City (KSHB); Las Vegas (KTNV); and Green Bay, Wis. (WACY).
“Grit, Escape and Laff are unique and attractive demo-specific networks that will add great value to our stations in these markets, as we’ve seen with our current Laff distribution,” said Brian Lawlor, SVP of the Scripps broadcast division. “With the acquisition of the Journal stations now complete, we wanted to expand that distribution even further.”
Scripps already carries Laff on its stations in Detroit (WXYZ); Phoenix (KNXV); Tampa (WFTS); Denver (KMGH); Cleveland (WEWS); Indianapolis (WRTV); Baltimore (WMAR); San Diego (KGTV); Kansas City (KSHB); Cincinnati (WCPO); West Palm Beach (WPTV); Buffalo (WKBW) and Tulsa (KJRH).
Action-oriented Grit targets men 25-54, and is built around the classic male hero archetype with a heavy focus on westerns, war and action movies. Escape targets women 25-54 with a mix of theatrical movies, and off-network series anchored in stories of crime and mystery. Grit and Escape launched eight months ago.
Laff, which debuted on April 15, features a mix of contemporary off-network sitcoms and popular movies, with a target audience of adults 18-49.
“Scripps is a great distribution partner that understands very well that demo-targeted networks like Laff, Grit and Escape will help their stations grow and prosper,” said Jeffrey Wolf, chief distribution officer of Katz Broadcasting.
Katz Broadcasting was established in 2014 by Bounce TV founder-COO and former Turner Broadcasting executive Jonathan Katz. Katz is president-CEO of the company while also still serving as COO of African-American targeted Bounce TV.