DIGINETS

E.W. Scripps Closes $302M Katz Purchase

Since Scripps was already a 5% owner in a portion of the business, its net purchase price is $292 million for the multicast networks Bounce, Grit, Escape and Laff.

DIGINETS

Univision Renews Distribution Deal With Katz

The new agreement extends carriage of the Bounce, Escape, Grit and Laff multicast networks through 2024. In addition, Univision will add Bounce in Washington on Sept. 30.

Scripps Buys Katz Diginets For $302 Million

Scripps was already a 5% owner in a portion of the business, so its net purchase price is $292 million for Bounce, Grit, Escape and Laff. Founder Jonathan Katz will continue to lead the Katz networks business. The company, with about 130 employees, will remain based in the Atlanta area.

DMA 53

WKBW Buffalo Adds Multicast Network Grit TV

MULTICASTING 2017 | PART 1

Optimistic Outlook On Multicast’s Prospects

While diginets still have some hurdles to face — such as rising program license fees — they have captured the attention of general-market advertisers and they are looking forward to the rollout of the upcoming ATSC 3.0 broadcast standard with its expanded capacity. What’s more, the multicast networks are relieved that the FCC’s incentive auction and ongoing repack of the TV band isn’t affecting their station carriage deals to any significant extent.

Susan Malfa To Head Sales At Katz Diginets

The veteran cable net sales executive will oversee sales at Bounce, Escape, Grit and Laff.

Where The Real TV Growth Is: Down The Dial

The Big Five plus Univision have all suffered ratings declines with 18-49s this season. But Telemundo and a host of smaller networks are growing.

MULTICASTING 2016: PART 1

Diginets Keep Growing, Despite Auction Cloud

While the spectrum auction and repack could raise challenges, most multicast network players say they’re bullish on the business, especially with the likely adoption of ATSC 3.0. Diginets keep adding affiliates and expanding coverage and the top ones have begun attracting general market advertising. This is Part 1 of a four-part special report on multicasting. Parts 2 and 3 also appear today. Part 4, running Thursday morning, will focus on the technology of compression and channel sharing. You can read the other stories here.

Escape, Grit And Laff Add More Markets

E.W. Scripps and Cox Media are among the five station groups launching the Katz Broadcasting diginets.

Katz, Bounce Boost Diginet Distribution

The expansion comes from multi-year deals for Bounce TV, Escape, Grit and Laff with Nexstar, Mission and White Knight.

DMA 27: INDIANAPOLIS

WRTV Drops Local Sports Net For Grit Diginet

Scripps-owned ABC affiliate WRTV Indianapolis (DMA 27) is canceling its Hometown Sports & News (HTSN) network on digital ch. 6.2 and is replacing it with Grit, a multicast network from Katz Broadcasting, effective Oct. 1. For five years, HTSN provided local sports to over-the-air audiences and viewers watching on Comcast and Brighthouse cable systems. Grit will deliver […]

DIGINETS

Katz’s Escape Adds Original Programming

Katz Broadcasting’s Escape multicast network is branching into original programming with a brace of true-crime series and has acquired two other similarly themed programs. The company also has a deal with Nielsen for Escape and its sibling diginet Grit to be rated C3 nationally.

Calandria Meadows Named Digital VP Of Katz Diginets

Social media veteran Calandria Meadows has been named to the newly-created position of vice president, social media and digital content for Katz Broadcasting’s multicast networks Grit, Escape and Laff as well as Bounce TV. In this role, Meadows will oversee the strategic social media presence and digital initiatives of the diginets. Meadows is based in […]

Laff, Grit, Escape Diginets Add New Markets

With the additions for the Katz Broadcasting networks, Laff climbs to 76.3% of U.S. and 86.5 million homes, Grit to 88%/99 million HHs and Escape to 78%/88.4 million.

Tribune, Media General Add Grit, Escape, Laff

The agreements for the three Katz Broadcasting diginets drive Grit to 86% of U.S. and 97 million households, Escape to 68%/77 million and Laff to 64%/72.4 million.

EXECUTIVE SESSION WITH JONATHAN KATZ

OTA The Bedrock Of Katz’s Growing Diginets

Jonathan Katz, who oversees the Bounce TV, Grit, Escape and Laff multicast networks, says that all four are growing viewers and will eventually all offer at least some original programming. The brands were designed to fill a consumer need, he explains, “while helping broadcasters monetize their spectrum and do what they do best, which is serve and entertain viewers in their communities….So over-the-air TV to us is not just the original over the top with the highest reach, but it’s also the original skinny bundle at the best price point imaginable for a consumer: free.”

Grit, Escape To Become Nationally Rated

Nielsen will measure both multicast networks and Marathon Ventures is tapped to lead new sales efforts for the Katz Broadcasting duo.

Grit Lands Rights To ‘Walker, Texas Ranger’

Male-targeted diginet Grit has licensed the broadcast television rights to all eight seasons and 203 episodes of Walker, Texas Ranger starring Chuck Norris in a multi-year agreement with Sony Pictures Television. Grit will debut Walker, Texas Ranger in July and will air episodes back-to-back Monday through Friday nights between 8 and 10 p.m. ET. “Walker, […]

MULTICASTING 2015

Narrowing Focus Marks Newest Diginets

As the market for subchannel options matures, there’s a new wave of multicast networks with significant distribution, tightly focused brands and programming and, in some cases, a smattering of distinguishing original programming. This is Part Two of a four-part special report on multicasting running this week. Read the other stories here.

Scripps In Multi-Net Deal For Katz Diginets

The deal covers 18 markets, makes multicast networks Grit available in 93 million households, Escape in 70 million and Laff in 64 million.

Meredith To Add Three Katz Diginets

The broadcast group will introduce Grit, Escape and Laff in five major markets, bringing U.S. coverage of the networks to 78% for Grit, 58% for Escape and 50% for Laff, which premieres next month.

Sinclair To Launch Grit Diginet In 47 Markets

The deal drives the new broadcast diginet for men to 73% of U.S. coverage following its August launch.

Grit, Escape Add Sony Pictures Films

The two new diginets from Katz Broadcasting adds 150 films to its library. The deal comes on the heels of the networks’ Aug. 18 launch and movie package purchases from Warner Bros. and NBCUniversal.

Grit, Escape Diginets To Launch Aug. 18

Grit (for men) will open with the Oscar-winning classic High Noon, whilethe  female-targeted Escape will bow with Body Heat.

Cox, Naar named Grit, Escape Programmers

The gender-specific networks have hired Bill Cox to head male-oriented Grit as its SVP of Programming and Walter Naar as the VP of Programming of Escape, which targets women. The networks, scheduled to launch this summer, have also signed deal with Paramount Pictures that allows them to air 200 films.

 

Escape, Grit Diginets Expand Market Reach

Univision to carry both in Washington, San Francisco and Phoenix; Cox adds Grit in Orlando, Escape in Charlotte, both in Tulsa; KJWP to air the two in Philadelphia; and Citadel will launch both in Providence, R.I., and Lincoln, Neb. Both networks are now past 50% U.S. coverage.

Grit & Escape Add 157 NBCU Movies To Library

The new male-centric and female-centric over-the-air broadcast TV networks — Grit (for men) and Escape (for women) — have acquired the television rights to 157 demo-targeted motion pictures in a multiyear licensing agreement with NBCUniversal Television & New Media Distribution. Action-oriented Grit will reach men 25-54 with a heavy focus on western, war and action theatrical motion pictures. […]

MULTICASTING SPECIAL REPORT PART 2

Classic TV Diginets Make The Old New Again

One of the staples of the multicasting universe are networks that offer programming from television and film’s past. While some of the early efforts haven’t survived, there are many that have and more slotted to launch. The diginet with the widest distribution, in fact, is Me-TV, the classic channel from Weigel Broadcasting. This is part 2 of a three-part special report. Read part 1 here.

Raycom To Carry New Escape, Grit Diginets

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.

Grit, Escape Diginets In Warner Bros. Deal

The new channels buy package of 135 movies in advance of the gender-targeted multicast networks’ launches in August.

Two New Diginets To Launch This Summer

The new Katz Broadcasting plans to launch  Escape, aimed at women, and Grit, which will target men. Both will debut on the Univision Television Group, covering 30% of the U.S.