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.”
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.
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.