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.

JESSELL AT LARGE

Scripps’ Katz Buy Puts Diginets On The Map

The $302 million purchase of Bounce, Grit, Escape and Laff is “an authentication of the entire multicasting business,” which has needed a feel-good story. The deal also confirms Scripps’ willingness to take some chances in a TV station industry that has been more about consolidation than innovation.

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.

DMA 68: GREEN BAY-APPLETON, WI

WFRV Adding Bounce TV To Its Multicast Lineup

Nexstar Broadcasting Group’s CBS affiliate WFRV Green Bay-Appleton, Wis. (DMA 68), said today it plans to introduce a new channel on Sept. 1. Katz Broadcasting’s Bounce TV will launch on ch. 5.2. Commenting on the launch, Mike Smith, the station’s VP-GM, said: “WFRV Local 5 is dedicated to anticipating the evolving needs and serving the […]

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.

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.

‘Night Court’ Back In Session On Laff Diginet

Katz Broadcasting’s comedy-themed multicast network Laff will add Night Court to its lineup starting Monday, Jan. 4, 2016. The show was a staple of NBC’s primetime lineup from 1984 to 1992. Laff, which licensed all nine seasons and 193 episodes of the series from Warner Bros. Domestic Television Distribution, will present back-to-back episodes weeknights from […]

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.”

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.

DMA 52 (BUFFALO, NY)

Equipment Problems Delay Laff Debut On WKBW

Laff Diginet Rolls Out On Multiple Platforms

Katz Broadcasting’s comedy-driven multicast network makes its debut today. It also licenses Spin City, introduces Laff.com  and a free Laff TV app in Apple iTunes store for iPhones and Google Play Store for Android devices.

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.

DMAS 7, 8, 14, 18, 22, 24 & 64

Cox To Carry Laff Diginet In Seven Markets

Atlanta, Boston, Seattle, Orlando, Pittsburgh, Charlotte and Dayton are the latest additions to the Katz Broadcasting network that debuts on April 15.

LAFF Comedy Diginet Lands Five Sitcoms

The Drew Carey Show and Ellen will be among the sitcoms the Katz Broadcasting-owned comedy network will air when it launches on April 15. LAFF currently has distribution deals with the ABC Owned and Scripps station groups.

DIGINETS

Katz Broadcasting To Launch Laff Diginet

The comedy-driven broadcast television network will debut on April 15 on ABC Owned Television Stations in New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Philadelphia, San Francisco, Houston, Raleigh, N.C., and Fresno, Calif., as well as Scripps stations in 13 markets. The ABC O&Os will also continue to air the Live Well Network.

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.

Jim Weiss Named Comm. SVP For Bounce, Katz

Longtime television industry public relations executive Jim Weiss today was named senior vice president, corporate communications for Bounce Media and Katz Broadcasting. Weiss will oversee all public relations, publicity and media relations efforts for Bounce TV, the over-the-air TV network for African Americans, as well as Katz Broadcasting  female-centric and male-centric diginets, Escape (women) and […]

Escape Adds Three True Crime Series

The women-focused diginets has made deals for 538 episodes of Snapped from NBCUniversal/Oxygen Media; Unsolved Mysteries from Cosgrove/Meurer Productions; and Forensic Files from Trifecta Entertainment & Media. The new network is set to launch later this summer.

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.

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.

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.