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.
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.”
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.