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.
Katz Broadcasting To Launch Laff Diginet
Katz Broadcasting is launching what it calls “the country’s first-ever, over-the-air broadcast television network devoted to comedy around-the-clock” with the premiere of Laff on April 15.
Laff will feature a mix of contemporary off-network sitcoms and popular theatrical motion pictures, with a target audience of adults 18-49. The Laff brand will cross multiple platforms, with the linear network carried by television stations and corresponding cable carriage while companion digital content will be available at Laff.com and via the Laff app.
Katz Broadcasting also announced two major distribution agreements for Laff:
The ABC Owned Television Stations will carry Laff in New York (WABC), Los Angeles (KABC), Chicago (WLS), Philadelphia (WPVI), San Francisco (KGO), Houston (KTRK), Raleigh, N.C. (WTVD) and Fresno, Calif. (KFSN).
The E.W. Scripps Co. will also launch 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, Okla. (KJRH).
These initial agreements will make Laff available to more than 35% of the country, with more distribution additions expected to be announced shortly.
The ABC O&Os will continue to air Live Well Network, its homegrown lifestyle network, in addition to Laff.
“LAFF will be an excellent addition to our subchannel lineup,” said Rebecca Campbell, president of the ABC Owned Television Station Group. “We are also committed to keeping Live Well Network up and running in our own markets, so that we can continue to provide unique local programming and pursue corporate synergy opportunities.”
Laff joins Grit, a multicast network targeting men, and Escape, designed for women, in the Katz Broadcasting portfolio. Katz Broadcasting was established in 2014 by Bounce TV founder/COO and former Turner Broadcasting executive Jonathan Katz.
“In launching three television networks within ten months, we are clearly very bullish on the renaissance of free broadcast television,” commented Katz. “This burgeoning new broadcast ecosystem resembles the early days of basic cable, expanding to offer viewers diverse new choices and complementing the growing number of over-the-top subscription services.”