ATLANTA, Nov. 16, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- Katz Broadcasting announced major distribution agreements today that will significantly expand the footprints of the company's three emerging television networks GRIT, ESCAPE and LAFF which are seen locally around the country on the signals of local broadcast stations with corresponding cable carriage.
Media General will carry all three networks in multiple markets, covering 16 individual launches, as follows:
- GRIT: Indianapolis (WNDY-TV), Hartford (WCTX), Grand Rapids (WOTV), Austin (KNVA), Albuquerque (KWBQ).
- ESCAPE: Grand Rapids (WXSP), Albuquerque (KASY), Dayton (WDTN), Topeka (KTMJ).
- LAFF: Austin (KBVO), Grand Rapids (WOOD), Albuquerque (KWBQ), Providence (WNAC), Albany NY (WXXA), Knoxville, (WATE), Youngstown (WYFX).
Tribune Media will launch ESCAPE in:
- Seattle (KCPQ-TV)
- St. Louis (KTVI)
- Oklahoma City (KAUT)
- New Orleans (WGNO)
These individual, multi-year agreements are the first for Katz Broadcasting with both companies and come with considerable cable carriage for the networks locally.
Katz Broadcasting also announced even further distribution expansion:
- GRIT and LAFF are both now seen in Salt Lake City on KTMW-TV (Serestar Communications).
- ESCAPE and LAFF are on-the-air in Norfolk on WSKY (Lockwood Broadcasting).
- ESCAPE is now carried in Knoxville by WBXX (Lockwood Broadcasting).
All this growth - 25 launches combined - accelerates the penetration of GRIT to 86% of the United States which equals 97 million homes, ESCAPE to 68% and 77 million households and LAFF to 64% and 72.4 million homes.
"The addition of these powerful stations in so many strong markets widens our already robust and expansive market coverage for our three young networks," said Jeffrey Wolf, Chief Distribution Officer for Katz Broadcasting. "We are thrilled to welcome Media General, Tribune and others as our distribution partners. They join ABC, Univision, Scripps, Sinclair, Raycom, Cox and many of the preeminent station groups in the country who carry GRIT, ESCAPE and LAFF on prime channel locations in their top markets."
GRIT and ESCAPE just completed an overwhelmingly successful 12 months on-the-air, with accelerated growth and expansion among station groups and distribution, advertisers and viewers alike. Both GRIT and ESCAPE recently began to subscribe to Nielsen Media Services and be rated nationally, while simultaneously expanding into general market advertising sales. Action-oriented GRIT targets men 25-54 with a heavy focus on western, war and action theatrical motion pictures and series. ESCAPE reaches women 25-54 with a brand of programming anchored in stories of crime and mystery.
LAFF debuted seven months ago and features a mix of contemporary off-network sitcoms and popular movies. The LAFF brand crosses multiple platforms, with the linear network carried on the signals of local broadcast stations with corresponding cable carriage and digital content being curated, aggregated and available at LAFF.com and on mobile via the LAFF app, which is available for free in the Apple iTunes Store for iPhones and the Google Play Store for Android devices.
Katz Broadcasting was established in 2014 by former Turner Broadcasting executive Jonathan Katz. Katz also still serves as COO of Bounce TV, the fastest-growing African-American targeted network on television.
SOURCE Katz Broadcasting