Katz to Launch New U.S. Multicast Comedy Network


ATLANTA: Katz Broadcasting has secured two distribution agreements for its brand-new over-the-air broadcast network dedicated entirely to comedy, LAFF.

The round-the-clock network is set to launch on April 15, airing a mix of contemporary off-network sitcoms and popular theatrical motion pictures. The LAFF brand will cross multiple platforms, with the linear network carried on the signals of local broadcast television stations and corresponding cable carriage, while companion digital content will be available at LAFF.com and via the LAFF app.

Initial agreements for the network are already in place with ABC-owned television stations and the E.W. Scripps Company to deliver LAFF in key markets across the U.S. At launch, the channel will be available in more than 35 percent of the country.

LAFF joins the Katz Broadcasting bouquet of channels that already includes Grit, targeted at men, and Escape, designed for women. Katz Broadcasting was established by former Turner Broadcasting exec Jonathan Katz, who is also the founder of Bounce TV.

"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."

Jeffrey Wolf, Katz Broadcasting’s chief distribution officer, said, "The ABC Owned Television Stations and E.W. Scripps Company stations are among the strongest players in their DMAs, which include the biggest markets in the country. We are thrilled and proud to have these two preeminent groups as our charter distribution partners for LAFF. We look forward to welcoming more station groups to the LAFF family."