It’ll be Tax Day, but Katz Broadcasting is hoping Americans in 21 markets will find something to laugh about with the launch April 15 of LAFF, what Katz calls the nation’s first comedy-driven broadcast network,
The network will premiere on ABC-owned TV stations in eight markets – including Los Angeles, Chicago and New York – and 13 more on stations owned by E.W. Scripps, including Detroit, Phoenix and Tampa. All told, the agreements put the channel in front of 35 percent of the country.
The channel will mix recent off-network sitcoms and feature-length films, and target adults 18 to 49. It will be part of the broadcast signal of the participating stations and on cable. Digital content will be available on LAFF.com and through a LAFF app.
Katz previously announced similar broadcast networks GRIT – which targets men – and ESCAPE – which targets women. Katz is headed by former Turner Broadcasting executive Jonathan Katz, who founded and continues to also run Bounce TV, which targets African Americans.
“In launching three television networks within ten months, we are clearly very bullish on the renaissance of free broadcast television,” Katz said. “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.”
The ABC Owned TV Station Group sent out a quick release saying that LAFF will run on its D3 subchannel and that the Live Well Network, though ending its syndication availability, will continue to run on the ABC stations’ D2 subchannel.