While the Live Well Network will continue for the time being (past its announced cut-off date), KTRK and other ABC owned stations will launch the LAFF network on .3.
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 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.
Katz Broadcasting also announced two major distribution agreements for LAFF:
The ABC Owned Television Stations will carry LAFF in New York (WABC-TV), Los Angeles (KABC-TV), Chicago (WLS-TV), Philadelphia (WPVI-TV), San Francisco (KGO-TV), Houston (KTRK-TV), Raleigh (WTVD-TV) and Fresno (KFSN-TV).
The E.W. Scripps Company will also launch LAFF on its stations in Detroit (WXYZ-TV), Phoenix (KNXV-TV), Tampa (WFTS-TV), Denver (KMGH-TV), Cleveland (WEWS-TV), Indianapolis (WRTV-TV), Baltimore (WMAR-TV), San Diego (KGTV-TV), Kansas City (KSHB-TV), Cincinnati (WCPO-TV), West Palm Beach (WPTV-TV), Buffalo (WKBW-TV) and Tulsa (KJRH-TV).
These initial agreements will make LAFF available to more than 35% of the country, with more distribution additions expected to be announced shortly.
LAFF joins GRIT, the first broadcast network targeting men, and ESCAPE, the first over-the-air network 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. Katz is President and CEO of the company while also still serving as COO of Bounce TV, the nation's first and only over-the-air television network for African Americans.
"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."
"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," commented Katz Broadcasting Chief Distribution Officer Jeffrey Wolf. "We look forward to welcoming more station groups to the LAFF family."
LAFF expects to make more announcements in the coming weeks.