A new local TV-based digital network -- LAFF, from Katz Broadcasting -- will launch as a 24-hour all-comedy programming channel.
The new network, which will start up in April, will offer up a mix of off-network sitcom and comedy movies targeted to 18- to-49-year-old viewers. Over the last year, Katz started up two other digital networks -- GRIT and Escape.
Last year, Katz started up GRIT, a digital broadcast network targeting men, and Escape, an over-the-air network designed for women. Katz Broadcasting was created in 2014 by Jonathan Katz, Bounce TV founder and former Turner Broadcasting executive.
Station groups from ABC and E. W. Scripps Co. will make up the launch TV stations for the network. ABC will carry the network on its eight owned stations -- including New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Philadelphia, and San Francisco. Scripps will carry LAFF on 13 stations -- including Detroit, Phoenix, Tampa, Denver, and Cleveland.
These initial agreements will make LAFF available to 35% of U.S. TV homes.
While adding LAFF, ABC says its digital network Live Well Network will continue on another local digital signal on eight ABC owned stations.
Rebecca Campbell, president of the ABC Owned Television Station Group, stated: "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."