Scripps' Bounce TV May Be Sold: Will Legacy TV Networks Also Bounce?

Good news for those local TV station-based digital networks. Those now veteran channels could fetch high valuations at a linear TV network.

The not-to-good news is that this may be the best it can get.

One of the large TV station groups, E.W. Scripps, has hired a financial advisor to evaluate outside interest in acquiring Bounce TV, the over-the-air network geared toward African-Americans.

This decision was made by Scripps CEO Adam Symson, as revealed in a report on CNBC. Analysts estimate the network could go for around $350 million or so. 

A little history: Bounce TV started up in 2011. Then, in 2017, Scripps bought Katz Networks -- some five networks including Bounce for 2017 -- for $302 million.



So the deal for Bounce alone would be a net positive.

The Katz deal consisted of four national networks — Bounce, Grit, Escape and Laff — each reaching more than 80% of all U.S. households.

Bounce has been one of the major success stories where major TV stations groups used their local TV stations strength-- via their local digital over the air signals -- to create these new over-the-air TV networks -- all to expand their efforts around generation of new sources of advertising -- national TV brand advertising revenue.

Scripps operates more than 60 stations in more than 40 U.S. markets.

News of a possible purchase of Bounce TV by outside parties comes after Paramount Global turned down offers to sell its BET Media Group -- which is the home of longtime cable TV network, BET, which like Bounce, also targets African-American viewers. The rumored price tag for the group ranged from $2 billion to $3.4 billion. 

Timing of a proposed deal for legacy TV networks -- broadcast, cable, and otherwise -- comes amid questions about the future existence of steadily declining linear TV networks in terms of viewership and advertising revenues

Digitally-based local TV station networks such as  Bounce, Grit, Escape, and Laff have been around for a decade-and-a-half now.

Many investors believe all linear TV networks -- cable, broadcast and otherwise -- will be continually threatened by streamers and other connected TV services. 

Other investors, linear TV proponents, believe there is room for over the air linear TV channels to succeed, as “streaming” live, linear TV channels as opposed to “video-on-demand” streaming platforms where viewers  can select and view content on a per TV series or movie basis.

Analysts believe more hybrid models for streaming will allow legacy TV networks to morph into models of new direct-to-consumer entertainment businesses.

Existing linear TV networks will need to make a decision to sell -- or stoically -- continue to find a new way to take old-school viewing to another level.

1 comment about "Scripps' Bounce TV May Be Sold: Will Legacy TV Networks Also Bounce?".
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  1. Ben B from Retired, April 26, 2024 at 11:54 p.m.

    Bounce is on WXMI FOX17 DT3 was on Wood TV about 8 years 2013 to 2021 before moving to Scripps. I wonder if Scripps sells Bounce if Fox17 will drop it they still air Antenna TV even know Nexstar owns the network, Antena TV has been on Fox17 since day 1 when it was a Tribune TV station. Not really a fan of diginets.

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