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Laff (TV network)

Laff
Type Digital multicast television network
Country United States
Availability Nationwide via OTA digital television (covering 55% of the U.S.)[1]
Founded January 18, 2015 (2015-01-18)
by Jonathan Katz
Slogan You know you want to.
Owner Laff Media, LLC
Parent Katz Broadcasting, LLC
Key people
Jonathan Katz
(president/CEO/founder, Katz Broadcasting)
Launch date
April 15, 2015 (2015-04-15)
Picture format
480i (SDTV)[2]
Affiliates laff.com

Laff is an American digital multicast television network that is owned by Katz Broadcasting under the subsidiary Laff Media, LLC. The network specializes in comedy programming, featuring a mix of feature films and archived sitcoms, and is targeted at adults between the ages of 18 and 49 years old.

The network, which transmits in 480i standard definition, is available in many media markets via the digital subchannels of broadcast television stations and on the digital tiers of select cable providers through a local affiliate of the network.

History

Katz Broadcasting (a media company owned by Jonathan Katz, co-founder and chief operating officer of Bounce TV, which had launched the gender-targeted multicast networks Escape and Grit) announced the pending launch of Laff on January 18, 2015, with a formal launch scheduled for April 15, intending to coincide with the Internal Revenue Service's deadline for Americans to file their tax returns, for the matter being that, as Broadcasting & Cable writer Jon Lafayette noted in a report on Laff's launch, "people will need something to make them smile."[3]

Katz announced that stations owned by ABC Owned Television Stations – the owned-and-operated station group of the American Broadcasting Company (ABC) – and the E. W. Scripps Company would serve as the network's initial charter affiliates.[4][5] Laff launched at 8:00 a.m. Eastern Time on April 15, with the 2008 romantic comedy film My Mom's New Boyfriend as its inaugural program.

Programming

Laff's comedy-centered programming will consist of a mix of theatrically released feature films, as well as off-network sitcoms from the 1980s to the 2000s.[6] The network will also provide additional humorous content via the network's website and mobile app.[7] Katz Broadcasting indicated that Laff would set itself apart from its multicast competitors by carrying more contemporary programming content, in contrast to the reruns of series from the 1980s and earlier commonly found on other over-the-air networks which rely on acquired content (such as Me-TV, Antenna TV and the upcoming Decades).[4]

Movies

Laff's daily schedule includes feature films, which air on Sundays from 7:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m.; Monday through Fridays from 6:00 to 8:00 a.m., 12:00 to 4:00 p.m., 10:00 p.m. to 12:00 a.m. and 3:00 to 5:00 a.m.; Saturdays from 8:00 to 10:00 p.m. and 1:00 to 7:00 p.m.; and weekends from 10:00 p.m. to 6:00 a.m. Eastern Time (sometimes starting earlier or ending later depending on the length of the films), with the film roster incorporating releases focusing on varying comedic subgenres from the 1980s to the 2000s.

Laff's program schedule will rely primarily on an extensive array of comedic films (totaling approximately 250 titles) from the libraries of three film studios by virtue of multi-year program licensing agreements announced one month before the network's launch on March 17, 2015: Walt Disney Studios (including films from Walt Disney Pictures and Touchstone Pictures, and distributed through Disney–ABC Domestic Television), Miramax (distributed through Trifecta Entertainment and Media) and Sony Pictures Entertainment (including releases from Columbia Pictures and Tri-Star Pictures, and distributed through Sony Pictures Television).[8][9][10]

Television series

In addition to films, much of Laff's programming lineup will consist of reruns of situation comedies originally aired between the 1980s and the early 2000s. On February 13, 2015, Laff acquired the syndication rights to five sitcoms – The Drew Carey Show, Night Court (which was not included in the launch schedule), Ellen, Empty Nest and Grace Under Fire – through respective deals with Warner Bros. Television, Disney-ABC Domestic Television and Carsey-Werner Distribution for its initial schedule.[11] Spin City (acquired through Paramount Worldwide Television Licensing & Distribution) was later added as part of the network's initial lineup.[12] Drew Carey's Improv-A-Ganza was also included on the launch schedule.

List of programs

Affiliates

As of April 2015, Laff has current or pending affiliation agreements with television stations in 33 media markets encompassing 21 states (including stations in 15 of the 50 largest Nielsen markets), covering 50% of the United States.[13] The network is offered to prospective affiliates through subchannel leasing arrangements, in which the network handles all responsibility in selling advertising inventory.[5] Affiliates have the option of transmitting the network in the 16:9 or 4:3 aspect ratio, depending on the bandwidth needed to deliver high definition content over the station's main channel and whether it carries any other subchannels in HD.

ABC Owned Television Stations initially planned to launch Laff on all eight ABC owned-and-operated stations; the network will replace standard-definition simulcasts of the Live Well Network on the third digital subchannel of each of the stations, with Live Well remaining on their second subchannels in high-definition (ABC parent The Walt Disney Company had originally announced in June 2014 that it would shut down Live Well, before reversing course in January 2015 and announcing that the network would remain on ABC's O&Os). The network also signed an affiliation agreement with the E. W. Scripps Company, which would carry the network at launch in 13 markets served by a station owned by the group (Scripps' agreement currently does not include stations that the company acquired from Journal Communications in April 2015).[4][5] The two initial deals gave Laff affiliate clearances in 35% of all U.S. markets, and 13 of the 30 largest television markets (including New York City, Los Angeles, Chicago, Denver, Detroit and Houston).

The network immediately sought carriage on the digital subchannels of television stations owned by other broadcasting companies. On March 13, 2015, Katz Broadcasting announced an affiliation deal with the Cox Media Group to carry Laff on seven of its stations (including WSB-TV in Atlanta and WFXT in Boston), expanding its initial reach to 47% of the country;[14] the following week on March 20, as part of a multi-network affiliation agreement with Katz, the Meredith Corporation announced that it would carry the network on its stations in Portland, Oregon (KPTV) and Hartford (WFSB).[15][16] Later that month, WSNN-LD in Sarasota signed on as a charter affiliate through a deal with its owner LDB Media.

List of affiliates

City of license/market Station Virtual
channel
[13]
Owner Affiliation date[3] Notes

Arizona

Phoenix KNXV-TV 15.3 E. W. Scripps Company April 15, 2015

California

Fresno KFSN-TV 30.3 ABC Owned Television Stations April 15, 2015
Los Angeles KABC-TV 7.3
San Diego KGTV 10.2 E. W. Scripps Company
San FranciscoOakland
San Jose
KGO-TV 7.3 ABC Owned Television Stations

Colorado

Denver KMGH-TV 7.3 E. W. Scripps Company April 15, 2015

Connecticut

HartfordNew Haven WFSB 3.3 Meredith Corporation April 15, 2015[15]

Florida

Orlando WFTV 9.3 Cox Media Group April 15, 2015
Sarasota WSNN-LD 26.3 LDB Media
TampaSt. Petersburg WFTS-TV 28.2 E. W. Scripps Company
West Palm Beach WPTV-TV 5.3

Georgia

Atlanta WSB-TV 2.3 Cox Media Group April 15, 2015[17]

Illinois

Chicago WLS-TV 7.3 ABC Owned Television Stations April 15, 2015

Indiana

Indianapolis WRTV 6.3 E. W. Scripps Company April 15, 2015

Maryland

Baltimore WMAR-TV 2.2 E. W. Scripps Company April 15, 2015

Massachusetts

Boston WFXT 25.3 Cox Media Group April 15, 2015

Michigan

Detroit WXYZ-TV 7.3 E. W. Scripps Company April 15, 2015

Missouri

Kansas City KSHB-TV 41.3 E. W. Scripps Company April 15, 2015

Nebraska

Lincoln KLKN 8.4 Citadel Communications April 15, 2015

New York

Buffalo WKBW-TV 7.2 E. W. Scripps Company April 28, 2015[18] Launch was originally planned for April 15, 2015, but was delayed due to technical problems with the transmission equipment for the station's subchannels.[19]
New York WABC-TV 7.3 ABC Owned Television Stations April 15, 2015[5]

North Carolina

Charlotte WSOC-TV 9.2 Cox Media Group April 15, 2015
Greensboro WCWG 20.3 Lockwood Broadcast Group June 1, 2015
RaleighDurham WTVD 11.3 ABC Owned Television Stations April 15, 2015

North Dakota

Fargo KRDK-TV 4.8 Major Market Broadcasting April 2015

Ohio

Cincinnati WCPO-TV 9.3 E. W. Scripps Company April 15, 2015
Cleveland WEWS-TV 5.3
Dayton WHIO-TV 7.3 Cox Media Group

Oklahoma

Tulsa KJRH-TV 2.3 E. W. Scripps Company April 15, 2015

Oregon

Portland KPTV 12.3 Meredith Corporation April 15, 2015[15]

Pennsylvania

Philadelphia WPVI-TV 6.3 ABC Owned Television Stations April 15, 2015
Pittsburgh WPXI 11.3 Cox Media Group

Texas

Houston KTRK-TV 13.3 ABC Owned Television Stations April 15, 2015

Washington

Seattle KIRO-TV 7.3 Cox Media Group April 15, 2015

See also

  • Escape – sister digital broadcast network owned by Katz Broadcasting, featuring true-crime and mystery programs aimed at women.
  • Grit – sister digital broadcast network owned by Katz Broadcasting, featuring action and western programs aimed at men.

References

  1. ^ Downey, Kevin (18 May 2015). "Scripps in Multi-Net Deal For Katz Diginets". tvnewscheck.com. Retrieved 28 May 2015. Laff in 64 million households/55%. 
  2. ^ "Local HDTV Info and Reception > Charlotte, NC - OTA". AVS Forum. March 27, 2015. 
  3. ^ a b Jon Lafayette (January 18, 2015). "Exclusive: Comedy Multicast Net Launching on ABC, Scripps". Broadcasting & Cable (NewBay Media). Retrieved January 28, 2015. 
  4. ^ a b c Cynthia Littleton (January 18, 2015). "ABC Sticks with Live Well Digital Channel, Adds Comedy Net". Variety (Penske Media Corporation). Retrieved January 28, 2015. 
  5. ^ a b c d Alan Pergament (January 20, 2015). "Ch.7 to add comedy network called LAFF in mid-April on sub-channel". The Buffalo News (BH Media Group, LLC). Retrieved January 28, 2015. 
  6. ^ Robert Channick (January 19, 2015). "Laff comedy network to launch on WLS-Ch.7 digital subchannel". Chicago Tribune (Tribune Publishing). Retrieved January 28, 2015. 
  7. ^ David Bloom (January 18, 2015). "LAFF Comedy Broadcast Network To Launch April 15 in 21 Markets". Deadline.com (Penske Media Corporation). Retrieved January 28, 2015. 
  8. ^ "LAFF Announces First Film Licensing Agreements". TVNewsCheck (NewsCheck Media). March 17, 2015. 
  9. ^ Denise Petski (March 17, 2015). "LAFF Sets Film Licensing Deals With Sony Pictures TV, Disney & Miramax". Deadline.com (Penske Media Corporation). Retrieved April 14, 2015. 
  10. ^ Jon Lafayette (March 17, 2015). "LAFF Makes Rights Deals to Air 250 Movie Comedies". Broadcasting & Cable (NewBay Media). Retrieved April 14, 2015. 
  11. ^ "LAFF Comedy Diginet Lands Five Sitcoms". TVNewsCheck (NewsCheck Media). February 13, 2015. 
  12. ^ "Laff Diginet Rolls Out On Multiple Platforms". TVNewsCheck (NewsCheck Media). April 15, 2015. 
  13. ^ a b "Stations for Network - Laff". RabbitEars. Retrieved January 28, 2015. 
  14. ^ Jon Lafayette (March 13, 2015). "Cox Gets Joke And Gives Viewers LAFF". Broadcasting & Cable. NewBay Media. 
  15. ^ a b c "Meredith To Add Three Katz Diginets". TVNewsCheck (NewsCheck Media). March 20, 2015. 
  16. ^ Jon Lafayette (March 20, 2015). "Meredith To Carry Grit, Escape, LAFF Networks". Broadcasting & Cable (NewBay Media). Retrieved April 14, 2015. 
  17. ^ Rodney Ho (March 17, 2015). "WSB-TV HD channel picks up Atlanta-based LAFF comedy channel". Atlanta Journal-Constitution (Cox Enterprises). Retrieved April 14, 2015. 
  18. ^ Alan Pergament (April 30, 2015). "LAFF and Escape arrive; DIY's "American Rehab: Buffalo" may arrive soon". The Buffalo News (BH Media Group, LLC). Retrieved April 30, 2015. 
  19. ^ Alan Pergament (April 17, 2015). "New comedy network premiere delayed; WGR's Capaccio replaces Buscaglia". The Buffalo News (BH Media Group, LLC). Retrieved April 20, 2015. 

External links