Plans are under way to launch two new broadcast channels this summer, with a veteran TV executive spearheading the operation. B&C reports that Jonathan Katz, who helped launch the African-American focused broadcast net Bounce TV, is behind the plans.
"Katz, who will remain COO of Bounce TV, has formed Katz Broadcasting, which plans to light up Escape, the first broadcast network for women, and Grit, aimed at men, this summer," the story reports. "Escape and Grit have carriage agreements with Univision that cover 30% of the country. Initial markets include New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Dallas, Houston and Miami. Univision is also a key distributor of Bounce TV."
Additional distribution pacts are expected in the near future.
"For Katz, a former Turner Broadcasting executive, Bounce TV has proved that there’s a successful business model in multicasting," the report notes. "And like when cable was still new, there’s room in the market for networks that target specific demographics."
Said Katz: "Free broadcast television is experiencing a renaissance in this new age of media disruption, as more and more consumers combine over-the-air with over-the-top services. Distributing Escape and Grit alongside successful demo-specific networks like Bounce TV makes the burgeoning new broadcast ecosystem closely resemble the early days of basic cable, providing viewers diverse new choices."
Escape hopes its target demo of women 25-54 will be drawn to its crime and mystery content, which the network says will be “daring and sexy.” B&C adds: "Programming will include theatrical movies and off-net series with heroines trying to evade peril that will give female viewers a chance to escape their daily cares."
"Grit will be built around the classic male hero archetype with war and action oriented theatrical movies and off-net series that feature stars like John Wayne, Clint Eastwood and Chuck Norris," B&C adds.
Said Chief Distribution Officer Jeffrey Wolf, who's also executive VP of network distribution for Bounce TV: "We are being very strategic and selective when determining our partners for these new networks. Bounce TV has enjoyed an extremely successful relationship with Univision and we couldn't be more thrilled to call Univision the launch group for both new networks. We look forward to another mutually beneficial partnership for many years to come."