EW Scripps has acquired Katz broadcast networks for a net purchase of $292 million.
The move comes just days after its former sister company was bought by Discovery Communications.
Scripps stated that Katz networks represent to valuable real estate, consistent with its strategy to remain a leader in the TV landscape. The business, which has about 130 employees, will remain based in the Atlanta area and founder Jonathan Katz will continue to lead the acquired company. Katz owns a number of thematic networks — such as Bounce TV, Grit, Escape and Laff — which collectively have a reach of more than 80 per cent of all US households.
The deal is expected to close on 2nd October 2017.
Bounce TV is claimed to be the first and only African-American broadcast network on US TV, airing sports, original dramas, movies and specials, while Grit targets men ages 25-54 with programming that features Western, war and action movies. Escape is designed for women ages 25-54 with stories of investigation and mystery, while Laff is claimed to be the US’ first over-the air network with around-the-clock comedy.
“In today’s fragmented television ecosystem, a growing number of viewers are consuming content from new over-the-air networks as a complement to over-the-top services,” said Scripps chairman, president and CEO Rich Boehne.
“The entrepreneurs at Katz were among the first to take full advantage of this resurgence in over-the-air viewing. We were early investors in the company, and it’s a strategy and team we know well. Acquiring these innovators will increase our opportunity to serve the nation’s largest advertisers, who see tremendous value in the networks’ content and the large, targeted audiences they draw.”