Raycom Media will carry the country’s first-ever female-centric and male-centric over-the-air broadcast television networks – Escape (For Women) and Grit (For Men) – in multiple markets as part of a new distribution deal with Katz Broadcasting announced by Jeffrey Wolf, Chief Distribution Officer for Escape and Grit.
Escape will target women 25-54 with a mix of theatrical motion pictures and off-network series anchored in stories of crime and mystery. Action-oriented Grit will reach men 25-54 and be built around the classic male hero archetype with a heavy focus on western, war and action theatrical motion pictures. Both networks will launch this summer.
This is the second major distribution agreement for the just-announced Escape and Grit. Univision Television Group has already committed to carry the two new networks in New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Dallas, Houston, Miami and others. The Raycom owned-and-operated stations will drive the current coverage of both Escape and Grit to 45% of all U.S. television households. The two networks will announce more distribution agreements shortly.
Markets where Raycom will carry one or both of the networks include Cleveland/Akron, OH, Charlotte, NC, Cincinnati, OH, West Palm Beach, FL, Birmingham, AL, Memphis, TN, Louisville, KY, Knoxville, TN, Honolulu, HI, Tucson, AZ, Columbia, SC, Huntsville, AL and others.
“There is a new broadcast television landscape emerging and it resembles the origins of basic cable years ago. Distributing demo-specific networks Escape and Grit alongside the successful Bounce TV can help station groups and owners grow and prosper in this new world as consumers combine over-the-air television with over-the-top services,” said Wolf. “Raycom understands this very well and was the first station group to sign on to carry Bounce TV. We are thrilled to partner with them again on Grit and Escape.”
“We believe in what Katz Broadcasting is doing in creating demo-specific networks for the broadcast digital landscape. Bounce TV has been a tremendous success in our local markets and has allowed us to better serve our communities. We anticipate that Escape and Grit will do the same,” commented Raycom president and CEO Paul McTear.
Escape and Grit are part of Katz Broadcasting, a new company established by current Bounce TV founder/COO and former Turner Broadcasting executive Jonathan Katz, who serves as President and CEO while continuing as COO of Bounce TV.
Escape and Grit are expanding their programming as well as their distribution. Just last week they acquired the television rights to 135 demo-targeted motion pictures in a multi-year licensing agreement with Warner Bros. Domestic Television Distribution. Warner Bros. drama and thriller titles headed to Escape include Body Heat, Presumed Innocent, Disclosure, Misery, Dead Calm, Malice, Dolores Claiborne, Star 80 and more. Among the stars and titles going to Grit in the WBDTD agreement: Clint Eastwood (Sudden Impact, Kelly’s Heroes, Bronco Billy); John Wayne (Cahill, U.S. Marshall, Chisum, The Cowboys); Sylvester Stallone (Cobra, Demolition Man, Victory); Jackie Chan (Rumble in the Bronx, Jackie Chan’s First Strike) and more.
Raycom Media owns 43 television stations in 35 markets and 17 states including Hawaii.