Six More TV Companies Commit To Court TV Reboot


WEST PALM BEACH — On Wednesday, May 8, just in time for the 2019-2020 Upfront Week in New York, an arm of The E.W. Scripps Co. will resurrect a very popular TV brand from 25 years ago.

After an 11-year absence, Court TV is readying its rebirth, thanks to Katz Networks. 

On Thursday (5/2), six television broadcasting companies joined Tribune Media, Entravision and Univision (which does use its multicast channels for programming that appeals to Hispanics and the total market, in English), in saying they are adding the digital multicast offering to over-the-air stations in their respective stables.

As previously reported by RBR+TVBR, a full roll-out that includes MVPD distribution (digital multicasts are included on cable systems in many markets), as well as via OTT means — a necessity at the dawn of the 2020s — will mark the return of the Court TV brand to U.S. consumers.

Indeed, it is a reboot, as Katz has acquired Court TV’s intellectual property, including the trademark, Court TV website and complete, original 100,000-hour Court TV library from Turner Broadcasting.

Furthermore, original Court TV anchor Vinnie Politan will serve as lead anchor. Since Court TV, Politan has appeared on Turner’s HLN, on Sirius XM, and was most recently at TEGNA-owned NBC affiliate WXIA-11 in Atlanta.

Former Court TV and CNN producers John Alleva and Scott Tufts will join as vice presidents and managing editors.

Tribune Broadcasting will carry Court TV in 22 markets. However, it is now known that Tribune stations in St. Louis; Norfolk, Virginia; Oklahoma City, Oklahoma; Greensboro, North Carolina and New Orleans will add the network as a digital multicast on Court TV’s May 8 launch date. The remaining 17 Tribune markets – including New York; Los Angeles; Chicago; Philadelphia; Dallas-Fort Worth; Houston and Miami-Fort Lauderdale – will launch Court TV on November 1.

Entravision’s 10 Court TV markets include Boston; Orlando; and Wichita. Univision will carry the network in San Antonio; Albuquerque; and Bakersfield — markets with a high percentage of English fluency among Hispanic audiences.

Eight Scripps markets will carry Court TV, including Tampa-St. Petersburg; Detroit; Cleveland; Cincinnati; Las Vegas; Tulsa, Oklahoma; Green Bay, Wisconsin; and Tucson.

Now, some 48 additional DMAs will offer Court TV as a digital multicast offering.

Meredith Corp. will carry the network in Atlanta (where it owns WGCL-46 and WPCH-17) and at WSMV-4 in Nashville.

TEGNA will launch Court TV in Minneapolis; Charlotte; Jacksonville; Louisville; and Spokane.

Nexstar Media Group is placing Court TV on the DT signals of its stations in nine markets, including San Francisco; Salt Lake City; Birmingham; and Buffalo-Niagara Falls. Further details were not disclosed by Katz Networks on Thursday (5/2).

Meanwhile, a total of 14 Quincy Media markets, primarily across the north and Midwest, will add Court TV as a digital multicast offering. DMAs include Madison, Wisc.; Rochester and Duluth, Minn.; Cedar Rapids, Iowa City and Sioux City, Iowa; and Binghamton, N.Y.

Further, Court TV will be seen in Knoxville; Augusta, Ga.; Panama City, Fla.; and Dothan, Ala. on Lockwood Broadcast Group stations and on American Spirit TV-owned FOX affiliate WUPW-36 in Toledo, Ohio, which is operated by TEGNA via a shared services agreement.

As previously reported, Citadel Communications-owned WLNE-6 in Providence-New Bedford is adding Court TV as a multicast, too. This Citadel is led by Philip J. Lombardo, and is unrelated to former radio station owner Citadel Broadcasting.

Court TV joins African-American focused multicultural network Bounce, female-friendly Escape, Westerns and action-driven Grit, comedy and stand-up focused Laff and OTT-delivered Brown Sugar, offering a slate of films of particular interest to Black audiences.