Laff (TV network)
Laff (legal name: Laff Media, LLC) is an American digital multicast television network that is owned by the Katz Broadcasting subsidiary of the E. W. Scripps Company. The network specializes in comedy programming, featuring a mix of feature films and archived sitcoms. Laff is targeted at adults between the ages of 18 and 49 years old.
|Type||Digital multicast television network|
|Availability||Nationwide via Over the air digital TV (covering 85% of the U.S.)|
|Founded||January 18, 2015 |
by Jonathan Katz
|Slogan||You know you want to.|
|Owner||Laff Media, LLC|
|Parent||Katz Broadcasting, LLC|
(E. W. Scripps Company)
|April 15, 2015|
|480i (SDTV) 16:9 widescreen or 4:3 letterbox Depending on market|
Originally, Katz sold the network to affiliated TV stations via ad split but by October 2015 had moved to carriage fees, with the network retaining all of the ad inventory. There was also an overall increase in inventory with stations adding third or fourth subchannels.1 Laff used direct response advertising as a meter of viewers before switching to Nielsen rating C-3 in late 2015.3
Laff's launch was announced by Katz Broadcasting in January 2015 as having a scheduled launch date of April 15, 2015, which coincides with Tax Day in the United States, when tax returns are due and, as Broadcasting & Cable writer Jon Lafayette noted in an article on Laff's launch, "people will need something to make them smile."
Katz announced that television stations owned by ABC Owned Television Stations and 13 E. W. Scripps Company would serve as the network's charter affiliates; the former serving as a replacement for the standard definition feed of the Live Well Network, which with Laff's announcement also began to roll-back to only being carried by ABCOTS stations. On March 13, 2015, Katz Broadcasting announced an affiliation deal with the Cox Media Group to carry Laff on the subchannels of seven of its stations expanding its initial reach to 47% of the country. 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 two of its stations.
On February 13, 2015, Laff acquired the syndication rights to five sitcoms. Laff followed that deal for film licensing with Disney–ABC Domestic Television, Miramax, and Sony Pictures Television by March 17. Laff made a multi-year deal for five sitcoms with Carsey-Werner Productions in April 2016. Roseanne reruns were removed on May 29, 2018 following ABC's cancellation of the show's revival; both decisions were based on a Roseanne Barr tweet considered racist.
Laff's comedy-centered programming consists of a mix of theatrically released feature films, as well as off-network sitcoms. 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. The network also provide additional content via the network's website and mobile app.
Laff's program schedule will have access to approximately 250 titles and films from the libraries of three film studios by virtue of multi-year program licensing agreements with Walt Disney Studios, Miramax, Paramount Pictures, and Sony Pictures Entertainment (distributed by Sony Pictures Television).
In addition to films, much of Laff's programming lineup consists of reruns of sitcoms spanning over 800 episodes including:
- According to Jim
- Grace Under Fire
- Home Improvement
- That '70s Show
- 3rd Rock from the Sun
- Night Court
- Planet Sketch
- World's Funniest Videos: Top 10 Countdown
- Empty Nest
- Spin City
- Grounded for Life
- The Drew Carey Show
- Buckman, Adam (July 26, 2016). "Diginets Keep Growing, Despite Auction Cloud". TVNewsCheck. NewsCheck Media. Retrieved November 7, 2016.
- Robert Channick (January 19, 2015). "Laff comedy network to launch on WLS-Ch.7 digital subchannel". Chicago Tribune. Tribune Publishing. Retrieved January 28, 2015.
- Jessell, Harry A. (October 13, 2015). "OTA The Bedrock of Katz's Growing Diginets". TVNewsCheck. Retrieved October 15, 2015.
- Jon Lafayette (January 18, 2015). "Exclusive: Comedy Multicast Net Launching on ABC, Scripps". Broadcasting & Cable. NewBay Media. Retrieved January 28, 2015.
- Littleton, Cynthia (January 18, 2015). "ABC Sticks with Live Well Digital Channel, Adds Comedy Net". Variety. Retrieved January 28, 2015.
- Pergament, Alan (January 20, 2015). "Ch.7 to add comedy network called LAFF in mid-April on sub-channel". Talkin' TV. Buffalo News. Retrieved January 28, 2015.
- Jon Lafayette (March 13, 2015). "Cox Gets Joke And Gives Viewers LAFF". Broadcasting & Cable. NewBay Media.
- "Meredith To Add Three Katz Diginets". TVNewsCheck. NewsCheck Media. March 20, 2015.
- Jon Lafayette (March 20, 2015). "Meredith To Carry Grit, Escape, LAFF Networks". Broadcasting & Cable. NewBay Media. Retrieved April 14, 2015.
- "LAFF Comedy Diginet Lands Five Sitcoms". TVNewsCheck. NewsCheck Media. February 13, 2015.
- Jon Lafayette (March 17, 2015). "LAFF Makes Rights Deals to Air 250 Movie Comedies". Broadcasting & Cable. NewBay Media. Retrieved April 14, 2015.
- Lafayette, Jon (April 7, 2016). "LAFF Grabs Top Sitcoms in Carsey-Werner Deal". Broadcasting & Cable. Retrieved September 7, 2018.
- Petski, Denise (29 May 2018). "'Roseanne' Dropped From Laff Schedule; "Disgusted" By Barr's Racist Comments". Deadline. Retrieved June 22, 2018.
- Schneider, Michael (26 Dec 2019). "Most-Watched Television Networks: Ranking 2019's Winners and Losers". Variety. Retrieved March 6, 2020.
- David Bloom (January 18, 2015). "LAFF Comedy Broadcast Network To Launch April 15 in 21 Markets". Deadline Hollywood. Penske Media Corporation. Retrieved January 28, 2015.
- "LAFF Announces First Film Licensing Agreements". TVNewsCheck. NewsCheck Media. March 17, 2015.
- Albiniak, Paige. "Laff to Launch 'According to Jim' in Access". Broadcasting & Cable. Retrieved 2019-04-18.