Laff
TypeDigital multicast television network (Comedy)
Country
AvailabilityNationwide via Over the air digital TV (covering 85% of the U.S.)
Dish/Sling TV (Channel 237)[1]
FoundedJanuary 18, 2015; 7 years ago (2015-01-18)
by Jonathan Katz
HeadquartersAtlanta, Georgia
OwnerLaff Media, LLC
ParentKatz Broadcasting, LLC
(E. W. Scripps Company)
Key people
  • Jonathan Katz
  • (president/CEO,
  • Katz Broadcasting)
Launch date
April 15, 2015; 7 years ago (2015-04-15)
Picture format
480i (SDTV) 16:9 widescreen
Affiliatessee list
Official website
Laff.com

Laff (legal name: Laff Media, LLC) is an American digital multicast television network headquartered in Atlanta, Georgia and is owned by the Katz Broadcasting subsidiary of the E. W. Scripps Company. The network specializes in comedy programming, featuring mainly sitcoms from the 1990s through the 2000s.[2]

History

Laff's launch was announced by Katz Broadcasting in January 2015 as having a scheduled launch date of April 15, 2015, coinciding with Tax Day in the United States; the explanation by Katz is that people needed "something to laugh to" on what they deemed one of the most stressful days of the year. The network launched at Noon that day; the first program was the film My Mom's New Boyfriend.[3]

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.[4][5] 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.[6] 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.[7][8]

On February 13, 2015, Laff acquired the syndication rights to five sitcoms.[9] Laff followed that deal for film licensing with Disney–ABC Domestic Television, Miramax, and Sony Pictures Television by March 17.[10] Laff made a multi-year deal for five sitcoms with Carsey-Werner Productions in April 2016.[11] Roseanne reruns were removed on May 29, 2018, after ABC removed Roseanne Barr from the show (which then continued on as The Conners); both decisions were based on a Roseanne Barr tweet considered racist.[12]

A list of 2019 Nielsen ratings published by Variety indicated that Laff averaged 223,000 viewers in prime time, down 5% from the 2018 average.[13]

The network moved off ABC Owned Television Stations at the beginning of 2021, in favor of new carriage on Scripps's recently-acquired Ion Media stations.[14]

Programming

Laff's schedule mainly consists of 1980s, 1990s and 2000s off-network sitcoms.[2][4] On September 1, 2021, Nexstar launched a direct competitor to Laff, Rewind TV, and the latter network replaced Laff on Nexstar stations (or will in the upcoming months if not immediately possible due to contractual obligations).

Movies

Laff carries a broad roster of comedy films on Saturdays and Sundays. The network's film lineup relies primarily on an extensive library of titles through several multi-year program licensing agreements with Walt Disney Studios (including 20th Century Studios titles), Warner Bros. Entertainment, Universal Pictures, Paramount Pictures (including Miramax titles) / Trifecta Entertainment & Media, and Sony Pictures Entertainment (distributed by Sony Pictures Television).[10][15]

Television series

Former programming

Affiliates

Main article: List of Laff affiliates

As of 20 July 2022, Laff has 425 current or pending affiliation agreements with television stations in 48 states, plus the District of Columbia, covering 91.3% of the United States.[17]

References

  1. ^ Buckman, Adam (July 26, 2016). "Diginets Keep Growing, Despite Auction Cloud". TVNewsCheck. NewsCheck Media. Retrieved November 7, 2016.
  2. ^ a b Robert Channick (January 19, 2015). "Laff comedy network to launch on WLS-Ch.7 digital subchannel". Chicago Tribune. Tribune Publishing. Retrieved January 28, 2015.
  3. ^ Jon Lafayette (January 18, 2015). "Exclusive: Comedy Multicast Net Launching on ABC, Scripps". Broadcasting & Cable. NewBay Media. Retrieved January 28, 2015.
  4. ^ a b Littleton, Cynthia (January 18, 2015). "ABC Sticks with Live Well Digital Channel, Adds Comedy Net". Variety. Retrieved January 28, 2015.
  5. ^ 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.
  6. ^ Jon Lafayette (March 13, 2015). "Cox Gets Joke And Gives Viewers LAFF". Broadcasting & Cable. NewBay Media.
  7. ^ "Meredith To Add Three Katz Diginets". TVNewsCheck. NewsCheck Media. March 20, 2015.
  8. ^ Jon Lafayette (March 20, 2015). "Meredith To Carry Grit, Escape, LAFF Networks". Broadcasting & Cable. NewBay Media. Retrieved April 14, 2015.
  9. ^ "LAFF Comedy Diginet Lands Five Sitcoms". TVNewsCheck. NewsCheck Media. February 13, 2015.
  10. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k Jon Lafayette (March 17, 2015). "LAFF Makes Rights Deals to Air 250 Movie Comedies". Broadcasting & Cable. NewBay Media. Retrieved April 14, 2015.
  11. ^ a b c d Lafayette, Jon (April 7, 2016). "LAFF Grabs Top Sitcoms in Carsey-Werner Deal". Broadcasting & Cable. Retrieved September 7, 2018.
  12. ^ a b c d e f Petski, Denise (29 May 2018). "'Roseanne' Dropped From Laff Schedule; "Disgusted" By Barr's Racist Comments". Deadline. Retrieved June 22, 2018.
  13. ^ Schneider, Michael (26 Dec 2019). "Most-Watched Television Networks: Ranking 2019's Winners and Losers". Variety. Retrieved March 6, 2020.
  14. ^ "Scripps Moving Multicast Networks onto Ion TV Stations". 14 January 2021.
  15. ^ "LAFF Announces First Film Licensing Agreements". TVNewsCheck. NewsCheck Media. March 17, 2015.
  16. ^ Albiniak, Paige (March 2019). "Laff to Launch 'According to Jim' in Access". Broadcasting & Cable. Retrieved 2019-04-18.
  17. ^ "Stations for Network - Laff". RabbitEars. Retrieved July 20, 2022.