The Desk appreciates the support of readers who purchase products or services through links on our website. Learn more...

Free TV Networks inks new distribution deals with TEGNA, Sunbeam

The agreement also includes HC2 Broadcasting, which operates numerous low-power stations across the country.

The agreement also includes HC2 Broadcasting, which operates numerous low-power stations across the country.

Promotional graphics for broadcast networks Outlaw and The365. (Courtesy images, composite graphic by The Desk)
Promotional graphics for broadcast networks Outlaw and The365. (Courtesy images, composite graphic by The Desk)

Free TV Networks, the digital broadcast outlet spearheaded by industry veteran Jonathan Katz, has inked new distribution agreements with TEGNA, HC2 Broadcasting and Sunbeam Television to offer its digital networks to local viewers in new parts of the country.

The agreement covers Free TV Networks’ inaugural two digital channels — Black-centric The365 and western-themed The Outlaw — which launched last December.

The deals will put The365 and The Outlaw in front of 89 percent of American broadcast TV households, according to a statement from executives on Monday. Ninety-six percent of African-American TV households will have access to The365, which will land on new channels like KING-TV (Channel 5, NBC) in Seattle, WSVN (Channel 7, Fox) in Miami and KBMT (Channel 12, ABC) in Beaumont, Texas.

The Outlaw is being added to dozens of TV stations reaching 87 percent of U.S. households, including KREM (Channel 2, CBS) in Spokane; WCSH (Channel 6, NBC) in Portland, Maine; and KVUE (Channel 24, ABC) in Austin.

“The addition of these powerful stations in so many key markets widens the already robust coverage for our two growing young networks,” said Joe Cantrell, the Executive Vice President of Network Operations and Development at Free TV Networks.

Free TV Networks has retained Elverage Allen and his Step-by-Step Communications to handle sponsorship and general advertising on The365. Allen previously worked with Katz at Bounce TV, which is now owned by the E. W. Scripps Company.

“With best-in-class programming and accelerated distribution, The365 is fast becoming a favorite of African American audiences,” Katz said in a statement. “We are thrilled to once again work with Elverage whose minority-owned general market ad sales firm will bring national brands new opportunities to reach our desirable audience of scale.”

“The365 has quickly emerged as a strong platform for advertisers and brands to reach Black consumers,” Allen said. “With premiere content partners and vast reach, The365 will continue to grow as a destination for millions of viewers. As we approach the 2024-2025 upfront season, it’s clear that the future of TV viewing is moving away from paid platforms and towards free, which advertisers already recognize as an important part of their budget mix.”

Get stories like these in your inbox, plus free breaking news alerts on business and policy matters involving media and tech.

Get stories like these in your inbox, plus free breaking news alerts on business and policy matters involving media and tech.

Photo of author

About the Author:

Matthew Keys

Matthew Keys is a nationally-recognized, award-winning journalist who has covered the business of media, technology, radio and television for more than 10 years. He is the publisher of The Desk and contributes to Know Techie, Digital Content Next and StreamTV Insider. He previously worked for Thomson Reuters, the Walt Disney Company, McNaughton Newspapers and Tribune Broadcasting.
Home » News » Industries » Television » Free TV Networks inks new distribution deals with TEGNA, Sunbeam