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Allen Media inks deal to place This TV on Disney-owned stations

Comedian and media mogul Byron Allen. (Photo courtesy Byron Allen Media)

Allen Media Group has signed a deal that will see the digital broadcast network This TV land on eight local stations operated by the Walt Disney Company.

The eight stations, all owned and operated by Disney’s broadcast subsidiary ABC, will replace Katz Networks’ comedy channel Laff in some markets while landing on a new digital subchannel of those stations in others. (Katz, owned by the E. W. Scripps Company, announced plans last year to move Laff and other networks to Ion Media after Scripps purchased that company for $2.6 billion.)

Allen Media Group’s over-the-air broadcast television network This TV is now well-positioned for greater success with the addition of these eight phenomenal ABC owned and operated broadcast television stations,” Byron Allen, the founder and chief executive of Allen Media Group, said in a statement.

This TV was originally launched by Metro-Goldwyn-Meyer (MGM) Studios and Weigel Broadcasting in 2008. It became widely available to most Americans through its placement on broadcast stations owned by Tribune Company, which later became part of Nexstar Media Group.

In 2013, Weigel pulled out of the venture, with Tribune Company taking over broadcast operations of This TV. A few years later, Tribune ended most of its affiliate agreements with MGM shortly after the broadcaster announced plans to merge with Sinclair Broadcast Group. (The merger was later scrapped; Tribune Company stations are now owned by Nexstar Media Group.)

The end of MGM’s affiliate agreement with Tribune saw This TV land on mostly-secondary stations operated by the E. W. Scripps Company, Hubbard Broadcasting, Cocola Broadcasting and Sinclair. In some markets, the network was relegated to low-power television stations, limiting its reach outside of major cities.

The deal announced on Monday marks something of a return for This TV, which was acquired by Allen Media Group along with sister-network Light TV from MGM last October. With Disney agreeing to place This TV as a digital sub-channels of its ABC-owned stations, Allen Media Group secures stable carriage of its network.

The eight Disney-owned stations adding This TV are:

  • KABC-TV (Channel 7) in Los Angeles
  • KFSN (Channel 30) in Fresno, California
  • KGO-TV (Channel 7) in San Francisco
  • KTRK (Channel 13) in Houston
  • WABC-TV (Channel 7) in New York City
  • WLS-TV (Channel 7) in Chicago
  • WPVI (Channel 6) in Philadelphia
  • WTVD (Channel 11) in Raleigh, North Carolina

This TV is broadcast in standard definition and operates 24 hours a day. The network offers a mix of movies and classic TV shows.

Update: This article has been edited to clarify MGM and Weigel’s ownership and Tribune’s operation of This TV from 2013 onward.

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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.
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