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Katz’s Court TV Channel Revival Is an Opportunity

February 19th, 2019   ||    by Oriana Schwindt

All rise: the Court TV channel is back in session. Well, it will be—in May 2019. After being turned into reality-centric TruTV by Turner, then rebranded again as a comedy outlet, Katz Networks is resurrecting the real Court TV.

Katz has secured carriage over the air and on some cable systems, and the network will air 24/7 in addition to having a dedicated online platform, according to MediaPost.

The new Court TV channel will be stocked with old favorites, as Katz has negotiated the purchase of the channel’s library. Better still, former anchor Vinnie Politan has signed on as lead anchor of the new net.

Here are four takeaways for media buyers and observers to keep in mind as the relaunch approaches:

1. Court Shows Are the Stars of Daytime

Court-based shows aren’t just a reliable source of ratings points—they are perhaps the last stronghold when it comes to daytime television. Judge Judy has been a powerhouse for more than two decades now, and her genre cohorts remain solid.

2. Expand, Don’t Shift

This is not a plea to shift budgets from daytime court shows over to Court TV. Rather, Court TV is simply another opportunity for buyers within the true crime genre. The network will have 100,000 hours of programming from the old Turner network’s library to start with, including footage from 1,000 trials, but it’s not hard to imagine what new series the revived Court TV channel could add to its lineup.

3. The True Crime Genre Shows No Signs of Wilting

True crime in general remains a massive draw for women 25-54, and if you’re advertising during the day, that’s your target demo. But this reach need not be limited to daytime hours: Investigation Discovery can often be found at the top of the Nielsen ratings for that particular demo in primetime, thanks to its mix of news magazines, cold case series, documentaries, and specials. There’s room here for the new Court TV to grow in that lucrative daypart. The popular and critical success of documentaries like O.J.: Made in America and scripted series like FX’s American Crime Story have shown a sustained hunger for this kind of programming.

4. Think of the Millennials

The kinds of cases that capture our attention are shifting. Millennials in particular seem to gravitate toward stories about scams—see the viral attention paid to music festival gone horribly awry Fyre Fest and the attendant crimes of its creator, Billy McFarland. With millennials more vulnerable to scams, according to CNBC, these stories resonate with this generation. This poses a possible challenge for advertisers, of course: If you’re watching a program about scammers, you may not be as receptive to marketing messaging.

With that said, the Court TV channel relaunch represents an opportunity marketers won’t want to dismiss.

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