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Byron Allen’s Entertainment Studios Launches Legal Digital Network

Byron Allen
Gari Lamar Askew

Justice Central.TV, the eighth in the comedian-entrepreneur's online portfolio, is also the first that will be solely ad-supported.

Byron Allen’s Entertainment Studios has launched its eighth digital cable TV network. Justice Central.TV, his first solely supported by advertising without any subscriber affiliate fees, debuted in HD on Monday.

The network will carry Entertainment Studios' growing roster of court shows after they play in broadcast TV syndication, as well as news, talk and entertainment programming focused on law and legal matters.

Series already produced by Allen which will air on the new network include America’s Court With Judge Ross, We The People With Gloria Allred, Justice For All With Judge Cristina Perez and Supreme Justice With Judge Karen.

The new network will launch on AT&T U-Verse’s family tier which has about 4 million subscribers. Allen expects it to grow rapidly in the next two years.

“Court programming is the second highest-rated genre on daytime television, and Justice Central.TV is the only 24-hour HD court and legal news network,” said Allen, chairman and CEO of Entertainment Studios. “Our goal and commitment is to make Justice Central.TV the premier legal news network. All content will be originally produced in-house to insure the highest level of creative quality, as well as the ability to distribute our content globally on all platforms.”

Entertainment Studios' other digital networks collect subscriber fees from cable and satellite operators, as well as selling advertising. The new court network will not charge fees to operators, existing only on advertising.

“We’re serious about building networks that can be driven just with advertising support,” said Allen. “This is similar to what we do in syndication, where shows are just advertising supported.”

“Byron and I have heard loud and clear from the cable industry,” says Janice Arouh, executive VP, affiliate sales and marketing for Entertainment Studios. “They have told us the programming license fee model is broken. We’re here to provide a solution.”

Most of Entertainment Studios' syndicated programs are distributed without any direct cost to the stations, who also get ad time in each show. The rest is sold by Entertainment Studios. Arouh would not give numbers but said their ad sales are robust.

Among the court shows, Judge Ross, launched three years ago, is the highest-rated in syndication with a season-to-date average of a .8 in total households. It is cleared in about 80 percent of the U.S.

Entertainment Studios' other networks include Cars.TV, Comedy.TV and Pets.TV. Allen, who has grown from his roots as a comic into an entrepreneur, currently produces 32 shows for syndication and digital distribution. Allen wholly owns the privately held company.