African-American broadcast network planned

April 4, 2011 at 5:45 PM
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ATLANTA, April 4 (UPI) -- Plans for the first 24-hour U.S. broadcast network programmed specifically for African-Americans were announced Monday in Atlanta.

Bounce TV, which will target viewers primarily between the ages of 25-54, said it will show a mix of theatrical motion pictures, live sporting events, documentaries, specials, inspirational faith-based programs, off-network series and original programming.

The ad-supported network will air 24 hours a day, seven days a week as a digital terrestrial network designed for carriage on the digital signals of local television stations.

Black Entertainment Television or BET, a popular network geared toward African-Americans, is only available to cable subscribers.

Bounce TV's founding group includes Andrew Young, Martin Luther King III and Andrew "Bo" Young III. Rob Hardy and Will Packer -- co-founders of Rainforest Films, an African-American production company -- will also play important roles in Bounce TV. Hardy will serve as chief content officer, while Packer will be chief strategy and marketing officer.

Former Turner Broadcasting executives Ryan Glover and Jonathan Katz will serve as executive vice presidents of Bounce TV, which will be majority owned and operated by African-Americans.

"I am proud that our network will deliver free programming exclusively for our under-served community and be accessible to all homes around the country and not just those who pay for television," Young said in a statement.

"My father envisioned the day that African-Americans would play major roles in entertainment within ownership, not just serve as entertainers on the stage or in front of the cameras," added King. "That's what makes this even more exciting to me as we embark on this new endeavor of an independently owned and operated broadcast television network featuring African-Americans."

"There are nearly 13 million Hispanic television households that are served by dozens of Spanish and Spanish-language versions of networks. Yet, the more than 14 million African-American TV households have just a few dedicated cable channels -- and no over-the-air networks," said Glover.

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