EXCLUSIVE: Bounce TV, New Broadcast Net Aimed at African Americans, To Launch in Fall
Andrew Young, Martin Luther King III among founders
By Jon Lafayette -- Broadcasting & Cable, 4/3/2011 10:15:00 PM
A group led by Ambassador Andrew Young and Martin Luther King III is expected on Monday to announce plans to launch a new over-the-air television network aimed at African-American audiences in the fall.
Based in Atlanta, Bounce TV, is trying to line up distribution through the digital signals of local television stations. It plans to broadcast a mix of theatrical movies, live sports, off-net series and original programming aimed at adults 25-54. It has made deals to acquire TV rights to 400 African-American oriented films from NBC Universal Domestic Television Distribution, Sony Pictures Television, Codeblack Entertainment and Image Entertainment.
Bounce TV will be run by a founding group comprised of Young and King and Andrew "Bo" Young III. The co-founders of African-American-owned production company Rainforest Films are also involved, with Rob Hardy serving as chief content officer and Will Packer holding the title chief strategy and marketing officer. Also involved in management are two former Turner Broadcasting executives, Ryan Glover and Jonathan Katz, who have been named executive VPs.
"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. 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," said King
Former executive VP of U.S. syndication sales for Sony Pictures Television, Jeffrey Wolf, will handle network distribution of Bounce TV. The network plans to offer half of its ad time for insertion by local affiliates.
Bounce TV will be televising football and basketball from the nation's largest African American athletic conference, the Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association, under a rights agreement with Urban Sports Entertainment Group. The network will air the CIAA Championship football and some quarter and semi-final CIAA tournament basketball games.
Atlanta -based CSE, an independent sports, entertainment and television production agency, will provide marketing, digital, post-production and operational resources.
In targeting African-Americans, Bounce TV is moving into territory already occupied by cable networks such as Viacom's BET and TV One, a joint venture of Comcast, NBC Universal and DirecTV.
"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. "Bounce TV will fill the need for an over-the-air television network exclusively for African Americans. At the same time, local broadcasters are looking for digital programming, as well as African American-skewing product. Bounce TV will fill both of those market needs for local broadcasters."
"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," added Young.
A couple of networks targeting Hispanic viewers have used broadcast station digital networks to gain distribution, including Estrella TV and LATV.
Most TV stations are still trying to figure out the best way to make use of the extra channels they got when broadcasting converted from analog to digital. Some stations have used the channels to provide news or weather services.
ABC last year launched the Live Well channel designed to air high-quality programming produced by its owned and operated stations. A few Belo stations have signed up for Live Well.
"Bounce TV is a new model; a demo-specific network designed for digital carriage that we believe is well-timed for the marketplace," said Wolf. "We have built a smart and efficient business model created by people with the decades of television and entertainment experience. The initial response from stations has been overwhelmingly positive and we expect advertisers to embrace Bounce TV as well."
Bounce TV's package of films from NBCU is comprised of about 200 titles including Ray, The Hurricane, Do the Right Thing and Car Wash. Sony Pictures has licensed 100 titles, including Philadelphia, Glory, Ali and Boyz' n The Hood.
Codeblack Entertainment is a new content company focused on African-American and urban audiences. The package it has licensed to Bounce TV has 50 movies and documentaries featuring such stars as Morgan Freeman, Vanessa Williams Bill Cosby and Terrence Howard. Bounce is also getting 50 comedies and dramas. The stars of the comedies include Jay-Z, 50 Cent, Charles Dutton, Ossie Davis and Ruby Dee.
"We are launching as an entertainment-based network, built upon a foundation of movies for the African American audience," said Glover. "As the network grows we will execute on Rob Hardy's creative vision for original programming, plans of which are already in development."
i have heard so many good things about bounce tv, however, i do not have network in new jersey(south)i have verizon fios cable tv and i called the corp office to find out about bounce tv. they do not have this network and never heard about. what can i do now?
letitia bryant - 3/24/2013 7:41:05 PM EDT
I just found Bounce TV, channel 66.2 in San Francisco bay area. I am so please that there is a channel that displays the talents of Black Americans. I would ask that the content would be of the highest level. I'm also a fan of KBS, which is a Korean based entertainment network. I suggest taking a few pointers from them; their dramas, documentaries, music shows and videos are very family friendly and extremely entertaining. I will watch Bounce TV as long it delivers the highest quality shows. Please do not air the slut sligging R&B videos(so beneath us as a people).I hope for much success in this great endeavor.
Allison KInerman - 3/14/2013 8:20:15 PM EDT
I saw 500 years today. They were asking as several points that we buy african. I would like too. But It would have to be via internet. Do you know of any sites
that sale. Who are reliable. After all I do want what I pay for. Thanks and have a Blessed Day
Doris J. Gibson - 2/10/2012 4:51:53 PM EST
Bounce TV just began broadcasting today in Chicago. I'm very impressed by it. It appears to be a classy station that promotes positive images of black people.
We do not have cable and do not intend to get it. It is connected to the ME TV channels here. So far, so good. We plan to support it all the way. When I saw
Andrew Young promoting this channel, I knew it would be classy. I wish them much success.
sandra liddell - 1/2/2012 11:57:52 PM EST
Am enjoying Bounce since discovering it here in Charleston, SC about a week ago. Loving the movies that I have never heard of before, such as Shackels, Divine Intervention, Restraining Order, etc. My friend is enjoying old episodes of A Team. Also, the music videos between the movies are great! I am looking forward to watching HBCU games, as well. Have been seriously considering canceling Comcast due to increasing cost and decreasing satisfaction with "improvements."
KEEP UP THE GOOD WORK!
Valencia Williams - 12/22/2011 2:33:45 PM EST
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