Top Spanish-language broadcaster Univision has agreed to put
African-American network Bounce TV on digital channels in seven key markets-San
Francisco, Boston, Miami, Denver, Sacramento, Raleigh and Tampa. The deal puts
Bounce in 68% of all U.S. TV homes and 86% of African-American homes, ranking
it behind only BET among networks aimed at African-Americans.
Bounce already had affiliates in the San Francisco and
Sacramento markets, but those were low-power stations. "We had the ability to
recapture the network from our lower-power affiliates and we have done that,"
said Jeffrey Wolf, executive VP of distribution for Bounce.
The new affiliates have bigger footprints. "If you remove
the language barrier, the Univision television stations are powerful, full-power
stations with good channel positions. If you're the consumer using a remote
control to see what's on the air, and it's just over-the-air televisions, it
was a no-brainer," Wolf said.
The deal marks the first time Univision is using its
spectrum to distribute an outside channel
"The fact that we could service the two largest minorities
in the country was a great one-two punch for us," said Kevin Cuddihy, president
of the Univision Television Group.
Univision is aiming to get the Bounce signal on its stations
in January. At that point, the Univision stations will be able to sell local
inventory. That inventory will be in English and aimed at an African-American
audience, new territory for Univision.
"Any opportunity to grow more clients for Univision is good business,"
Jonathan Katz, Bounce COO, said the ability of affiliates to
monetize Bounce's local inventory is one reason why many station groups that
had not been programming their digital channels had signed up with the network.
Another reason could be the network's fast growth. Bounce
was launched in September 2011. The deal with Univision puts it in all of the
top 10 markets for the first time.
Bounce will get ratings from Nielsen beginning Dec. 31, but
preliminary data already indicates fast growth: In primetime, it is already
outperforming BET's Centric channel and is closing in on TV One, Katz said.