Learn more about Sustainable Brands 2015 San Diego

brand launch

Do African-Americans Need Another African-American TV Channel?

Posted by Sheila Shayon on September 29, 2011 11:56 AM

Bounce TV just launched in the US with the slogan "TV Our Way." Its first on-air program? Michael Jackson and Diana Ross in The Wiz.

Its schedule is packed with movies with “proven playability among black audiences,” such as A Raisin in the Sun, Spike Lee's Do the Right ThingShacklesGlory, and a week of Richard Pryor comedies. The rest of its on-air lineup features acquired TV shows such as Soul Train, a mix of original programming: sports (primarily, black college football games), documentaries and faith-based programs.

Bounce TV isn't the first or only network targeting African Americans, of course.

Bob Johnson sold BET to Viacom in 2000 for $3 billion, and it's still going strong, while TV One launched in 2004 with backing by Radio One and Comcast. Other entrants in the space have struggled, however, including Black Family Channel, which closed in 2007.

While launching a new TV brand is never easy, Bounce as much about representation on-air as behind the scenes. As co-founder Martin Luther King III commented to The Wrap, "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."

King added, "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.”

Bounce president Ryan Glover sees plenty of room for the network as black viewers are "desperately underserved." He's targeting an older demo than BET, whose audience skews younger and favors hip-hop videos, he adds.

"The quicker we grow into original [programming] to grow into a real identity, the better," he told The Wrap. He's particularly excited about college sports featuring HBCU (America's historically black colleges and universities) teams as a draw. Bounce last night aired a football game between Virginia Union and HBCU rival Bulldogs of Bowie State.

“Bounce is one of the strongest arguments out there for making sure broadcasters keep their full swathe of spectrum. Cram them too close together, and their ability to exploit the digital capacity they spent so much money on will be lost, including programming such as this that is a perfect example of serving the three pillars of FCC policy — localism, competition and diversity,” comments RBR-TVBR.

It could certainly become a bounty for brands and targeted advertising, if Glover, King and their team can figure out the magical programming mix that attracts — and keeps — African American viewers.

While they've no doubt done their research and feel their target audience needs another TV channel "just for them," viewers (as ever) will cast their vote ... with a remote control.

Below: a Bounce TV launch promo featuring TLC's Chilli —


chavis United States says:

where are you/ going to be on ditigal ?

September 29, 2011 02:39 PM #

monique United States says:

when are you going to broadcast in new york city

September 29, 2011 04:51 PM #

S.Shayon United States says:

All we have is a snail mail address for contact:
Bounce TV
600 Galleria Parkway
Suite 1900
Atlanta, GA 30339

September 29, 2011 06:23 PM #

Lydia Woltz United States says:

Love it!  We need a black soap opera . . . on TV

September 29, 2011 05:01 PM #

Ebony United States says:

They are already behind the “8 ball.”  Where is the social media presence?  None!

The media reports make it seem as if they need a marketing strategy.

I wish them luck in this new endevours.

September 30, 2011 09:39 AM #

Mandla United States says:

Couldn't agree with you more Ebony.

October 4, 2011 03:23 PM #

Scheherazade United States says:

Please be accessible for all.  Remember the citizens who are financially struggling even more this decade...

September 30, 2011 10:37 AM #

Scheherazade United States says:

Prayers are with you, smile on MLK Jr and YoYo be proud of Brothers Andrew and MLK III.  I am grinning wide enough to share....what a dreamed vision!!!!

September 30, 2011 10:38 AM #

Scheherazade says:

Prayers are with you, smile on MLK Jr and YoYo be proud of Brothers Andrew and MLK III.  I am grinning wide enough to share....what a dreamed vision!!!!

September 30, 2011 10:38 AM #

sweetv United States says:

I love this station!!!!!  great for all person's..but I love seeing black people on t.v..keep up the great shows..wish you much success!!!!  lov ya sweetv

October 2, 2011 03:06 PM #

Olivia United States says:

Thank you! I just found this program and was SO impressed with the content that I've been spreading the word to my friends and family.  The best thing is that I can watch things that are pertinent to me and I enjoy every telecast that I've seen to date. I'm living in Ohio, and I no longer can afford, (nor is it worth the fifty bucks a month), to buy cable tv.  I receive your signals loud and clear, with my inside antenna and a converter box, and hope you will stay as a free channel for us.
Keep up the GREAT vibes and for now, don't change a thing, you've got it!

October 2, 2011 05:29 PM #

Darrell Randolph United States says:

I love this station and i'm spreading the news in memphis, tn. KEEP UP THE GREAT WORK, BROTHERS.

October 2, 2011 08:05 PM #

Big Tex United States says:

was turned off by the first line if the press release ......But i've been in this game long enough...@ebony, well said, in today's media place your social media should be in play almost BEFORE a true launch,..maybe this is a soft launch....good luck to all, lord knows you've got enough "names" behind you!

October 3, 2011 02:42 PM #

Will Redd- Charlotte, NC United States says:

A little over a year ago, I disconnected my satelite tv service after seven years uninterupted. It dawned on me that I was wasting money paying nearly $100.00 per month on something I no longer needed. I never put my tv on the pay channels since cable tv does not cater to people who are my age. I'm 47 years old. The only channels I was watching were my local channels which I discovered I could get for free over the air with my flat screens. My life has been unaffected since getting rid of my satelite subscription. But when I learned Bounce TV was launching, I was excited. I've been watching Bounce since it's launch here in Charlotte, NC last monday. Finally, tv that represents who I am and give me validation as a tv viewer. I love the station. And I will be watching to see it grow. Thanks for thinking of us middle aged folks. No one else thought we were important enough! Not even the people who wanted our money!!!!

October 3, 2011 06:38 PM #

Comments are closed

elsewhere on brandchannel

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9
brandcameo2014 Product Placement Awards
Apple loses its crown to a new #1
Coca-ColaIt's the Journey That Matters:
Coca-Cola Opens Up With Story-Based Web Refresh
debateJoin the Debate
Is product placement a waste of money?
Arthur Chinski and Joshua Mizrahi
Model Behavior? Brands Beware
U.S. Legal Changes Impact Use of Brand Ambassadors
paperCorporate Citizenship in Canada
Fresh thinking from Interbrand
Sheryl Connelly
Sheryl Connelly

Meet Ford's Resident Futurist
Highlighting the Present—and Future—of Branding in Latin America and Iberia