On the 43rd anniversary of his father's death, Martin Luther King III announced the upcoming launch of Bounce TV, which is being billed as the first broadcast network devoted to an African-American audience. The network will launch this fall.
In preparation for the launch, the network has struck a deal with NBC Universal Domestic Television Distribution for nearly 200 titles, including the 2004 Jamie Foxx movie "Ray" and the Denzel Washington film "The Hurricane," as well as agreements with Sony Pictures Entertainment and other content providers,
King — who is one of the founders and sits on the board of directors for the network — said of the venture, "My father envisioned the day that African Americans would play major roles inin 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."
Read the full press release below.
FIRST-EVER 24/7 BROADCAST TELEVISION NETWORK CREATED EXCLUSIVELY FOR AFRICAN AMERICANS TO LAUNCH THIS FALL: BOUNCE TV TO FEATURE MOVIES, SPORTS, SPECIALS, SERIES, INSPIRATIONAL FAITH-BASED PROGRAMMING AND MORE
Major Motion Picture Licensing Deals with NBCUniversal Television, Sony Pictures Television, Codeblack Entertainment and Image Entertainment to Bring New Net Nearly 400 Titles; Ambassador Andrew Young, Martin Luther King III Among Founders; Rainforest Films Co-Founders Rob Hardy and Will Packer, Former Turner Broadcasting Executives Ryan Glover & Jonathan Katz Head Leadership Team; Former Sony Pictures Television Executive Jeffrey Wolf to Lead Distribution Efforts
ATLANTA (April 4, 2011) — The nation’s first-ever over-the-air broadcast television network designed exclusively for African-American audiences will launch this fall, it was announced today.
The new network will be called Bounce TV (http://bouncetv.com) and will target African Americans primarily between the ages of 25-54 with a programming mix of theatrical motion pictures, live sporting events, documentaries, specials, inspirational faith-based programs, off-net series, original programming and more. Bounce TV will air twenty four hours a day, seven days a week as a digital terrestrial network designed for carriage on the digital signals of local television stations. The new network made the first in what-will-be a series of programming acquisition announcements today, acquiring the television rights to nearly 400 African American-skewing motion pictures in four individual, multi-year licensing agreements with:
NBCUniversal Domestic Television Distribution for nearly 200 titles. Among the mix of award winning dramas, comedies and musicals Bounce TV will air as part of the agreement: Jamie Foxx’s 2004 Academy Award-winning performance as Ray Charles in Ray; Denzel Washington’s Academy Award-nominated role in The Hurricane; The Bone Collector, which pairs Washington with Angelina Jolie; Spike Lee’s Do The Right Thing, Jungle Fever, Mo’ Better Blues; The Nutty Professor I and II, starring Eddie Murphy; Bowfinger starring Murphy and Steve Martin; Michael Jackson and Diana Ross headlining The Wiz; the 1995 comedy Major Payne with Damon Wayans; Dave Chappelle’s Block Party (2005) and the 1976 classic Car Wash.
Sony Pictures Television for nearly 100 titles. Among the Sony titles Bounce TV licenses in the agreement: Tom Hanks’ Oscar-winning performance opposite Denzel Washington in Philadelphia; Washington in the Civil War epic Glory and in Devil in a Blue Dress; Will Smith’s tour-de-force as Ali; Director John Singleton’s Boyz ‘n The Hood; Eddie Murphy and Owen Wilson teaming in I Spy; 1985 Best Picture nominee A Soldier’s Story; Richard Pryor and Gene Wilder in Stir Crazy; Pryor in The Toy; Sidney Poitier’s classic A Raisin in the Sun; and Janet Jackson in Poetic Justice.
Codeblack Entertainment, a global new media & entertainment content company focused on connecting with diverse African-American and urban audiences, in a deal for nearly 50 movies and documentaries featuring such stars as Morgan Freeman, Vanessa Williams, Bill Cosby, Gabrielle Union, Blair Underwood and Terrence Howard.
Image Entertainment, an integrated home entertainment company, for more than 50 movies, documentaries and stage plays. Image Entertainment titles added to the Bounce TV slate include dramas and comedies featuring such stars and performers as Jay-Z, Danny Glover, Vivica A. Fox, 50 Cent, Charles Dutton, Alfre Woodard, Russell Simmons, Ving Rhames, Boris Kodjoe, Ossie Davis & Ruby Dee, Katt Williams, Fantasia Barrino, Terry McMillian and Laz Alonzo.
Live sports and events will be part of the Bounce TV schedule and the network today announced a multi- year rights agreement with Urban Sports Entertainment Group (USEG) to televise both football and basketball games from the nation’s largest African American athletic conference, the Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association (CIAA.) Bounce TV will air the CIAA Championship football game and select quarter- and semi- final CIAA tournament basketball games as part of the agreement.
Bounce TV’s Founding Group includes two legendary figures of recent American history and the network’s leadership team is filled with veteran entertainment industry executives. The Founding Group is led by Ambassador Andrew Young, Martin Luther King III and Andrew “Bo” Young III. Rob Hardy and Will Packer, co-founders of Rainforest Films, one of the top African American production companies in the world, will also play important roles with 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. Bounce TV will be majority owned and operated by African Americans, with Ambassador Young, Andrew “Bo” Young III, Rob Hardy, Will Packer and Ryan Glover part of the initial ownership team. The network is leveraging the marketing, digital, post production and operational resources of Atlanta-based CSE, one of the country’s leading independently-owned sports, entertainment and television production agencies.
“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. We look forward to Bounce TV entertaining African American viewers for many years to come,” commented Ambassador Young.
“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 Mr. King III, a member of Bounce TV’s Board of Directors.
“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…until now. Bounce TV will fill the void for people who are hungry for more African American related programming, stories, characters, sports and events,” commented Mr. Glover.
Bounce TV will be an ad-supported network with half of that time being available for insertion of local advertising by affiliates. Former EVP of U.S. Syndication Sales for Sony Pictures Television, Jeffrey Wolf, currently head of The Lobo Group, will handle network distribution of Bounce TV.
Bounce TV will make more announcements in the weeks ahead.
About NBCUniversal Television Distribution:
The NBCUniversal Domestic Television Distribution division is responsible for the sale of NBCUniversal product to all forms of television within the U.S. and Canada. This includes current television and film product as well as content from NBCUniversal's vast library (Universal Pictures, Focus Features, Universal Media Studios, Universal Cable Productions, NBC Late Night properties) in broadcast, basic cable, pay cable and subscription video-on-demand (SVOD) markets. Additionally, the division produces and distributes first-run programs to those platforms.
About Codeblack Entertainment:
Launched in 2005 by entertainment industry veteran Jeff Clanagan, Codeblack Enterprises LLC is a global new media & entertainment content company focused on connecting with diverse African-American and urban audiences wherever they are. Codeblack proudly delivers its content across the globe through television, motion pictures and a wide range of digital media. CBE’s family of respected brands includes the multiplatform properties of Codeblack Entertainment (http://www.codeblackentertainment.com), Codeblack Interactive (http://www.codeblackinteractive.com) and Codeblack.com
About Image Entertainment, Inc.:
About Image Entertainment, Inc. is an integrated home entertainment company, primarily engaged in the business of acquiring and distributing entertainment programming. Image acquires exclusive programming from third parties, and also designs and produces additional content and value-added features such as interactive menus, packaging and marketing materials for its DVD releases.
About Rainforest Films
Director Rob Hardy and Producer Will Packer created Rainforest Films in 1994. In three short years, they had three films open #1 at the box office; “Stomp The Yard,” “Obsessed” and “Takers.” Their successes have landed the duo amongst the Top 25 Entertainers and Moneymakers according to Black Enterprise Magazine (January 2008) and on numerous other lists naming them as leading executives in the television and filmmaking industry. (http://www.rainforestproductions.com).
About The Lobo Group LLC:
The Lobo Group LLC (www.thelobogroup.com) is a privately held entity that focuses on the distribution and management of quality entertainment properties to all areas of the media world including broadcast, cable, digital, mobile and social media. Our goal is to help media and entertainment companies create and market great content and insure that it reaches the widest audience possible.