ATLANTA, April 4, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- 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.
SOURCE Bounce TV