Black News Channel, a new network devoted to covering the African-American community, is scheduled to launch in January. Known as BNC, the channel plans original 24/7 news, sports and entertainment coverage.
Co-founded by former Oklahoma Congressman J.C. Watts and longtime TV executive Bob Brillante, the network has been a decade in the making. Billionaire Jacksonville Jaguars owner Shahid “Shad” Khan recently signed on as a partner.
The Tallahassee, FL-based network originally was slated to launch this month in about 33 million households via cable and satellite. But earlier this week, network execs announced the premiere is being pushed to January to take advantage of new technologies and digital distribution platforms — including wireless cellular services — potentially tripling BNC’s audience.
“Our network is about providing intelligent programming that is informative, educational, inspiring and empowering to our African American audience, so they are participants in a national conversation,” Watts said in a statement. “If we have the opportunity to include the largest African American audience possible from day one, then that should be our top priority.”
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The network has already inked carriage deals with Comcast, Charter and Dish Network, and the channel will be available in top African American TV markets, including New York, Los Angeles, and Atlanta.
Among the on-camera talent roster are former CNN anchor Fred Hickman, and Emmy Award-winning journalists Laverne McGee, and Anthony Amey.
BNC is scheduled to launch on January 6.
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