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Bounce TV Announces 1st Distribution Agreement W/ Raycom Media To Carry Network In 26 Markets

by Tambay A. Obenson
May 5, 2011 4:25 AM
5 Comments
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Received a second press release from the reps for Bounce TV this morning. Remember Bounce TV, first announced in April, the self-proclaimed 1st-ever 24/7 broadcast TV network created exclusively for African Americans, scheduled to launch this fall? Founded by Ambassador Andrew Young and Martin Luther King III...

Announced with that initial April post was news about the major motion picture licensing deals already in place with NBCUniversal Television, Sony Pictures Television, Codeblack Entertainment and Image Entertainment, which will net nearly 400 titles, including a mix of theatrical motion pictures, live sporting events, documentaries, specials, inspirational faith-based programs, original programming and more.

Today comes an announcement of their first distribution agreement with Raycom Media, one of the nation's largest broadcasters, owning and operating 46 television stations in 36 markets and 18 states.

The gist of the agreement: Raycom Media will make Bounce TV available in 26 Raycom markets, as soon as the new network launches this fall. As part of the multi-year agreement, Raycom will carry Bounce TV in...

Cleveland/Akron, OH (WOIO/WUAB), Charlotte, NC (WBTV), Cincinnati, OH (WXIX), West Palm Beach, FL (WFLX), Birmingham, AL (WBRC), Memphis (WMC), Louisville, KY (WAVE), Richmond, VA (WUPV), Columbia, SC (WIS), Huntsville, AL (WAFF), Shreveport, LA (KSLA), Jackson, MS (WLBT), Baton Rouge, LA (WAFB), Savannah, GA (WTOC), Charleston, SC (WCSC), Myrtle Beach/Florence, SC (WMBF), Tyler/Lufkin, TX (KLTV), Augusta GA (WFXG), Montgomery, AL (WSFA), Columbus, GA (WTVM), Wilmington, NC (WECT), Albany, GA (WALB), Biloxi, MS (WLOX), Hattiesburg, MS (WDAM), Dothan, AL (WDFX) and Lake Charles, LA (KPLC).

This deal will reportedly represent more than 10% of all U.S. television households, and nearly 19% of African American television homes, with Bounce TV expecting to be in at least 50% of U.S. television households by the time it launches, with more distribution agreements to be announced shortly.

Sounds ambitious, doesn't it?

The full press release follows below:

Bounce TV Announces First Distribution Agreement: Raycom Media to Carry Nation's First Broadcast Network for African Americans in 26 Markets Including Cleveland, Charlotte, Cincinnati, Birmingham, Memphis, Louisville, West Palm Beach & Richmond

Bounce TV Expects to Clear at Least 50% of Country at Launch, Martin Luther King III, Ambassador Andrew Young Among Founders

NAB Supports Raycom's Decision, Calls for Other Broadcasters to Follow Their Lead
ATLANTA, May 5, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Raycom Media (http://www.raycommedia.com), one of the nation's largest broadcasters, will make Bounce TV (http://bouncetv.com), the first-ever over-the-air broadcast television network designed exclusively for African-American audiences, available in 26 Raycom markets when the network launches this fall, it was announced today.
The deal is the first distribution agreement for the newly-announced Bounce TV. The Raycom stations to carry Bounce TV on their digital spectrum represent over 10% of all U.S. television households and nearly 19% of African American television homes. Bounce TV expects to be in at least 50% of U.S. television households at launch with more distribution agreements to be announced shortly.
As part of the multi-year agreement, Raycom will carry Bounce TV in Cleveland/Akron, OH (WOIO/WUAB), Charlotte, NC (WBTV), Cincinnati, OH (WXIX), West Palm Beach, FL (WFLX), Birmingham, AL (WBRC), Memphis (WMC), Louisville, KY (WAVE), Richmond, VA (WUPV), Columbia, SC (WIS), Huntsville, AL (WAFF), Shreveport, LA (KSLA), Jackson, MS (WLBT), Baton Rouge, LA (WAFB), Savannah, GA (WTOC), Charleston, SC (WCSC), Myrtle Beach/Florence, SC (WMBF), Tyler/Lufkin, TX (KLTV), Augusta GA (WFXG), Montgomery, AL (WSFA), Columbus, GA (WTVM), Wilmington, NC (WECT), Albany, GA (WALB), Biloxi, MS (WLOX), Hattiesburg, MS (WDAM), Dothan, AL (WDFX) and Lake Charles, LA (KPLC).
"Bounce TV is the right network at the right time for our stations," commented Raycom president and CEO Paul McTear. "Bounce TV will allow us to better serve our communities, giving underserved African American consumers a new local television brand designed specifically for them while also providing our local stations an ideal companion network for their digital spectrum. We believe Bounce TV will be a meaningful network in our local communities and we look forward to a great relationship for many years to come."
"Landing our first station group is significant, but to explode out of the gate with Raycom, a leader in providing local television across the country, is tremendous and instantly validates the mission of Bounce TV," said Bounce TV distribution chief Jeffrey Wolf. "The Raycom stations will be able to localize our network and have it serve as a perfect complement to their primary channel. We could not be more thrilled to welcome Raycom as our foundation affiliate group."
The National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) supports Raycom Media's decision to carry Bounce TV. "In launching the new Bounce TV network, Raycom is utilizing digital spectrum in a very smart and truly meaningful way by serving African American television viewers with a free niche programming service," said NAB President and CEO Gordon Smith. "Local TV stations across America are using TV airwaves to deliver on the promise of digital television, and we fully expect that other broadcasters will support Bounce TV and other unique program services."
Bounce TV (http://bouncetv.com) will launch this fall 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 Founding Group is led by Martin Luther King III, Ambassador Andrew Young, 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.
Bounce TV just acquired the television rights to nearly 400 African American-skewing motion pictures in four individual, multi-year licensing agreements, including: 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), the 1976 classic Car Wash and more. Live sports and events will be part of the Bounce TV schedule and the network also has 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.)
About Raycom Media
Raycom Media, an employee-owned company, is one of the nation's largest broadcasters and owns and operates 46 television stations in 36 markets and 18 states, including Hawaii. In addition to television stations, Raycom owns Raycom Sports, a marketing, production and events management and distribution company; Raycom Post, a post production facility; Broadview Media, a post production telecommunications company; and CableVantage, a cable advertising sales group.

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5 Comments

  • Rodney | May 8, 2011 4:44 AMReply

    Just about all TV broadcast stations in the US operate digital multi-channels. You can obtain a list from the library or online (station websites or the FCC website will have the data).

    NATPE is a trade show where US TV station reps. look for programming to acquire.

  • Camille | May 7, 2011 2:52 AMReply

    Wow Rodney,

    You're awesome!

    Thank you for answering my question so thoroughly. I guess that's kind of what LXTV did.

    I am going to try to research how one would go about finding out which channels are making blocks of time available to upstart “digital” TV networks. Maybe they would just be interested in shows/programming as opposed to full networks.

    Any tips as to where I would even start to look are appreciated!

  • Rodney | May 5, 2011 10:15 AMReply

    @Camille - sorry in advance for the long e-mail. while you ask a simple question, the answer is somewhat complicated.

    First, the difference between a cable network (think BET, A&E, CNN) and TV broadcast stations (which carry broadcast networks like ABC, Fox, CBS, NBC, CW) lies in how they're regulated, which is a function of how their signals originate.

    Local TV broadcast stations distribute their signals terrestrially using spectrum (air space) owned by the public . So all you need to get access to their signals is a TV set with a receiver (antenna). The spectrum only allows the station to broadcast within a certain geographical radius. Because they use the public airwaves, they are regulated by the FCC.

    Cable Networks uplink their signal to a satellite that is owned by a common carrier (a company that owns satellites). The common carrier uses its satellites to distribute the cable networks' signals across the entire country so it may be received by cable systems simultaneously. Cable systems then re-distribute the signals via fiber optic and coaxial cable directly to the set-top box in your home. The same process is used to distribute cable networks through satellite systems like DirecTV and DISH. The difference being that households subscribing to those services get their programming directly from the satellite to their receiving dish and set-top box. There is no re-routing through a cable to the home.

    Cable and satellite systems are also able to pick up the signals from local TV broadcasters. They re-distribute the local signals to the set-top box in your home. That's why you're able to see both broadcast TV and cable network programming when you subscribe to these services.

    Digital multi-channels are the extra channels local TV broadcast stations received when they switched off their analog signals a few years back and began broadcasting in digital, as mandated by the FCC.

    So in any given local market, the local station is broadcasting several channels. For instance, here in NYC, WABC-TV broadcasts on Channel 7 (which is picked up by Time Warner Cable, Cablevision, DirecTV, Dish and Verizon Fios), Channel 7.1, 7.2 and maybe even a 7.3. These latter channels are digital multi-channels and they are not picked up by cable, satellite and IPTV systems.

    Alot of broadcast stations will air all-news or all-weather programming on these extra channels. Some use the extra spectrum for datacasting. A growing number are making blocks of time on these channels available to a number of upstart "digital" TV networks, like Bounce.

    The issue is that there aren't alot of TV homes that receive these channels for the simple fact that most households subscribe to either cable, satellite or IPTV. I've seen stats that say less than 20 million out of 100 million US households receive their TV signals over-the-air without re-distribution by cable, satellite or IPTV.

    So technically, Bounce can say they are the first ever over-the-air digital broadcast television network aimed at African-Americans, since BET and TVOne are cable networks. Its a somewhat empty claim, but it is technically correct and works for them from a marketing standpoint.

  • camille | May 5, 2011 8:59 AMReply

    @Rodney - Pardon me for asking what may seem obvious, but what is a digital multi-channel, and how is this different from cable?

    Also how can bounce claim to be "the first-ever over-the-air broadcast television network designed exclusively for African-American audiences". What about BET and TVONE?

  • Rodney | May 5, 2011 8:37 AMReply

    While it seems ambitious, there is a demand for programming on digital multi-channels and Bounce has experienced execs in the affiliate area.

    Having said that, I'm curious to see is how much of an audience they can they garner with this type of distribution. Digital multi-channels are generally not picked up by cable MSOs, DirecTV and Dish. Bounce is probably handicapping cable distribution, especially from Comcast, who committed to carrying more African-American networks as a condition for acquiring NBCU.

    Maybe the strategy is to launch, get traction and then go after cable distribution?

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