It’s the first 24/7 digital multicast broadcast network created exclusively for African Americans: Bounce TV (BounceTV.com) will specifically target African Americans primarily between the ages of 25-54 with a programming mix of motion pictures, live sporting events, documentaries, specials, inspirational faith-based programs, off-net series, original programming and more. It will be ad-supported, with half of that time being available for local insertion 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.
Bounce TV made the first in what-will-be a series of programming acquisition announcements, 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 including 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, 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 including 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.
* Urban Sports Entertainment Group 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.
Bounce TV’s 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. Hardy will serve as Chief Content Officer and Packer Chief Strategy and Marketing Officer. Former Turner Broadcasting execs Ryan Glover and Jonathan Katz will serve as EVPs. Bounce TV will be majority O&O’d by African Americans, with Ambassador Young, Andrew “Bo” Young III, Rob Hardy, Will Packer and Ryan Glover part of the initial ownership team.