In normal times, he’d likely be celebrating the birth of a brand-new digital multicast network, thanks to a recent purchase through his growing broadcast media operation, at the Fontainebleau in Miami Beach while attending NATPE Miami.
Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, that event is now a virtual affair. But, that’s likely not stopping Byron Allen and his team from cheering about the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day transition of Light TV to the latest offering superserving Black TV consumers.
As RBR+TVBR first reported on October 30, Allen Media Group has acquired MGM‘s over-the-air broadcast television networks This TV and Light TV, offered a digital multicast offerings across the U.S., for an undisclosed price.
Launched in 2008, This TV is programmed with films, and other limited general entertainment content in the form of classic television series.
Light TV dates to 2016; it has featured family-friendly movies and series. That fare will disappear on January 15, 2021 – the start of the Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday weekend. At that time, Light TV will officially transition to TheGrio.TV.
According to Allen Media, TheGrio.TV will feature African American-focused content reaching over 100 million U.S. households via over-the-air broadcast television stations, cable/telco/satellite platforms, and free digital streaming. With its new network brand slogan Our Culture Forever, TheGrio.TV will feature movies, sitcoms, dramas, concerts, talk shows, variety shows, game shows, news, and lifestyle content.
What is “TheGrio”? The term, in parts of Africa, is used to define a storyteller.
At one time owned by NBCUniversal, TheGrio.com was purchased by Allen in 2016 when it had less than 1 million monthly active users. In Summer 2020, TheGrio.com achieved its peak of over 10.5 million monthly active users.
“TheGrio.com is now one of the most visited news and entertainment sites for the African-American community, and is the largest employer of African-American journalists,” Allen said in a press release.
He added, “TheGrio.TV is especially important to me as it will both serve and uplift all viewers. TheGrio.TV is the first and only 100 percent African American-owned and targeted broadcast television network and free digital platform – making us truly authentic, without being filtered or controlled by others outside of the community.”
On Tuesday, TheGrio.TV received a big boost courtesy of FOX Television Stations. It will carry TheGrio.TV as a digital subchannel on 11 owned-and-operated broadcast properties, including WNYW-5 in New York, KTTV-11 in Los Angeles, and stations in Chicago, Philadelphia, Dallas, San Francisco, Houston, Atlanta, Phoenix, Minneapolis and Orlando.
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