Atlanta-based Bounce TV, a free broadcast network targeting African-Americans ages 25 to 54, made its debut this Monday at noon with the airing of the 1970s movie “The Wiz,” – a Wizard of Oz reboot featuring Michael Jackson, Diana Ross, Richard Pryor and Nipsey Russell as the lead characters.
“‘The Wiz’ is a brand identifier because it has resonated in the community since I was a child,” said Bounce president Ryan Glover. “As a third grader I played, in my school play, Nipsey Russell as the Tin Man. Last year my son, in his fourth-grade class, played Michael Jackson as the Scarecrow.”
Billed as “the nation’s first-ever over-the-air broadcast television network designed for African-American audiences,” Bounce will feature a programming mix of motion pictures, sports documentaries and faith-based programs, and will air 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
Bounce TV’s founders and original financial backers include Martin Luther King III and former U.N. ambassador and Atlanta Mayor Andrew Young. Additional architects of the project, Ryan Glover and Jonathan Katz, are former Turner Broadcasting executives.
“Candidly speaking, there have been a lot of starters and stoppers in the African-American TV network space,” explained Glover. “It took months for me to ensure in my community that we were real” and will carry different programming than the chief competitors (BET and Centric).
While he didn’t name any specifics, Glover hinted that Bounce hoped to soon add original programming that wasn’t tied to any one actor, director or genre.
In its initial rollout, Bounce will be seen in Chicago, Atlanta, Philadelphia, Houston, Cleveland/Akron, San Francisco, Milwaukee, Charlotte, Cincinnati, Indianapolis, Kansas City, Hartford/New Haven, Norfolk, Dayton, West Palm Beach, Birmingham, Memphis, Louisville, Richmond, and other cities.
For more information on Bounce TV, head over to the network’s official website.