Add to the list of prospects for Comcast carriage of African-American themed cable networks a new biography-based high-definition network from Byron Allen's Entertainment Studios.
Launching later this year, Legacy.TV will feature biographies of influential and successful African-Americans from all facets of American society, Allen, the chairman and CEO of Entertainment Studios, told Multichannel News.
The channel - a rare African American-targeted network wholly owned by an African-American - also will offer talk shows, news and celebrity interviews.
"Viewers are going to want to know about LeBron James and Denzel Washington and Halle Berry and Gen. Colin Powell," Allen said. "All content will be originally produced in-house to ensure the highest level of creative quality, as well as the ability to distribute our content globally on all platforms."
"I think Legacy.tv is the perfect name to document African-American history and biography and celebrate African-American excellence," he said. "It's something that as a community we will be very proud of, and it should have mass cross-over appeal because you're doing excellent icons who happen to be African American."
Entertainment Studios' current HD networks include Pets.TV, Comedy.TV, Recipe.TV, Cars.TV, ES.TV and MyDestination.TV, offered on Verizon's FiOS TV Ultimate HD package.
Other new entities have recently emerged as expected applicants for the 10 independently owned networks, including four African-American owned-and-targeted networks that Comcast agreed to add as a voluntary action in connection with its merger with NBCUniversal.
Black Heritage Network, a news/entertainment network targeting affluent African-Americans, said last month it is talking to operators about distribution. It has backing from former Federal Communications Commission member Tyrone Brown, TIAA-CREF CEO Roger Ferguson, columnist Clarence Page and former GE and NBC exec Paul Besson.
HBCU Net, a 24-hour network featuring content from Historically Black College and Universities, headed by former BET executive Curtis Symonds, also is planning to launch in 2012 and vying for a Comcast spot.
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