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Charter To Expand Carriage of African-American Themed Networks

Spectrum logo
(Image credit: Spectrum)

Charter Communications said it has reached a deal to expand carriage of several African-American themed networks — AspireTV, Black News Channel, Impact Network, Revolt TV, The Africa Channel, TV One and Cleo TV — to its pay TV customers subscribing to the Spectrum TV Select video tier across its entire 41-state footprint. The rollout is expected to be completed by the end of June.

Spectrum TV Select is Charter’s most popular basic programming tier with about 125 channels, and is priced at $49.99 per month for the first 12 months. 

“Charter is committed to delivering programming that reflects the diverse interests of our customers, and these networks offer a wide variety of African American-themed news, lifestyle, entertainment and inspirational content,” Charter executive VP of programming acquisition Tom Montemagno said in a press release. “By including these channels on Spectrum TV Select we will significantly increase the networks’ potential audience while providing millions of our TV customers with even more choice, entertainment and value – at no extra cost.”

The channels were available on pricier Charter tiers in the past, and includes at least one channel that is likely to disappear in the future. In March, Black News Channel CEO Princell Hair said the network was shutting down in a memo to employees. However, at the moment BNC is still on the air. 

“We applaud Charter for its commitment to expanding access to diverse programming and making sure more networks that cater to Black audiences like Revolt are introduced to millions of Spectrum TV Select customers across the country,” Revolt TV CEO Detavio Samuels said in a press release. “We are focused on building the largest Black-owned media company that changes the narrative of Black culture, and carriers like Charter play a big role in helping Revolt achieve this goal by amplifying content that elevates the culture across categories.”

Among the channels included in the agreement are:

AspireTV: The television network that celebrates and reflects Black culture and urban lifestyle. AspireTV offers reality series, specials and independent films as well as dramas, contemporary comedies and documentaries that connect with and reflect its viewers.

Black News Channel: The only provider of 24/7 multiplatform programming dedicated to covering the unique perspectives, challenges and successes of Black and Brown communities. BNC delivers live news programming each weekday.

Impact Network: Founded in Detroit by Bishop Wayne T. Jackson and Dr. Beverly Y. Jackson, and is the fastest growing, 100% African American, independently owned Christian network in the United States. 

Revolt TV: A leading Black-owned and operated multimedia platform founded by Sean “Diddy” Combs in 2013, and servicing content 24/7 across digital, linear, and live media channels. The platform produces rich content and original material with the biggest names in Hip Hop, along with reports of breaking news, current events, trends and announcements within the Black cultural movement and Hip-Hop world. 

The Africa Channel: A showcase for English language television series, feature films, documentaries and news about Africa and its influence on the world. 

TV One Networks: The hub of Black culture and entertainment with a broad offering of original programming and classic series, serving both diverse audiences for TV One and Cleo TV. Each network has a unique audience that serves viewers with fan favorites. Both networks are solely owned by Urban One, Inc., the largest African American-owned and operated multi-media company.

“We are excited Charter has expanded carriage of TV One Networks across its footprint,” said TV One and Cleo TV president Michelle Rice in a press release. “They are a great partner and like us, Charter recognizes the value of offering greater accessibility to diverse content that equitably and authentically represents the demographics of the viewers and communities we mutually serve.” ■

Mike Farrell is senior content producer, finance for Multichannel News/B+C, covering finance, operations and M&A at cable operators and networks across the industry. He joined Multichannel News in September 1998 and has written about major deals and top players in the business ever since. He also writes the On The Money blog, offering deeper dives into a wide variety of topics including, retransmission consent, regional sports networks,and streaming video. In 2015 he won the Jesse H. Neal Award for Best Profile, an in-depth look at the Syfy Network’s Sharknado franchise and its impact on the industry.