Polaris, a Black-owned media platform, said it will launch its first free ad supported streaming TV channel on Vizio’s SmartCast as part of its WatchFree Plus service.
Polaris expects the channel to have its debut in October.
“Working with Polaris, we are bringing to market a channel that celebrates Black culture and delivers unique entertainment experiences to SmartCast users,” said Steve DeMain, VP, engagement at Vizio. “We are excited to partner with these legendary creators to deliver a channel exclusive to SmartCast audiences.”
Founded by journalist Rahman J. Dukes, Polaris uncovers and shares stories created by Black, indigenous and other people of color. The channel will be led by media personality Sway Calloway and music historian Shaheem Reid and focus on content that embraces African culture, particularly music.
Shows on the Polaris channel will include The Daily Check In with Shaheem Reid on entertainment topics; Bridge Business, a sports show hosted by Sway Calloway, and Method to the Madness, an episodic series tracing the early part of rapper Method Man’s career.
“Partnering with Vizio [to] launch Polaris is a major step in getting the stories of Black and BIPOC storytellers out there in an authentic way,” said Dukes, principal chairman and founder of Polaris. “Polaris aims to be a beacon of inspiration for the culture, and Vizio will allow our curated content to truly be that beacon, and help us deliver authentic programming to millions of households.”
Jon has been business editor of Broadcasting + Cable since 2010. He focuses on revenue-generating activities, including advertising and distribution, as well as executive intrigue and merger and acquisition activity. Just about any story is fair game, if a dollar sign can make its way into the article. Before B+C, Jon covered the industry for TVWeek, Cable World, Electronic Media, Advertising Age and The New York Post. A native New Yorker, Jon is hiding in plain sight in the suburbs of Chicago.
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