*Comcast Cable is currently accepting proposals for two substantially African American owned, independent networks that would launch in select markets by January 2019.
To be considered, Comcast says it’s looking at a number of criteria: the content of the network; whether the network is fully financed; whether the network’s ownership and/or management group(s) are well established, have relevant experience, and are substantially owned by African Americans; whether the network is already launched and has existing or potential multichannel video programming distributor (MVPD) distribution; price; and whether the network and its potential carriage provide value to Comcast and its customers.
The company says it will accept proposals for every major genre, including general entertainment, movies, music, kids, news, and sports.
The move is part of Comcast’s commitment to launch independently owned and operated networks as part of a series of public interest commitments it made in connection with its 2011 deal with NBCUniversal. Comcast has since launched over 20 independent networks, which it says is twice the number agreed to under the deal.
Four of those 20 were launched as a result of a public request for channels that satisfied the criteria established in several agreements between Comcast and leading diversity organizations: two African American majority owned networks (ASPiRE and REVOLT) and two Hispanic American operated networks (Baby First Americas and El Rey). Additionally, two substantially Hispanic American owned networks, Kids Central and Primo TV, will launch on Comcast Cable systems beginning in January 2017.
“We are looking forward to receiving another round of great proposals as we begin the process to launch two more African American majority owned networks,” said Justin Smith, Senior Vice President of Content Acquisition for Comcast Cable.