*(BlackSportz.com) – In a much anticipated, long overdue effort, veteran sports reporter DC Livers has launched the nation’s first Black-Owned, Black-Women led sports network.
The Black Sportz Network™ (BlackSportz.com) will serve as the only news network that addresses the media blackout which often restricts Black-owned media from having equal access to professional sports.
“I must be crazy to do this but here I am launching a Black-owned sports network,” said Livers. “ESPN has a virtual sports monopoly. Although many Black-owned media attempt to gain media credentials or access but most of the times they are quickly shot down because there’s systematic and economic racism even in professional sports. [Black Sportz Network] is something I’ve been thinking about for years. I’m often the only Black woman covering a game that doesn’t work for ESPN or mainstream media. I never really get used to it. More than once I’ve had to go to the ladies room and have a good cry. Looking back now, I was just taking one for the team. It’s exciting to be able to help bring equality to sports,” said Livers, who started her professional sports career covering the Indiana Pacers.
“Thanks to a great man named Dean McDowell, I was working on a story about African Americans who worked for the Pacers when Jalen Rose walked in. I landed his first interview as a member of the Pacers. It was pretty surreal because I was moonlighting for my TV station job and had started publishing a tiny little community newspaper. It’s pretty unheard of to have that kind of opportunity but I’m so grateful that Dean understood the importance – years before it became trendy – of making sure that Black-owned media had equal access.”
Livers has already brought on a team of veteran and newbie sports writers but she’s keeping their names close to the vest for fear of talent poaching. In an industry that can turn one interview into millions of dollars, Black-owned media are often left feeling embarrassed because they can’t get equal access to African American players.
“To be frank, it’s terrible. I get so many calls from so many Black-owned media outlets asking me how they can get in. I tell them the truth: You can’t. There’s an invisible electric fence around media credentials for many professional sports leagues. It’s probably the biggest area that professional sports has to work on but I’m hopeful that when people see our collective body of work they’ll start to realize they missed out on some great talent,” said Livers, who is the longest working Black female reporter covering the NBA.
The Black Sportz Network™ is an omnimedia company featuring next level technology including Virtual Reality, Augmented Reality as well as print magazines, blogs/podcasts, TV and radio, social and digital media and eventually an app all created by Black content creators or people who are committed to Livers’ vision of Media Equality. Livers has already locked in at least one advertiser.
“I don’t kid myself. This is not going to be easy. It’s just not. Players are used to going wherever their media person tells them to go so there’s going to have to be some give and take with the media managers. I remain hopeful that as the leagues are starting to embrace racial justice that we’ll find acceptance because in the end Black audiences deserve to have access to the athletes just as much as Bleacher Report, The Fumble or any other outlet,” she said.
Coverage is already underway as Livers and her editorial team have been busy providing LIVE and/or in-person sports coverage including opening Day for the MLB in Washington, DC, the NBA Bubble in Orlando, the WNBA Bubble in Bradenton, FL and the upcoming U.S. Open and Olympics.
Some of the magazines that are part of The Black Sportz Network™ are WHIPZ (a monthly hip hop focused car and gadgets publication (FlipMyWhipz.com), Black Sportz Magazine (monthly), Black Runners (Quarterly), Blacks In Tennis (Quarterly) among others.
“If we do our jobs right, 5 years from now people won’t believe there was ever a time when there wasn’t a Black-owned sports network,” Livers said.