Moving in the Right Direction

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  • Bounce TV was introduced to the public last September and it has been a critically acclaimed success. This groundbreaking network may change the trajectory of television programming for minorities in the years to come. Bounce TV is the nation’s first-ever over the air broadcast television network for African-Americans. Ryan Glover, the president of the burgeoning network has been a fixture in the entertainment industry for many years. The wealth of experience he has accumulated has prepared him for this current position. Since its release, the network is quickly on the verge of becoming a major player in the media landscape.

    Bounce TV targets African-Americans, primarily between the ages of 25-54, with a programming mix of theatrical motion pictures, live sports, documentaries, specials, inspirational faith-based programs, original programming and more. Bounce TV is currently available on New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Atlanta, Dallas, Philadelphia, Washington, D.C., Houston, Cleveland/Akron, Baltimore, New Orleans, Milwaukee, Charlotte, Cincinnati, Indianapolis, Kansas City, Hartford/New Haven television stations.

    Bounce TV is majority African-American-owned. Martin Luther King III and Ambassador Andrew Young are among the Founding Group and Board of Directors of Bounce TV. They’re joined by the expertise and knowledge of movie producers and co-founders of one of the top African-American movie studios in the world, Rainforest Films, Will Packer and Rob Hardy. Together, they comprise a formidable executive team to carry out the goals of the network.

    BlackAmericaWeb recently spoke with Ryan Glover about the network’s development and its current and future plans for success.

    When was the concept of Bounce TV first developed and by whom?
    I worked with a gentleman by the name of Jonathan Katz on an African-American original programming model that we incubated at Peachtree TV, which is the local [Atlanta] television station owned by Turner Broadcasting. Peachtree TV is the local form of TBS. It used to be called the Superstation, but now it’s the local over the air station and it’s called Peachtree TV. Jonathan and I worked together to develop original programming for the station.

    This model that we developed ended up being successful. It became our inspiration for creating our African-American broadcasting programming service. I’ve been friendly with the Young and King families for close to 10 years now. We would always talk about creating meaningful content that appealed to the African-American community. So when the notion of creating an African-American broadcast network became a reality, aligning myself with Mr. Young and Mr. King became a no-brainer. In addition to their programming ideas, their life work has been geared to aiding the disenfranchised and the underserved, which from a linear television perspective is what Bounce TV is all about. Bounce TV is about serving the underserved African-American marketplace.

    Who came up with the name Bounce TV?
    It was a joint effort. The word “bounce” can relate to music or as a slang term when someone is going somewhere. We figured it was a great way to describe how we would plan to operate within the television landscape. As you know, there are nearly 13 million Hispanic television households served by dozens of Spanish language networks. There are nearly 14 million African-American television households and only a few dedicated channels and no over the air networks. We watch more television than the national average as well as other ethnicities. We felt that now was the time to do it and that this market had been underserved. We felt the need to fill this void in a robust way. Additionally, there are local broadcast stations now that have new and unused bandwidth that they need to fill. And they have a strong need for programming for their digital signals.

    How were you chosen to become the president of the network?
    It’s important to note that even though I’m the president of the network, it’s definitely a team effort here. I work closely with our outstanding leadership team, which includes many seasoned executives as well as our Board of Directors on all aspects of the business. I’m truly just one cog in a wheel surrounded by many talented executives who are experts in their respective disciplines. They’re quite passionate about this underserved broadcast space.

    How much work has it been to launch the network?
    I don’t sleep at all. We’ve gone from zero to one hundred warp speed. This time last year we just announced plans for the network. In the next five months, we will put our programming together, build our infrastructure, and hire more people. We’ve acquired more content, created a brand, got the network on the air, achieved outstanding distribution, and attracted major blue chip sponsors such as Toyota. We were able to get this all done in a relatively short time span. Since launching in September, the network became a popular destination for viewers. We’ve been able to reach over 75% of our target audience and 60 million households across the country. And we’re growing daily.

    What is going to set Bounce TV apart from TV One, Centric, and BET?
    We target a slightly older demographic than BET and we like to think we have a well rounded schedule of movies at our core. Most importantly, we are a broadcast television network. Fortunately, through our retransmission agreements with our local affiliates we also have cable carriage as well. Basically, we’re an over the air network like NBC or CBS and the other stations are on cable. Over the air broadcast networks are also carried on cable. Bounce TV can be seen over the air for free and also on cable systems. But our target is serving the grossly underserved broadcast audience. These things are the biggest differences between BET, Centric, TV One, and Bounce TV.

    What are the plans to expand the network’s outreach nationally and internationally?
    At the moment, we’re not focused on international growth. We’re focused on continuing to grow Bounce TV in the U.S. Even though we’re already available to 75% of African-American homes and 50% of the entire country, there is still room for distribution growth. Our compelling lineup will only get stronger as we introduce original programming and more sports that resonate with our audience.

    Where do you envision the network being in the next five years?
    I wish I had a crystal ball, but I will tell you that our daily push exists in all aspects of our business. Whether it’s distribution, ad sales, programming, or creating a better working environment for our employees, this is truly a network that cares about everything from soup to nuts. It is one of the main reasons why we got into this space. We want to continue to move Bounce TV in the right direction in the present and future.

    To find your local Bounce TV station, go to http://www.bouncetv.com.

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