The first 24-hour sports, “edutainment” and lifestyle network dedicated to historically black colleges and universities is on the horizon.
C3 Media, LLC, the holding company that owns and operates the network, announced Tuesday at a news conference in New York that the HBCU Network will launch in 2011.
The network, based in Atlanta, is designed to fill a void in the cable industry, which has, for years, underserved the black community. The channel will be the official destination of the four major HBCU Conferences — the MEAC, SWAC, SIAC and CIAA – and will feature Division I and Division II black college sports events as the centerpiece of its programming.
The network will also offer a full complement of education and entertainment – “edutainment” – as well as lifestyle programming, some of which will be produced by HBCUs.
“Sports programming will be the anchor,” HBCU Network CEO Curtis Symonds says. “We’ll do about 28 percent sports. The majority of it will be live sports. We’ll also do lifestyle and entertainment-type programming. But what’s going to be the selling point is certainly black college sports.”
Symonds has an extensive background in the cable industry, largely in marketing and sales. He was executive vice president of affiliate sales and marketing for BET Holdings, Inc. from 1988 to 2001. Before that, he spent five years in ESPN’s Chicago office. He began as ESPN’s local advertising sales consultant and within a year was promoted to director of affiliate marketing for the mid-west. In addition, Symonds was COO of the Washington Mystics WNBA Basketball franchise.
Symonds is a product of an HBCU, having graduated from Central State University in Ohio.
He says that during his years at BET and ESPN, he saw an acute lack of exposure for HBCUs. At that time, BET was the only network that regularly broadcast black college football and basketball games.
The situation hasn’t improved a great deal. ESPN airs a limited number MEAC and SWAC football games live as part of its Thursday college football programming and a handful of tape-delayed contests late night on Saturday.
“When we (BET) took it off in 1995, ’96, there just was no vehicle,” he says. “ESPN … their heart is not in it. This channel, we’re putting our hearts into this. We believe it’s time we started educating youngsters about the 123 years of history in HBCUs.”
The network is negotiating a programming alliance ESPN, which has exclusive rights to black college conference games, and TV One for lifestyle programming. The HBCU Net will have its choice of games after ESPN selects the contests it will televise.
Symonds says the network will air three games lives each Saturday, one in the early time slot, one in the afternoon time slot and another at night. It also will televise ESPN’s Thursday night game, tape-delayed, later in the week, in addition to replaying its own telecasts.
Its sports programming will also include basketball and track and field.
Additionally, the new channel will provide a 20-percent equity position to the HBCUs by creating an investment fund that will be managed by a third party.
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This Week’s Celebrity Instagrams (11/26-12/2)
30 photos Launch gallery
1. Little Legend and Puddy 😍😍😍😍
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2. "You on point Phife?" "all the time,Tip". 💥 #bannedfromnormal
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3. Vegan! The Impossible burger at Crossroads
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4. Lawrence #BeforeandAfterEpisodes 1-4: 184lbs 13% body fatEpisode 8: 196lbs 8% body fat S/O @coachdaveboxing with the works outs and @kildareriordan with the nutrition
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5. Jus haaaanngin out
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6. Meanwhile back at home in Atlanta GA someone mad they not on the 🛳. 😳
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7. No limits... Photo cred: Chris Bridges @ludacris
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8. new new
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9. Apparently my 260lbs is too much for the actual vines in the Hawaiian jungles to hold me without breaking and me falling hundreds of feet. So for safety purposes, I'm forced to swing thru #Jumanjj on wires strong enough to hold 12 adult buffaloes and 1 adult Rock. #OnSet #Jumanji #IronicallyIEatBuffaloDailyForLunch #MoreManThanNatureKnowsWhatToDoWith
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10. hey ma! 🎎#wcw 💙
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11. Surprise visit to our factories!!! #GoodAmerican #USA
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13. Peachy Keen 🔥✨⚡️
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14. If this don't look thankful I don't know what does. Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours. #UltraBlessed #24kMagic #SweetPotatoFly
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15. Late nights @nbcmarlon with the writers... we in here!!!
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16. There goes my baaaaaaaaabbbbyyyyy #QueenKingMagic!!! We're up to something! Ira BIG!!! Stay out our buisness -
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17. You want to win every game you play but when you come home to these faces... who cares. #ILoveYouGirls best part of my day, everyday!
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18. Steady,steady..... full size jenga.. "I got this one "???? Or do I ?
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19. Cornrows kind of day 😉@dontaysavoy2 you convinced me and I love. ❤️️
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20. #BrotherlyLove #tbt
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22. #basel #TeamLOVE @kingcombs
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23. Just introduced a special screening of @directher 's groundbreaking (must see) documentary @13thfilm with my brother @themichaelealy | @unitedblackout #blackoutblackfriday
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24. Me & Vanessa Williams giving #DuckLips #Pose on the set of #DaytimeDivas @vh1 - Coming Soon to a tv near you. Lol. - My make up done by @makeupsurgeon
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25. This picture just makes me wanna praise the Lord, you hear me!!!!!! Yes Lord brotha #TEDDYCAMPBELL What a #man !!! You are everything right on this picture husband ......... #gorgeous #stylish #classy #strong #masculine #king #sexy #debonair #gentlemenstyle And that #bible in your hand just seals the deal for me (probably cause i know that, that is what helped you become just as amazing as you look😘). While my heart and mind experiences the goodness of God at #church on Sundays, my eyes experiences the goodness of Teddy😍. Amen somebody🙌🏽. "Bless the Lord oh my soul and all that is within me bless his holy name" #myman #myhusband #goodman #blackman #dapperman #godlyman #goodfather #mybestfriend
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26. Yesterday was my mama's 53rd birthday!!!!! Got to celebrate with her all day. If this is what I have to look forward to I can't wait. Looking like a soft bucket a cocoa butter. Yaaaaaaaaaas! 😍😍😍 love you mommy!
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27. "Shout out to @PureAtlanta for getting the family right"....I'm loving this jogger. 😍😍
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28. This pic warms my heart ❤️ #myLogiebeans and aunt aunt umba @itowandabraxton 😘
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29. You will always be my baby😜. #HappyBirthdayReginae #mybaby18
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30. GC "Gods Child" Red on Red SweatSuit available now at www.MonicaApparel.com ... Take Your Crown wherever you go!! I'm pictured in a Medium... Go to the site now for other options ... cc: @trukernell
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