MGM is in cahoots with an exec who helped launch TV One on a broadcast network for African Americans. The planned channel, KIN TV, is being marketed as a diginet and will compete with the newly launched Bounce TV.
When Bounce TV debuted this week, it became the first-ever broadcast television network for African Americans. But by the end of the year, it is quite possible that Bounce TV won’t be the only one.
TV industry sources say Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios has been shopping around KIN TV, a new multicast network targeting an African-American audience.
KIN TV will offer a “wide range of programming designed to entertain, inform and inspire a broad audience of modern African-American viewers,” according to a video presentation that TVNewsCheck found on the Internet.
The service is overdue. The video says it would launch in the summer of 2011. MGM officials declined to comment for this story.
MGM is an established player in the diginet business. One of the strongest contenders in the diginet space is This TV, the joint venture of MGM Entertainment and Chicago-based Weigel Broadcasting. Launched in 2008, This TV reaches 85.6% of U.S. TV homes with top MGM movies and classic TV shows.
MGM also handles distribution for Weigel Broadcasting’s Me-TV, a diginet offering classic TV sitcom and dramas, which rolled out nationally last December. It’s cleared in 62% of TV homes, and now available in more than 50%, according to Me-TV’s Neal Sabin.
MGM is reportedly partnering with Lee Gaither, a media consultant and former TV executive. According to Gaither’s LinkedIn profile, he is president/CEO of KIN TV.
Gaither, who now runs Basil Street Media, a media production and consulting company, helped launch the African American cable network, TV One, and is a former NBC Universal programming executive. He did not immediately return TVNewsCheck’s call.
KIN will “include both African American and mainstream content on the network….We’re Americans, as well as African Americans,” states the video, which is obviously being used to sell the diginet to local TV stations.
It also says that KIN will offer “a mix of lifestyle, drama, comedy, mystery and local news.” This lifestyle approach will “focus on topics such as home, travel, cuisine, parenting, work and relationships,” according to the video.
And it appears that the new diginet will have a local component. “Some of KIN’s series and specials will be produced in your local market,” promises the video.
It is too early to tell what impact KIN TV will have on Bounce TV. That service, which debuted on Sept. 26, is targeting African Americans primarily between the ages of 25-54 and offers a mix of theatrical motion pictures, live sporting events, documentaries, specials, inspirational faith-based programs, off-net series, original programming and more.
Bounce TV is already carried in some major TV markets, including: Chicago, Atlanta, Philadelphia, Houston, Cleveland/Akron, San Francisco, Milwaukee, Charlotte, Cincinnati, Indianapolis, Kansas City, Hartford/New Haven, Norfolk, Dayton, West Palm Beach, Birmingham, Memphis, Louisville and Richmond.