MGM Gives Bounce TV A New Rival

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. 

Comments (11)

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Just Fine says:

September 29, 2011 at 4:14 pm

You mean Summer 2012, don’t you? Summer 2011 just ended a few days ago. Still, it is interesting that MGM is becoming a big name in digital television.

    Linda Stewart says:

    September 29, 2011 at 5:15 pm

    Thanks. We’ve clarified the language.

mike tomasino says:

September 29, 2011 at 4:24 pm

Weigel and MGM have done a great job with THIS TV. I’m not sure if the market can support two African American networks. It will be interesting to see, but the main thing is will there be broadcast spectrum to support these new networks? I hope so!!!

Trisha Miller says:

September 29, 2011 at 4:42 pm

It would be nice to see the original programming produced in 16X9 instead of 4X3.

    len Kubas says:

    September 29, 2011 at 8:23 pm

    16:9 uses more bits than 4×3; an important (but sometimes overlooked) consideration for a supplemental ota network.

    Brian Talty says:

    September 30, 2011 at 12:12 pm

    Not necessarily. They could produce and distribute in SD but 16:9 anamorphic, and have the correct AFD code so that it gets stretched to 16:9 on the home set. Ideally they’d use AFD throughout the chain and have both 16:9 and 4:3 content as available. Either format would have the same actual pixel resolution and the same number of bits when compressed.

    Trisha Miller says:

    September 30, 2011 at 2:49 pm

    16:9 in SD is 704 H pixels x 480 V pixels. 4:3 is 704 H x 480 v pixels. The occupied bandwidth is the same.

nick tang says:

September 29, 2011 at 5:10 pm

The market can and will support additional AfrAmerican networks. It currently supports a myriad of Hispanic targeted networks without issue. If it’s anything like the successof TVOne, which did not cannibalize BET, or ThisTV-type nets, it’s a slam dunk win.

joanne gauvin says:

September 29, 2011 at 6:09 pm

Advertisers can only spread their budgets so thin and neither of these will see serious commitments their first year…media buyers won’t buy estimates… they may be able to hook a few fish the first year, but not enough to feed a family. Which leave the incoming revenue to DR. Does this audience have enough disposal income for a shame wow? This is a busted model and only a matter of time till overhead catches up. Props to bounce for being first to market though. The sports is their only hook…

    len Kubas says:

    September 29, 2011 at 8:25 pm

    that’s a reason for not entering a business; the province of employees and retirees, not those managing businesses. BET was rather rough for the first half-decade or longer. I quickly got my fill of Stepin Fetchit flicks.

Teri Green says:

September 30, 2011 at 12:50 am

Point taken with the Hispanic market but the language thing counts a lot. Too often these networks think you can only show movies and TV shows with black people on them. Well TV shows and movies with white, Asian and Latinos ALSO appeal to blacks, so to pull in the entire black audience you have to show all kinds of shows and movies, not just those with a predominantly black cast. This is why the networks will fail. Black people like all kinds of shows, not just those with black actors in them. Also being on low power stations in some markets make them basically not receivable in all but theory

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