Black News Channel Pushes Launch to Early 2020

Black News Channel (BNC), a new network featuring programming for African Americans, has moved its scheduled Nov. 15 launch to January 2020.

The delay comes as network execs work on distribution agreements with wireless cellular services and streaming video services, in an effort to triple its potential viewing audience, BNC said this week.

“The launch of BNC will be a historic event, and our highly qualified journalists are chomping at the bit to be on-air now,” Bob Brillante, co-founder and CEO for BNC, said in a press release. “But if we have a chance to more than triple our viewing audience in January 2020, then this was an easy call to make.”

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BNC execs had originally estimated that the channel would be available in 33 million households at launch via Comcast, Charter and Dish Network.

By tapping into other digital delivery platforms, the channel now hopes to attract more millennial viewers.

“Our network is about providing intelligent programming that is informative, educational,inspiring and empowering to our African American audience, so they are participants in a national conversation,” added J.C. Watts, Jr., co-founder and chairman for BNC. “If we have the opportunity to include the largest African American audience possible from day one, then that should be our top priority.”

According to a September Pew Research Center survey, 93 percent of millennials (those who turn ages 23 to 38 this year) own smartphones. That’s compared with 90 percent of Gen Xers (those ages 39 to 54 this year), and 68 percent of Baby Boomers (ages 55 to 73). Additionally, most millennials (86 percent) say they use social media, compared to smaller shares among older generations.

The planned launch date for BNC is now Jan. 6, 2020.