Many families are coping with the nation’s shaky economy by cutting non-essential expenses from their monthly household budget.
One item that is often cut is cable or satellite television. Therefore, many people are left to be served by local television stations providing programming that is free, but not always diverse.
Viewers who want to see more variety and enjoy refreshing entertainment can look forward to Bounce TV, which made its debut in the Indianapolis market this week. Programming from the network will be shown on WNDY (Channel 23.3), a free digital station affiliated with MyINDY-TV (Channel 23), which serves Central Indiana.
Jeff White, president and general manager of WNDY, MyINDY-TV and WISH-TV (Channel 8), believes that hosting Bounce TV is a historic breakthrough for the local broadcasting community.
“WNDY is the first and only station in this market to provide programming that is designed for our African-American viewers,” White said. “This is really a great opportunity and an honor for us to offer Bounce TV and its diverse lineup of programming on free, over-the-air television.”
Formed in April, Bounce TV is billing itself as “the first ever 24/7, over-the-air broadcast television network” created for African-Americans. Included on its board are prominent African-American leaders and executives, such as civil rights leaders Martin Luther King III and Ambassador Andrew Young.
In just six months, the young network has secured programming in several major markets serving 32 cities across the country. It has also acquired the television rights to more than 400 African-American television shows, productions and motion pictures.
Bounce TV came to life on Monday by airing the 1978 classic motion picture “The Wiz,” featuring Diana Ross and Michael Jackson.
Viewers can expect a variety of entertainment from Bounce TV, ranging from popular classic and recent films featuring Black actors, to documentaries, specials, inspirational faith-based programs and original programming. Even live sporting events will be shown, thanks to an agreement with the Urban Sports Entertainment Group (USEG).
In other words, any viewer in Bounce TV’s targeted age group of 25-54 should be able to find something enjoyable to watch, whether it is the 2004 Jamie Foxx film “Ray,” a comedy with Eddie Murphy, a documentary about African-American women in entertainment or a Black college football game.
Ryan Glover, a former Turner Broadcasting executive now serving as president of Bounce TV, explained that there is a serious need for African-American programs to be provided on local television stations nationwide.
“Right now, you can see dozens of Spanish-language versions of networks that serve the nearly 13 million Hispanic television households. But, until now, the 14 million African-American households had just a few dedicated cable channels for them – and no over-the-air networks,” Glover told the Recorder. “Bounce TV is designed to fill a void for people who want more stories, characters, events and sports that cater to the African-American community.”
For some, Bounce TV’s lineup of programming may seem similar to that of the TV-One and Centric networks, which can be seen on cable and satellite television.
However, in a statement, Young highlighted the key difference between Bounce TV and its counterparts.
“This network will tell more of our stories, while also delivering free programming exclusively for our under-served community,” Young said. “It will actually be accessible to all homes around the country, not just those who can afford to pay for television. We look forward to viewers being entertained by Bounce TV for many years to come.”
For more information about Bounce TV and to see samples of programming, visit www.bouncetv.com. You may also visit Facebook.com/bouncetv and Twitter.com/bounce_tv.