By Deborah M. Walker and TNCP Staff
Violence, gangs, drugs, sex; these are just a few of the stereotypes perpetuated on popular television stations geared towards the African American audience such as Black Entertainment Television (BET). There is a television station working to change that. Bounce TV offers alternate programming aimed at bringing families together said Kevin Brown, Account Executive at Bounce TV mid-Michigan.
“Bounce TV is the first African American broadcast television station in America. By broadcast meaning transmitting over the air, which is free, with an antenna you can pick up,” said Brown.
Bounce TV serves as an oasis for African American viewers. Started in September, 2011, it is quickly becoming the number one African American station in the country. Why such high viewership?
Bounce TV broadcast shows that are conducive to the problems and struggles faced by the African American community said Brown.
“When you talk about programming, typically Latino people will watch Univision because it’s relative to them… because the news, communication, information is relative to that demographic audience. There’s no difference with Bounce TV. It’s targeted as an African American station,” said Brown.
Brown said the popularity of Bounce TV is only expected to grow. Launched out of California, the programming currently comes out of Atlanta. According to Brown, the station is now in 94 percent of all African American households and in 75 percent of all households across America. The great news is that with an antenna the station is free.
What makes Bounce TV stand out from the rest? It has the largest library of African American movies said Brown, Not even BET can compete with this. This equals to viewers spending more time watching the station instead of channel surfacing.
“People will turn on the station and leave it on,” said Brown.
Brown said another major difference between Bounce TV and other African American stations such as BET is the age of its viewers. On average viewers turning into Bounce TV tend to be older. While the audience for Bounce TV is between 25-54 years old, BET’s viewership is a mere 12-20 years old. This equates to major differences in the type of programming offered on the stations.
“If you look at 106 and Park, it’s geared towards teenagers and younger people. You don’t see those kinds of shows so much [on Bounce], you see more family programs that the dad and mom can watch with the child that tells stories and takes you through some situations,” said Brown.
Bounce TV has a wide variety of shows to choose from. Syndicated classics such as the Bernie Mac show can still be seen as well as original programming like the stand-up comedy show Off the Chain. For even more comedy, Rodney Perry, head comedian for Off the Chain, is coming out with his own sitcom on Bounce TV. All this is good news for viewers looking to add quality programming to their television line up.
For those who love drama and can’t get enough of the action, a new show called Saints and Sinners, will be coming out in the next season.
“It’s the version of Fox’s Empire, but in the black church in Atlanta,” said Brown.
Owned by African Americans, Andrew Young and Martin Luther King III, Bounce TV “comes from us,” said Brown.
Being black owned, Bounce TV will continue to educate, reform, encourage, and connect our community. Brown said the goal is to address the issues relevant to the African American community. One way Bounce TV has done this is through local interest in the African American community in the Lansing area.
According to Brown, the vision of Bounce TV Mid-Michigan is to connect with the local African American community. Brown said he would like to have original programming so that everything does not come out of Atlanta. So far Bounce TV has produced 10-12 welcome videos with “who’s who in the African American community here in Lansing,” said Brown.
Brown said he would like to continue to expand the station’s influence here in the Lansing area. Bounce TV mid-Michigan can currently be found on cable channel 290, 47.3 over the air, and on Michigan State University’s channel lineup.
For more information about Bounce TV Mid-Michigan, contact Kevin Brown at firstname.lastname@example.org.
This was printed in the September 6, 2015 - September 19, 2015