Byron Allen’s Allen Media Group acquires Black News Channel
Allen bought the network for $11 million after approval from a Florida bankruptcy court, according to a company press release.
Byron Allen’s Allen Media Group, which owns theGrio, has acquired the defunct Black News Channel out of bankruptcy from billionaire Shahid Khan, owner of the NFL’s Jacksonville Jaguars franchise.
Allen acquired the network for $11 million after approval from a Florida bankruptcy court, according to a company press release. Black News Channel provided a platform for several high-profile commentators, including Charles M. Blow and Marc Lamont Hill.
Black News Channel started to close up shop in late 2021, with layoffs right before the Christmas holidays. The 24/7 news network went off the air in March after two years amid several gender discrimination lawsuits and low viewership.
However, Allen’s acquisition of the network will add 300 million linear and digital subscribers to the AMG portfolio of assets — which includes 12 television networks, such as The Weather Channel, digital platforms Local Now, HBCU GO, Sports.TV, theGrio streaming app, and The Weather Channel streaming app.
“We are excited to have been selected to acquire the Black News Channel, which has approximately 300 million linear and digital subscribers,” said Allen, AMG’s founder, chairman and CEO.
“Allen Media Group will deliver a best-in-class network to serve the underserved African-American community and the advertisers who want to reach this extremely valuable audience,” noted Allen. “Also, we appreciate the opportunity to provide cable operators, satellite companies, telcos, and digital platforms diversity of ownership, voices, and viewpoints on their programming lineups by having a 100 percent African-American-owned network.”
In the past three years, Allen Media Group has invested over $1 billion to acquire 27 ABC, NBC, CBS and FOX network affiliate broadcast television stations nationwide.
Its international television division currently has active license agreements and programming in South Africa, the United Arab Emirates, Australia, the Bahamas, Canada and New Zealand. With a library of over 5,000 hours of owned content across multiple genres, Allen Media Group also provides video content to cable television networks, mobile devices and multimedia digital.
Black News Channel has carriage on traditional linear packages via Comcast, Charter, Cox, DISH, DirecTV and Verizon, and currently has approximately 45 million linear subscribers. Allen reportedly plans to grow its distribution to approximately 80 million linear subscribers over the next six months.
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