IlluminateIC Staff Writers
Byron Allen Buys Black News Channel for $11M
Media Mogul Byron Allen Buys Black News Channel Out of Bankruptcy
By: Staff Writers
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Byron Allen’s Allen Media Group is buying the Black News Channel, with plans to revive the bankrupt cable news outlet and significantly grow its distribution footprint. Allen’s company is acquiring “substantially all” of BNC’s assets for $11 million, with a bankruptcy court in Tallahassee, Florida, formally signing off on the sale.
The announcement from AMG follows an order from the Northern District of Florida, Tallahassee Division of the United States Bankruptcy Court approving the sale of “substantially all” of the channel assets. The assets will be acquired free and clear of all liens, claims, encumbrances and interests.
BNC is available in about 45 million homes through companies like Comcast, Charter and DirecTV, and Allen says his company can grow that distribution to about 80 million homes in the next six months. It’s not immediately clear, however, what Allen has in store for BNC’s lineup or programming. BNC had just rebooted its primetime lineup last year with hopes of turning things around.
BNC’s previous owner, Jacksonville Jaguars owner Shad Khan, had invested over $100 million in BNC since its 2020 launch, before shutting it down in March.
According to AMG, the acquisition 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.
AMG has also invested over $1 billion in the last 3 years to acquire 27 ABC-NBC-CBS-FOX network affiliate broadcast television stations nationwide.
Khan had invested over $100 million into BNC, according to AMG.
“We are excited to have been selected to acquire the Black News Channel, which has approximately 300 million linear and digital subscribers,” said Byron Allen, Founder/Chairman/CEO of Allen Media Group. “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. Also, we appreciate the opportunity to provide cable operators, satellite companies, telcos, and digital platforms diversity of ownership, voices, and viewpoints on their programming line-ups by having a 100 percent African-American owned network.”
BNC has carriage on traditional linear packages via Comcast, Charter, Cox, DISH, DirecTV, and Verizon, and currently has approximately 45 million linear subscribers. Allen says he plans to grow the distribution to approximately 80 million linear subscribers over the next 6 months.