Lionsgate is teaming up with Ebony Media Group to launch a new free, ad-supported streaming television (FAST) channel focused on the African-American point of view.
The offering, which will feature award-winning films and popular series that celebrate Black culture, will officially launch on Oct. 11 via Samsung TV Plus (channel 1054), followed by additional platforms including The Roku Channel, Tubi, and Amazon Freevee by the end of the month.
EBONY TV by Lionsgate’s programming will include the Golden Globe-nominated drama “The Great Debaters,” starring Denzel Washington and Forest Whitaker; the Dwayne Johnson starrer “Snitch;” “Dear White People,” starring Tessa Thompson;” “If Beale Street Could Talk,” starring KiKi Layne; Tyler Perry’s “I Can Do Bad All by Myself,” starring Taraji P. Henson; and Quentin Tarantino’s “Jackie Brown,” starring Pam Grier. The channel will also feature shows such as “Are We There Yet?” and “Kevin Hart: What the Fit.”
“EBONY has long been an outlet our culture could count on for news and entertainment,” EBONY CEO Eden Bridgeman Sklenar said in a statement. “Our new partnership with Lionsgate and the launch of EBONY TV is an extension of our brand that will provide our audience with Black-focused programming that furthers our mission to Move Black Forward.”
In its State of Play report in August, Nielsen estimated a total of more than 1,400 individual FAST channels, with over 1,050 of them available in the United States.
Despite representing 14% of the U.S. population, channels targeting Black audiences make up just 2% of the available FAST channels in the U.S., according to Lionsgate and EBONY Media Group.
In addition to EBONY TV, Lionsgate’s FAST channel lineup includes MovieSphere, HerSphere, OuterSphere and single IP channels such as Nashville and Ghost Hunters.
“With the exceptional growth of MovieSphere by Lionsgate over the past year, we are excited to collaborate with EBONY to launch our first FAST channel providing premium Lionsgate content tailored to Black audiences,” Lionsgate’s Head of Domestic Channels and executive vice president and managing director of Canada Susan Hummel said in a statement. “EBONY is the perfect partner to help bring our expansive library to a demographic that has been previously underserved in the FAST space.”
Source: The Wrap