BTNC and Comcast Announce Multi-Year Agreement!



Angela Sailor, Media Relations                                     April 14, 2008

Ph:    (202) – 207-2854

Fax: (202) – 207-2853




Washington, DC — April 14, 2008 — Black Television News Channel (BTNC), the nation’s only African-American news network, scheduled to launch in 2009, today announced a multi-year carriage agreement with Comcast (CMCSA, CMCSK), the country’s leading provider of cable, entertainment and communications products and services.  Under the agreement, BTNC expects that it will be added to Comcast systems in the following key African American markets: Philadelphia, Chicago, Detroit, Washington, D.C., Atlanta and Baltimore.


BTNC will be a 24/7 cable news network that provides original news programming with a distinctly African-American perspective, and therefore helps fill a major gap in today’s media.  BTNC is the endeavor of J.C. Watts, Jr., former U.S. congressman from Oklahoma and celebrated athlete, and broadcast and cable news veterans.  


“Our unique and vast content partnerships with African American newsmakers will provide our viewers LIVE access to the stories and people in whom our viewers have a special interest,” said Watts. “With this agreement, Comcast continues to demonstrate its commitment to working with independent programmers with diverse points of view.”


BTNC will construct the first coast-to-coast all high-definition television newsgathering infrastructure with its network operations center located in Washington, DC.



About BTNC


Black Television News Channel will be the nation’s only provider of 24/7 cable news programming dedicated to covering the unique perspective of African American communities.  BTNC will provide access to information and educational programming to meet the specific needs of this growing and dynamic community, which is a major consumer of subscription television services.  BTNC will provide a new voice that represents African Americans in mainstream media and fosters political, economic, and social discourse.  BTNC’s programming will shed light on the unique social, economic, and political challenges facing urban communities and help close the “image gap” that exists today between the negative African American stereotypes perpetuated by mainstream media news and our enterprising black communities.







16 Responses to “BTNC and Comcast Announce Multi-Year Agreement!”

  1. Mr. Watts,

    My name is Tommy Wright, first of all this is joyous time and commend you on our common vision to bring headline news and information for and about the African Diaspora back center stage in our global community. I’m contacting you for your consideration to assist in the build out and launch the Black Television News Channel. I’m a seasoned broadcast television professional with over 25 years experience as a Producer/Director covering 16 foreign countries in global, network, and independent television. My work represent a wide range of creativity and production experiences from broadcast design, production and editorial management of original to multimedia content for today’s broadband broadcasting. As you review my global media and broadcasting production experience you’ll find that I’m very comfortable with providing hands on production, creative design, producing, or management from single camera to multi-camera production (television or film) …even if its entertainment and sports specials, reality or documentaries, art and cultural programming, live events, to breaking or investigative hard news. And yes I’ve been on the road shooting from the hip as a one-man-band and worked in extreme situations from refugee camps behind enemy lines to riots and major natural disasters. As far as the current video and broadcast technology there is no pre production – production – post production application, process, or equipment that I have not used…as well as micro wave and satellite production trucks. I have always maintained a passion for delivering engaging rich multimedia content and programming in an accurate and compelling way. My overall experience in TV, radio and new media has been a journey that has taken me around the world.

    My expertise range from but not limited to production management, creation, planning and development process of programming to ensuring timely completion of quality on-air program materials. This includes, but is not limited to, broadcast content, technical operations, and interstitial programming supervising all phases of production, post-production and graphic design as needed to maintain workflow and to meet strict and continuing deadlines. Provide innovating programming ideas and guide daily operations. Because of my technical and production experience I can also assist in coordinating your production efforts and supervise all staff. Besides possessing strong storytelling capability, writing skills, creative and editorial judgment, I take pride in maintaining keen knowledge and insight on current affairs and issues that speak to our diversity as a nation.

    I welcome the opportunity to get better understanding of your overall needs and how I can be of service. As you review my operations and management experience you’ll find that I’m very comfortable with providing hands on creative design, producing, or marketing. What do I bring to the table? Team leadership, the ability to execute during time sensitive or pressure situations; Solid editorial judgment; Flexibility (adjust with rapid changes, adapt to handle several tasks at once); Attitude (eager, energetic, team-oriented); Coordinate assignments, development of curriculum themes, produce and package specialize academy programs for national branding; Write headlines or promos, teases, text as needed; Coordinate and facilitate collaboration between content, interactive, and academy divisions; Conceive and develop curriculum features, marketing strategies, event coverage.

    I have a solid reputation and I’m very proud of my accomplishments over the years in the broadcast industry. Please go to my website ( there you’ll find an overview of my professional experience and once you’ve review my background and viewed my work, please don’t hesitate to contact me if you believe I’d make a valuable team member.

    Best Regards,
    Tommy Wright

  2. Congratulations to all of you who are building the nation’s first African American news channel. I imagine that it is an exciting journey that you are a part of.

    I read about the announcement in Black Enterprise Magazine and decided to reach out to introduce gL Market Research. We are a full service minority owned marketing research firm, specializing in web-based surveys, focus groups and opinion polling.

    Our diverse and international team of market research and communications professionals have a wealth of experience and demonstrated achievements in survey research, statistical modeling and analysis and communications strategy development.

    We hope you will consider gL Market Research for any of your opinion polling, analysis or interpretation needs. Please visit our website at for more details about gL Market Research.

    Please visit our blog for tips and ideas on generating positive buzz about the new network through the use of word of mouth marketing techniques.

    We wish you all the best in this important endeavor and continued success.

    Lloyd Duggan
    President & CEO
    gL Market Research

  3. Mr. Watts,

    Thank you for allowing God to use you to create such an important tool to reach the world. I have been praying for nearly 20 years for such a channel. I am looking forward to the positive impact it will have on Black America and how this will (hopefully) change how others see us as a people.

    I’m also looking forward to my two sons being able to see more positive images of people who look like them.

    Thank you so much for “thinking outside of the box”. It may be a tough road at times, but please know that I am committed to praying for you all on a regular basis…and I know there are others who will do the same.



  4. Congratulations, BTNC! I read about you at the “Black Women Vote” blog. May I suggest you read all of Arlene Fenton’s “The Queenly Art of Political Warfare” series as well as her “Black Female Agenda” (see later references to it here)? I think she has done a great job, after her years of talking to female black people and finding out what their concerns are, of synthesizing it. I’m a white woman but want to do my best to be an ally, and it’s really helped me understand what I can do best. I can’t imagine it wouldn’t help for your male black directors, board members, and staff.

    Best of luck with the new station! I don’t get cable, but I’ll try to see if I can watch it when I visit my dad, and if I always like what I see, I’ll always include the station when I write letters to corporations suggesting where they put their ads (instead of wherever it is I’m trying to get them to yank ads from).

  5. NewDayForU2 Says:

    This is what the public sorely needs and has been greatly talked about in certain circles for years now. Thank you for creating this platform for the community.

  6. I am so excited! I live in Austin, Texas, and will not be able to see the launch of this channel. I have already put your web-site in my internet favorites. May God bless this endeavor.

  7. I was excited to hear about your new broadcast television network! 2009 can not come any sooner!

    The Black Television Network has a potentially excellent opportunity to define Black America on its own terms! We can create our own digital image! I am ready to assist in any way that I can!

    I actually met J.C. Watts in Washington, DC in 1996 when I ran for U.S.Congress and I welcome the opportunity to talk with him again!

    My Internet radio show and E3C podcast is called: The Passionate Entrepreneur. This program is for business owners and entrepreneurs who are passionate about their business and want to build successful and profitable businesses!

    I interview thought leaders, “movers & shakers” and action-oriented passionate entrepreneurs! I share new ideas, strategies, information and knowledge. Also, I talk about the best practices for profitability and the principles of profitability!

    Perhaps, we can discuss the business of television news, entrepreneurship, free enterprise, blacks in business, politics and business and our digital image.

    E3C stands for Entrepreneurship, Empowerment, Evolution, Connect, Collaborate and Create Opportunities for all entrepreneurs! E3C … Where People, Business and Opportunities Connect!

    Check out the website: (Podcast)

    Our shows are heard all over the world! These countries include Australia, United States, Canada, China, France, Japan, India, Philippines, Thailand, Romania, Bulgaria, Saudi Arabia, United Kingdom, England, Ireland, Germany, Africa, Netherlands and Sweden! Currently, our show averages over two thousand downloads a week!

    Our interview could be 5 minutes, 15 minutes or 30 minutes! What ever time is available for you! We can schedule it at anytime and any day!

    Please let me know how I can help and assist your new broadcast network! I am ready! I am looking forward to your next step!

    Thank you again!


    Kenneth Darryl Brown

  8. JC,

    After meeting you in DC, I am convinced that this network will be a success. For those of us without BNTC on our cable systems, I hope that you have streams on your website or an highlights archive that we can watch. Youtube works as well for bloggers like myself. We can post your videos and attract new viewers. I can’t wait!

  9. keep it up. keep it up. we really need this info – BTNC. hope it’s good

  10. Raiena Thompson Says:

    January 2009 is right around the corner–Lets get it started!!!! People are excited about the 24/7 News Network that’s targeted towards Black America–This endeavor is exciting and needed to help educate the black community.

  11. This new news station is exactly what I and tens of millions of Black people around the world who remember the old BET have been asking for.

    The lives, culture, contributions, positive news about African-Americans is desperately needed in the US as well as globally. In fact, BET is seen worldwide, however, in many nations, BET music is shown interwoven with local, regional and international news, culture and features.

    Black America needs a wide variety of tv networks, from news and commentary television to history to culture, to education, sports and others.

    Why is it so difficult for Black America to have at least 10 strong cable networks, when the Spanish-speaking in America have over ten spanish-speaking stations on cable tv?

    What is our problem. We must recognize the value of having the means and power to be able to tell our stories and our facts with our own networks. When propaganda is spread about Blacks on cable tv, on ‘crime’ tv or on talk radio., we should be able to rebut and respond. This ability to rebut and to present the facts is crucial to our survival. If we do anything with out time, we ought to study the history of our people here just after the Reconstruction, when the Black race was demonized and the practice of lynching, racist barbaric attacks and segregation returned — because the plight of Blacks was not being seen globally by a world who had no idea of the atrocities being committed.

    Later on in Europe during the 1940’s, the same tragedy occurred in Germany and Europe. Africans, Jews, Slavs, Gypsies, Jehova Witnesses and American/British POW’s perished in concentration camps. They had no media to spread the facts on the ground and to organize to stop the atrocities until it was too late.

    Black America must wake up. We must organize and create not just one or two or three cable tv stations, we should have as many as ten to twenty. In fact, WE OUGHT TO HAVE VERSIONS OF BLACK NEWS CABLE IN Spanish, Portugese, French and Swahili (or tv stations with programs in these languages ) in order to be able to service the global Black/Pan-Negro world which is over two billion people (including the people of South India – Indo-Negroids who are purposely kept out of ‘Indian’ media and are invisible. There are also tens of milions of Africoid people in the Indian Ocean, South Pacific and Melanesia. There are many in Australia, Papua New Guinea. There are millions in Europe, Latin America and elsewhere. The markets are there and as one can clearly see if I had the capital, I would have established a series of global black tv networks/media years ago.

    Let us hope we recognize our potential. Over the years, over 200 cable tv stations have sprung on tv and there are still only about three to four Black tv stations.

    Surely, we can do better than that and we must. The rest of the world have to know our stories, our lives and our struggle, so no one will get away with their schemes of genocice, racism and oppression, while pretending to be what they are not. The world would see from Black networks how Blacks actually live, instead of the dialy lies and propaganda being spread. A lie is also to present one side of the issue in order to spread hatred and disgust from the viewing population.

    Let’s hope more of these networks are created. If Black America continues to sit back and not build more tv networks and media — someone else will do it. The 50 million Black American population needs to have our own series of cable tv networks.


  12. Greatervision Says:

    Don’t forget about the San Francisco Bay area…we need you in Oakland, CA

  13. I agree with Greatervision…I am located in the Oakland (I am originally from Oklahoma) area and would like to see BTNC on our local Cable/Dish Network.

    I also have a suggestion I would love to discuss with someone. Hope to talk to you soon.

  14. I just hope something positive can be done with it, and with Mr. Watts as chairman, I think there will be.

    I’m a Anglo-American that’s tired of hearing viewpoints from the Anglo-American establishment. We all are waiting for some unfettered truth in reporting, for once on god’s green Earth. A lot is wrong, and we know it, and we need someone (like of Mr. Watts reputation and personal character) to pull us together. We have problems we need to identify and deal with.

    MSNBC slants one way, FOX slants another, and we all have this sinking feeling that they are in the pockets of others and they have an agenda that also needs to be identified and dealt with.

    I’ll keep my eye on BTNC and watch if I can.

    My hopes and my thoughts are with all of you.

    “You put lipstick on a pig and…”

  15. Excellent! what a concept!. Amazing. If you try to fail, and succeed, which have you done?

  16. michael a johnson Says:

    i don’t know of any other way to contact you, but MY story needs to be told. as a black man in his fifties, i have seen, heard and felt 50 years worth of pride, success, failure and culture. i have LIVED and am alive to tell it. i want to tell it! i know there are many african-american men who have the same story to tell, but can’t or won’t tell it. i went from colored to negro to black, etc. i went from thunderbird to weed to cocaine to being clean and sober. i went from fears of sexuality to marriage to a household with a live in girlfriend with stepchildren. i want to share it and this is the best place to tell it. please let me!

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