Comcast Corporation has an agreement with two African American majority owned independent networks to distribute their channels on Comcast Cable systems beginning in January 2019.
Comcast announced in a release on Thursday that after a process of thoroughly evaluating dozens of proposals, it had selected AFRO and CLEO TV to provide quality entertainment that highlights and features TV and movie content about African American and black communities.
“The offerings from both AFRO and CLEO TV serve as an excellent complement to the growing catalog of programming choices we offer about global black communities,” Keesha Boyd, Executive Director, Multicultural Products at Comcast Cable, said. “We remain committed to delivering a wide array of programming by partnering with independent networks, such as the two we’re announcing today, to better serve our increasingly diverse customer base.”
AFRO, is Afrotainment’s 24-hour polycultural black network that mainly broadcasts top-rated Nollywood and black movies, dramas, sitcoms, music, talk, and late night comedy shows.
“We are excited to bring AFRO’s live content and growing on demand catalog of more than 300 hours of original programming to millions of Xfinity customers. Comcast’s selection of AFRO, which is a recognition of the rich diversity in black content and culture, solidifies our position as a leader in polycultural black home entertainment in North America,” Yves Bollanga, Founder and CEO of Afrotainment, said.
CLEO TV derives its name from Cleopatra and is a lifestyle and entertainment network targeting Millennial and Gen X women of color. According to the release, “CLEO TV will offer quality content that defies negative and cultural stereotypes of today’s modern women.” That will include short-form and long-form content focusing on travel, home design, cooking, and talk shows as well as movies, docu-series, sitcoms and much more.
Michelle Rice, TV One’s General Manager, said “We’re at a pivotal moment in history where women are making a huge impact in our society and culture, especially women of color. “CLEO TV will offer a diverse mix of lifestyle and entertainment content through the unique lens of Millennial and young Gen-X women of color, an audience segment that is currently underserved. CLEO TV will leverage the comprehensive media platform of our parent company Urban One, Inc. which includes digital, television and radio divisions that will each play an integral role in bringing this new network to the marketplace. We are grateful to Comcast for the tremendous opportunity to elevate new voices in our industry.”
In 2011, Comcast made a commitment to launch 10 new independently owned and operated networks—eight of which were to be minority-owned or operated. They have stuck to that commitment by launching six minority-owned networks so far: BabyFirst Americas (2012), El Rey (2013), Kids Central (2017), and Primo TV (2017) which are primarily Hispanic American owned and operated; and ASPiRE (2012) and REVOLT (2013) which are majority African American owned. AFRO and CLEO TV will be the next two networks to launch as part of this commitment.
AFRO and CLEO TV will available on Xfinity TV.