The Black Heritage Network will be going into the Cable Show with the imprimatur of the Minority Media & Telecommunications Council's "incubator company." It is the first cable TV net that MMTC has designated for that distinction, which means MMTC will, among other things, help it gain carriage on cable and satellite systems.
"BHN has been in development for several years and is a programming idea that is long overdue on commercial television. I have personally reviewed and am impressed by BHN's original programming line-up, its management team, advisory board and business strategy," said MMTC President David Honig in announcing the designation. "This is a channel to be proud of."
BHN was officially unveiled late last month targeting a "slightly older, educated, affluent audience" than its competition.
BHN investors include former FCC Commissioner and former Media Access Project President Tyrone Brown, TIAA-CREF CEO Roger Ferguson, syndicated columnist Clarence Page and former GE and NBC exec Paul Besson.
The channel, which is headed by former WUSA-TV GM Richard Reingold, plans a December 2011 launch but has yet to announce any carriage deals. There is at least one huge potential partner on the lookout for channels like BHN. The nation's largest cable operator, Comcast, has pledged as part of its NBCU deal to add three minority controlled nets to its lineup over the next three years.
"We are very proud that BHN is the first television channel that MMTC has ever considered worthy of incubating," Reingold told B&C/Multi. "MMTC's decision validates our business and programming models and that BHN will fill an important service to African-Americans and all Americans."