Chicago -- In one of the most chaotic scenes ever on a National Show floor,
Michael Jackson appeared Monday at the Major Broadcasting Cable Network booth to
announce a programming pact with the African-American network.
While Jackson did not comment, MBC officials said the "King of Pop" will
create several projects over the next 18 months.
Jackson's brother Marlon, also in attendance, is part-owner of the network,
which is currently in 27 million homes.
MBC executive vice president of operations Travis Mitchell said one project
could be a documentary about the Jackson family.
Actor Chris Tucker is also in discussions with MBC to develop a possible
comedy series and other projects for the network.
"We want to make sure that we provide an outlet and a voice for the
entertainment elite within the urban community," Mitchell said.
MBC also announced Monday a five-year programming alliance with four major
black sports conferences.
The network will feature weekly live sports programming from the Southern
Intercollegiate Athletic Conference, the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference, the
Southwestern Athletic Conference and the Central Intercollegiate Athletic
Conference, Mitchell said. The deal calls for MBC to televise college-basketball
and college-football games, as well as other sports.
MBC will produce the games and sell the advertising time, but return a
portion of those proceeds back to the schools. Through licensing fees, ad sales
and potential sponsorship opportunities, Mitchell estimated that the deal could
generate around $50 million over the life of the contract.
"It's important for the schools to feel that we're putting something back and
not just taking something from [the schools]," Mitchell said. "We thought it was
important to really give exposure to the true student athlete."
In other MBC sports news, network co-owner and former heavyweight champion
Evander Holyfield will premier a new boxing league next year.
The World Boxing League Inc. will feature eight teams located in several
major cities competing for a world team title.
"Boxing has received a negative reputation over the years for various
reasons," Holyfield said. "Our network is an excellent venue in which to
showcase this very popular urban sport and the talented youth that make up the