Atlanta-based Bounce TV, a free broadcast network, debuted on Monday with the airing of 1970s classic “The Wiz.”
“‘The Wiz’ is a brand identifier because it has resonated in the community since I was a child,” said Bounce president Ryan Glover. “As a third grader I played, in my school play, Nipsey Russell as the Tin Man. Last year my son, in his fourth-grade class, played Michael Jackson as the Scarecrow.”
Bounce will feature a mixture of programming including films, sports documentaries, and faith-based shows.
Several figures were involved in launching the project, including Martin Luther King III, former U.N. ambassador and Atlanta Mayor Andrew Young, Glover and Jonathan Katz who are both former Tuner Broadcasting executives.
“Candidly speaking, there have been a lot of starters and stoppers in the African American TV network space,” explained Glover. “It took months for me to ensure in my community that we were real” and will carry different programming than the chief competitors (BET and Centric).
The creators also expressed interest in eventually developing original programming.
In its initial rollout, Bounce will be seen in Chicago, Atlanta, Philadelphia, Houston, Cleveland/Akron, San Francisco, Milwaukee, Charlotte, Cincinnati, Indianapolis, Kansas City, Hartford/New Haven, Norfolk, Dayton, West Palm Beach, Birmingham, Memphis, Louisville, Richmond, and other cities.