Saturday, April 8, 2017

Making the Case for HBCUX on Comcast

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Comcast has pledged to launch two African-American owned and targeted networks in 2019, bringing to eight the number of multicultural services it will have supported as part of conditions the MSO agreed to in its 2011 acquisition of NBCUniversal.

Throwing its name into the mix for one of the two slots is Washington D.C.-based digital service HBCUX, which focuses on creating programming for and about the 105 historically black colleges and universities around the country. Led by veteran cable executive Curtis Symonds, the network launched as a digital video service in 2014.

Symonds and I spoke about HBCUX’s linear channel prospects, as well as the void TV HBCUX can fill for quality, entertaining, educational programming targeted to African-American audiences. An edited version of the interview appears below.

MCN: What do you think of your chances to secure one of the two channel slots Comcast is creating for African-American owned-and-operated networks?

Curtis Symonds: Well I’m hoping my chances are good, because the content I’m talking about is revolving around the HBCU community that has received a lot of attention just recently. For example, President Trump recently said that he has to spenCd more time in the HBCU circle, so the 105 presidents of historically black colleges and universities coming to see President Trump was a major milestone that had not happened in many years. Now, there was a lot of scuttlebutt about the breadth of the conversation they had, but at the end of the day it was it was more about looking at what we need to do to support HBCUs.


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