The best hope for African-American audiences
(January 19, 2016) President Obama stated in his January 11, 2016 State
of the Union Address "We've protected an open Internet". These words are
profound. An open Internet means open opportunities for a new generation
of minority owned digital networks, content creators, tech entrepreneurs
and film talent.
I am amazed that there are those who will defend the decades-long
discriminatory practices of the cable operators. And to add injury to
insult, there are others who do not want to disrupt the television
programming business. The one industry that needs disrupting more than
any industry is the television programming business.
Minorities, but specifically African Americans have had their images
shaped by television programming. We have literally been programmed by
the programmers. We have been inundated with buffoonery, thugs and
anti-social behavior for years and this imagery has a direct effect on
society. And we can't blame this on the handful of minority programmers.
We have to blame it on a system that needs to embrace emerging
technologies and emerging minority businesses.
Increasingly, consumers are turning to digital networks to be
entertained. Finally, there are greater options for consumers who may
not want to be relegated to music videos and reruns of Good Times and
Martin. A growing number of minority owned streaming services are
focusing on African American content. And a growing number of
independent filmmakers are developing original content in long and short
form. They no longer have to beg Hollywood for a pilot show anymore. An
open Internet allows for their pilot to be seen by millions in real
time. It defies logic that this is not good for African American
businesses and the African American community.
Online video is thriving. Advertising dollars are shifting to these
video networks and soon will reach $50 billion. Minority programmers no
longer have to beg the cable operators for a channel only to see a few
well-connected, hand picked African Americans be selected. Fortunately,
the lawsuit brought by Byron Allen exposed the institutional racism of
this industry and he was able to break through. Every minority owned
cable channel and content owner should applaud this and not be afraid
that "they let one more in." We cannot allow ourselves to be afraid of
competition and base our business model on being the only game in town.
We are now in a position where there is robust, highly entertaining
urban video content available. But the reality is television is still
the way to reach the masses. Fortunately, the FCC has the ability to
create this opportunity for independent and minority programmers -- but
it must act soon before cable operators can set the only gatekeepers to
this online video market. We need a path to greater distribution of this
content and the way to do this is to have a competitive set top box or
no set top box system. Online video minority programmers will not be
able to grow and thrive with the current system.
The track record of the cable channels and telecoms is clear so this is
not about hope and change. We need disruption.
Clifford Franklin is CEO of FUSE Advertising and GFNTV.com
RECENT NEWS STORIES
Fifth Third Bank to pay $21.5 mil in Federal auto
lending and credit card discrimination case
True Star Foundation founders launch True Access, a
youth-oriented marketing firm
UniWorld Group releases new insights on the mindsets
on multicultural consumers
Black Cable TV Ratings for Week of September 21 - 27
OWN has record-breaking week to cap off the best quarter in the network's
Chevrolet, Rainbow PUSH team up on national campaign
providing financial literacy
Black TV Ratings for Week of September 21 - 27
'Empire,' 'Rosewood,' 'Scandal, and 'Murder' push Sunday Night Football to
Hyundai, radio's Cafe Mocha partner on 'Salute Her'
campaign saluting women of color
BMW to pay $1.6 Mil and offer jobs to settle Federal
race discrimination lawsuit
Report from Nielsen highlights growth and affluence
of African-American households
Kizart Media Partners wins bid for 50,000 Watt FM
station license in Cleveland, Miss.
RLJ Entertainment acquires rights to Nina Simone
film set for December release
Black Cable TV Ratings for Week of Aug. 31 - Sept. 6
OWN's 'Haves & Have Nots' beats VH1's 'Love & Hip Hop' to regain week's
Black TV Ratings for Week of Aug. 31 - Sept. 6 'The
Carmichael Show,' NBC's summer winner, reaches No.1 with black viewers in
The Power of Urban Radio Forum and NABOB again
partner for annual conference
Production begins on BET scripted series, 'Zo Ever
After' for premiere January 2016
Study: CEOs and CMOs differ on need to focus on
multicultural marketing strategies
Toyota partners with Rainbow PUSH Excel to invest in
Jesse Jackson Fellow Scholars
Click here for
more recent news stories and our news archive
ON SALE NOW!
The 18th Annual
Buying Power of
A dollar-by-dollar breakdown
of the Trillion-Dollar Black Economy
Target Market News
Click here to learn more and order a print or digital copy today!