Byron Allen’s multi-media company Allen Media Group purchased the Black News Network (BNN) for $11 million from billionaire Shad Khan– the owner of the Jacksonville Jaguars.
According to Cablefax, the bidding took place on July 11, and Allen was the only bidder for the BNN. The US Bankruptcy Court scheduled the bidding in Florida, near the Tallahassee base for the BNN, just in time to cancel the upcoming suction for the previously bankrupt news network.
In an AMG press release, Allen expressed his excitement about buying the news channel and his goal to provide the best programming possible to the Black community. He acknowledged how valuable Black viewership was to the renewed success.
“We are excited to have been selected to acquire the Black News Channel, which has approximately 300 million linear and digital subscribers,” Byron said. “Allen Media Group will deliver a best-in-class network to serve the underserved African-American community and the advertisers who want to reach this extremely valuable audience. Also, we appreciate the opportunity to provide cable operators, satellite companies, telcos, and digital platforms diversity of ownership, voices, and viewpoints on their programming line-ups by having a 100 percent African-American-owned network.”
The BNN was available nationwide through major companies like Comcast and DirectTV, and Allen suggested that he’d be able to double its reach by the end of the year through proper advertisement.
“If you really want something to succeed and you don’t want to find it in bankruptcy, and they’re pink slipping 300 Black journalists. Yeah, there should have been some sub fees,” He said. “This is the reason I sued the cable industry before for $40 billion. Are you serious? You’re going to pay anywhere from $1-2 for other cable networks, but zero for the Black News Channel?”
Allen continued to explain his big plans for giving the network the attention it deserved, that it didn’t reserve the first time it ran.
“It’s a bad mark on us as a country that the Black News Channel didn’t get enough support to have diversity in ownership, diversity in voices and diversity of viewpoints,” he articulated. “We’re going to work closely with folks to let them show the world who they really are.”
He assured consumers that he intended to put real effort, both fiscal and intangible, into rekindling BNN.
“There isn’t a bank in the world where we can deposit the words. We have to do it with real economic inclusion and sponsorships. We’ve made the investment. We’re buying it, we have the infrastructure. We just need the industry now to say, ‘You know what? That wasn’t our intent. Let us get in here and do the right thing because we’re better than that.’”