When it launches in 2009, the Black Television News Channel (BTNC) will be a 24/7 cable news network that provides original news programming with a distinctly African-American perspective, filling a major gap in coverage of African-Americans by today’s mainstream media.
Created by J.C. Watts, a former Republican congressman from Oklahoma, the network is part of a multi-year carriage agreement with Comcast Cable. Initial distribution will be limited to Philadelphia, Chicago, Detroit, Washington, Atlanta and Baltimore.
As BTNC brings blacks news from their own points of view, it hopes to stem growth and maturation of black people who will not only be on-air talent but the ones making editorial decisions on what stories actually get covered. Watts said, “Our unique and vast content partnerships with African American newsmakers will provide our viewers live access to the stories and people in whom our viewers have a special interest.”