AMC NETWORKS AND ROBERT L. JOHNSON TO REBRAND UMC STREAMING SERVICE AS ‘ALLBLK’ EARLY NEXT YEAR
Popular Streamer for Black TV and Film Joined AMC Networks Suite of SVOD Services as Part of RLJ Entertainment Acquisition in November 2018
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UMC (www.UMC.tv), the streaming service created by BET founder Robert L. Johnson which focuses exclusively on Black TV and film, will be rebranded as ALLBLK in January 2021. Launched in November 2014 under Johnson’s RLJ Entertainment entity, UMC was part of AMC Networks’ November 2018 acquisition of RLJ Entertainment.
The first quarter launch will find the service debuting a premium, new look and feel as ALLBLK ramps up production on a robust slate of original series heading into the new year – including the previously announced multi-cam comedy, Millennials; MC Lyte sitcom, Partners In Rhyme; legal drama, Lace; haircare makeover series, My Mane Problem; and the Datari Turner/eOne reality series, Notorious Queens.
UMC launched as the first-to-market subscription streaming service to focus primarily on African American audiences, dedicated to delivering content for and by Black people. “UMC began as a distribution model for Black creatives to directly reach the then largely underserved African American audience without the restrictions of legacy content development and traditional broadcast models,” Johnson said in a statement. “As technology advances and programming demands from our community evolve, the rebranded ALLBLK will be well positioned to breakout as the preeminent streaming destination for viewers seeking Black entertainment.”
The fast-growing streamer has seen explosive triple-digit growth as a result of strategic programming initiatives spearheaded by Brett Dismuke, UMC/WE tv General Manager. In addition to ongoing productions, the content lineup for ALLBLK will feature the continuation of tentpole original series Double Cross, A House Divided, and Craig Ross Jr.’s Monogamy; WE tv co-production Beyond the Pole; and latest new releases A Closer Look, For the Love of Jason, and Terror Lake Drive.
AMC Networks SVOD President, Miguel Penella stated, “As our SVOD services continue to develop loyal subscription bases, establishing strong brands that cater to the targeted interests of our viewership is highly imperative. UMC’s rebranding as ALLBLK speaks to the need for curated entertainment experiences immersed in authenticity and targeted to the viewing interest of Black Americans, specifically the Black female audience.”
Added Dismuke, “Since I first came on board in January 2019, the service has seen significant growth that depicted the need to craft a new brand identity aligned with how expansive our content slate and viewership has become. While we’re revamping our brand, what remains constant is our commitment to providing a home for Black creatives in front of and behind the camera to find opportunity and tell captivating stories. As we enter a new era of diversity and reflection in the entertainment industry, we’re excited for audiences to experience what will soon be ALLBLK.”
ALLBLK will replace UMC references across all apps, channels, and platforms in the U.S. during the first full week of January, including across iOS, Android, and Amazon Prime Video Channels; Apple TV and Apple TV Channels; Roku and Roku Channels; Amazon Fire TV, YouTube TV, Cox, DISH, Sling TV, Charter and more.
December 9, 2020 11:05am ET by AMC