RLJ Entertainment, created by BET founder Robert L. Johnson, is launching the Urban Movie Channel, it was announced Wednesday morning.
The channel’s library will include live stand-up performances by Kevin Hart, Jamie Foxx and Charlie Murphy; documentaries Dark Girls and I Ain’t Scared of You: A Tribute to Bernie Mac; features All Things Fall Apart and The Suspect; and stage play What My Husband Doesn’t Know, among others. Programs previously released by RLJE under the One Village brand will also be incorporated, as well as titles from RLJE’s existing Image independent feature film line.
“As founder of BET, I have gained a deep understanding and knowledge about the African American and urban consumer and the entertainment content that appeals to them,” said Johnson in a statement. “UMC was designed so that the African American and urban creative community could directly reach consumers in a way that removes many of the restrictions associated with the legacy content development and distribution models. As more video is consumed over broadband, we believe that we can quickly become the preeminent provider of quality urban entertainment to what has largely been an underserved, yet highly engaged audience. I am convinced that urban consumers will gravitate to the economic and entertainment value proposition of UMC and that the creative community will embrace UMC as the best way to reach their loyal fans and benefit financially from showcasing their outstanding work product.”
According to The Hollywood Reporter, the company’s proprietary digital channel will feature urban-themed movies as an alternative to conventional subscription-based channels.
UMC will launch with a free trial period for subscribers through Feb. 4, and with a suggested retail price of $4.99/month or $49.99/year thereafter, but with a special limited time introductory pricing of $2.99/month or $29.99/year to start.