The deal is done! Byron Allen’s media group acquires Black News Channel for $11 million

Byron Allen’s Allen Media Group (AMG) is proud to announce that the Northern District of Florida, Tallahassee Division of the United States Bankruptcy Court, (Case No. 4:22-bk-40087-KKS) has issued an order approving the sale of all assets of “Black News Channel (BNC)” free and clear of all liens, claims, encumbrances and interests” to AMG’s Networks Division.

AMG buys BNC out of bankruptcy for $11 million from a billionaire Shahid Khan, owner of the NFL’s Jacksonville Jaguars franchise. Khan has invested over $100 million in BNC.

AMG’s acquisition of BNC will add 300 million linear and digital subscribers to the AMG asset portfolio – which includes 12 television networks such as The Weather Channel, Local Now digital platforms, HBCU GO, Sports.TV, theGrio Streaming App and The Weather Channel Streaming App. AMG has also invested over $1 billion over the past 3 years to acquire 27 ABC-NBC-CBS-FOX affiliate television stations nationwide.

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports that Allen was the sole bidder for the assets set by the US Bankruptcy Court for the Northern District of Florida. BNC filed for bankruptcy in March and laid off most of its employees.

Majority shareholder and owner of the Jacksonville Jaguars Shad Khan initially invested $50 million in BNC, but viewership and revenue fell short of expectations, and the heavy cost structure was unsustainable.

Allen, who is based in Los Angeles, owns The Grio, a production company, television stations and several cable networks, including Atlanta-based Weather Channel, which he bought in 2018.

A spokesperson for Allen’s company declined to comment on whether the chain’s operations will be moved from Florida to Atlanta now that the sale is official.

Allen told CableFax the network failed in part because cable companies including Comcast, Charter Communications and Verizon refused to pay BNC subscription fees, which are given to popular channels such as TBS and ESPN.

Newer cable networks generally do not receive these fees until they have developed an audience, which the BNC has struggled to do. Allen sued Charter and Comcast for racial discrimination, alleging that the companies did not carry his television channels because of racism.

The lawsuit went to the Supreme Court, but the high court overturned Allen’s arguments in a 9-0 decision, saying it was not enough to state that race was one of many factors to not not pick up his chains, he had to show the race. was a critical factor.

“If you really want something to succeed and you don’t want to find it bankrupt, and they’re slipping 300 black journalists, yes, there should have been sub-charges,” Allen told CableFax. “That’s the reason I’ve already sued the cable industry for $40 billion. Are you serious? You’re going to pay between $1 and $2 [per subscriber] for other cable networks, but zero for the Black News Channel?

Additionally, Allen expressed disappointment that the advertising community has failed to support the network, adding that BNC’s non-direct response advertising dollars amounted to less than $2 million in the last year of operation. from BNC.