Just when things were looking up for media targeted to the black family we found out this month that the Black Family Channel will no longer be on cable, but will instead move to broadband programming. It will be completely free for its viewers and it promises to be a drastic move into another forward-thinking, new millennium media. So let me be the first to humbly tell them — it ain’t gonna work.
As a media maven and all-around Web junkie myself, I will personally not sit to watch a news segment or a “webisode” of anything past five minutes and I use the Internet to earn a living. If everyday, ordinary black folk are going to sit down at the computer, they’re going to do email, hit major news stories and/or read celebrity gossip, not watch a show on the Black Family Channel. It’s just not going to happen because the dynamic of the black family will not allow this move to broadband to work and be financially feasible.
More than half of all black families are comprised of hardworking single mothers and their children. In this case, time simply won’t allow for the Black Family Channel Broadband to work. Sure, online media in the form of viral video typically found on YouTube is hot, even in the black online community. But let me be the first to point out that viral video earns its success due to its absurdity, not by being journalistic masterpieces, something I’m sure the Black Family Channel is looking to achieve.
We also have to look at the overall numbers of black families who own computers and how many have broadband connections, both of which I’m too lazy to research. I do know, however, that there are far more blacks who own TVs, than own computers with broadband. Again, this is another factor that will make the new Black Family Channel fail before it even gets started.
I, for one, would love to see this work and I know other mainstream parenting companies like BabyTV.com and Parents TV from Parents.com, have moved or are moving to web TV, but how it will work in the black family/parenting niche has yet to be seen. Although some may think I’m putting my foot in my mouth early on in BFC’s switch, but the square truth is the odds are squarely in favor of Black Family Channel failing again — this time on the Net. If I’m wrong, and I hope I am, I’ll gladly eat my own foot.