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Urban Movie Channel Comes to Roku

9 Mar, 2015 By: Erik Gruenwedel

In the growing world of direct-to-consumer video services, access is paramount to survival. That access is often in the form of an app embedded in a third-party streaming media device (Roku, Apple TV, Kindle Fire TV, Google Chromecast, Blu-ray Disc players, video game consoles) or smart TV.

RLJ Entertainment March 9 announced that its recently launched proprietary subscription streaming service — Urban Movie Channel — is now available on Roku. UMC features urban-themed movies showcasing dramas, documentaries, comedies, horror and stage plays.

RLJ Entertainment also owns and operates SVOD services Acorn TV (featuring British TV) and fitness/wellness platform Acacia TV. Acorn was one of the first SVOD services available in the United States beyond Netflix and Amazon Prime Instant Video. It ended the most recent fiscal period with more than 112,000 subscribers.

UMC was developed to provide the African-American creative and talent community an outlet to directly reach their demo without the traditional restrictions associated with studio content development and distribution models. The vision for UMC is to become a provider of quality urban entertainment to what has largely been an underserved audience.

RLJ just hired Angela Northington as new SVP of content acquisitions for the Urban Movie Channel. Northington will spearhead acquisitions for UMC, which will be distributed in multiple formats, including theatrical and non-theatrical, broadcast television (including satellite and cable), DVD, Blu-ray Disc, digital download and streaming.

Among the titles currently available on UMC are the new and exclusive drama “Mysterious Ways,” starring Gary Dourdan (“CSI: Crime Scene Investigation”) and Wendy Raquel Robinson (The Game); live stand-up performances featuring Kevin Hart and Charlie Murphy; documentaries Dark Girls and I Ain't Scared of You: A Tribute to Bernie Mac; new and classic feature films The Colony, starring Laurence Fishburne, The Telephone, starring Whoopi Goldberg, All Things Fall Apart, starring 50 Cent, Mario Van Peebles, and Ray Liotta, and The Suspect, starring Mekhi Phifer; and stage plays "Sugar Mommas" and "What My Husband Doesn't Know" by David E. Talbert.

Acorn TV last month secured exclusive North American rights to “New Worlds,” a four-part period drama starring Jamie Dornan (Fifty Shades of Grey).


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