RLJ Entertainment Launching Channels Under the “Acorn TV” and Urban-Focused “OnCue” brands
Bethesda, MD (BlackNews.com) — RLJ Entertainment Inc., (NASDAQ: RLJE), created by Robert L. Johnson, founder of Black Entertainment Television (BET) and The RLJ Companies, today announced the launch of two paid channels on YouTube under the “Acorn TV” and “OnCue” brands. RLJ Entertainment is a leading creator, owner and distributor of media content across digital, broadcast and physical platforms, which leverages its branding expertise, access to content and direct to consumer skills to optimize the value of its programs for distinct audiences. RLJ Entertainment was formed in October 2012 through the business combination of RLJ Acquisition, Inc., Image Entertainment, Inc. and Acorn Media Group, Inc.
As with RLJ Entertainment’s existing Acorn TV digital channel, the YouTube version (www.youtube.com/AcornTV) will provide viewers with access to the best of British TV with a variety of unique, specially-curated content for consumers who have interest in high quality British TV programs. Content will include the ever popular pastoral mystery Midsomer Murders, Iain Glen (Game of Thrones) starring in the new series Jack Taylor, engaging comedy drama Honest with Amanda Redman, David Suchet (Poirot) in the fantasy series Going Postal, the Royal Shakespeare Company’s master acting class starring Judi Dench, Patrick Stewart, and Ben Kingsley in Playing Shakespeare, and many others.
OnCueNetwork is RLJ Entertainment’s newest digital channel, offering selected urban themed programming, to include original content, that features some of today’s most recognized African American and minority talent. OnCueNetwork (www.youtube.com/oncuenetwork) will provide viewers with an alternative to conventional subscription-based channels by showcasing the best digital films and series, in action, drama, romantic comedies, as well as stand-up comedy, documentaries, music and stage plays. Among the programming features will be: 35 & Ticking starring Kevin Hart and Meagan Good, All Things Fall Apart, starring 50 Cent and Lynn Whitfield, The Last Fall featuring Lance Gross, Nicole Beharie, and Vanessa Bell Calloway, and I Ain’t Scared of You (stand-up/documentary), featuring the late comedian Bernie Mac.
“We are pleased with today’s launch of these two new subscription-based channels, Acorn and OnCue, that will offer exciting British and urban entertainment across this innovative platform,” said Robert L. Johnson, Chairman of RLJ Entertainment. “This announcement marks the beginning of RLJE’s goal to become a major player in producing targeted digital entertainment to audiences that are underserved by existing outlets. We believe the subscription model presents not only an opportunity to develop original programming but also create further shareholder value,” he concluded.
Miguel Penella, RLJ Entertainment Chief Executive Officer commented on the partnership, “We are thrilled to be in an alliance with Google to bring our unique programming to the over one billion unique users that visit YouTube each month. As the demand for our targeted content continues to grow and we build a following among passionate audiences, YouTube offers a way to diversify the manner in which the content is consumed and another new revenue stream for our business.”
RLJ Entertainment is focused on driving growth through the development of interest-based lifestyle entertainment services for targeted audiences in niche genres including British drama and mystery, stand-up comedy, fitness, faith and urban by using new technologies to deliver that content to consumers.
About RLJ Entertainment
RLJ Entertainment, Inc. (NASDAQ: RLJE) is a premier independent licensee and distributor of entertainment content and programming in North America, the United Kingdom and Australia with over 5,300 exclusive titles. RLJE is a leader in numerous genres via its owned and distributed brands such as Acorn (British TV), Image (stand-up comedy, feature films), One Village (urban), Acacia (fitness), Slingshot (faith), Athena (educational), Criterion (art films) and Madacy (gift sets). These titles are distributed in multiple formats including DVD, Blu-Ray, digital download, digital streaming, broadcast television (including satellite and cable), theatrical and non-theatrical.
Via its majority-owned subsidiary Agatha Christie Limited (“ACL”), RLJE manages the intellectual property and publishing rights to some of the greatest works of mystery fiction, including stories of the iconic sleuths Miss Marple and Poirot. And through its direct-to-consumer business, RLJE has direct contacts and billing relationships with millions of consumers.
RLJE leverages its management experience to acquire, distribute, and monetize existing and original content for its many distribution channels, including its nascent branded digital subscription channels, and engages distinct audiences with programming that appeals directly to their unique viewing interests. RLJE has proprietary e-commerce web sites for the Acorn and Acacia brands, and owns the recently launched Acorn TV digital subscription service.