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BET founder announces launch of Urban Movie Channel

On December 1, 2014
Robert L. Johnson

BET founder's Bob Johnson launched Urban Movie
Channel, a subscription streaming service that you
can watch online or your mobile device.
Credit: Melissa Golden/Creative Commons

( – Robert L. Johnson, founder of Black Entertainment Television and Chairman of RLJ Entertainment (RLJE), has announced the launch of Urban Movie Channel, RLJE’s proprietary digital channel.

UMC is a premium subscription-based streaming service devoted to films and entertainment for the African-American and urban audience. Launched initially in 2007 as One Village Entertainment, UMC titles are distributed across multiple platforms that range from theatrical, broadcast, Blu-ray/DVD, digital streaming and downloading and features may be watched online or from any mobile device.

“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, “ said Johnson in a statement.

Johnson also announced that Traci Otey Blunt is joining RLJE as Corporate Executive Vice President of Marketing and Corporate Affairs and will oversee the company’s marketing, public relations and investor relations, as well as the promotion of the UMC channel.

For the last six years, Blunt served as Senior Vice President of Corporate Communications and Public Affairs at The RLJ Companies, the holding company which formed RLJ Entertainment. Prior to RLJ, Blunt served as a national deputy communications director and director of African-American media for former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton during the 2008 presidential campaign.

Programs previously released by RLJE under the One Village brand will be incorporated into UMC’s library, which will also include titles from RLJE’s existing Image independent feature film line. UMC will launch with a free trial period for subscribers through February 4, 2015 and with a suggested retail price of $4.99 per month or $49.99 per year thereafter, but with a special limited time introductory pricing of $2.99 per month or $29.99 per year to start.

Among the titles launching are live stand-up performances featuring Kevin Hart, Jamie Foxx and Charlie Murphy, documentaries “Dark Girls” and “I Ain’t Scared of You: A Tribute to Bernie Mac,” feature films “All Things Fall Apart” starring 50 Cent, Mario Van Peebles, and Ray Liotta and “The Suspect,” starring Mekhi Phifer. The digital channel can be accessed at

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