Martin Luther King III, one of the co-founders of the African American-focused digital multicast network Bounce TV, sent a scathing letter to Time Warner Cable expressing his displeasure with the company’s decision to drop Bounce from its New York City system.
In the letter, sent today to TWC Group Vice President David Lange, King also expresses disappointment with the lack of carriage by TWC in Los Angeles.
Bounce is carried on subchannels of Univision-owned stations WXTV in New York and KMEX-TV in Los Angeles. King wants Time Warner Cable to carry the signals of those channels.
King writes in the letter: “The more than 14 million African-American television households in the United States are grossly underserved, having just a few dedicated cable channels and no over-the-air networks until we launched Bounce TV in 2011. The fact that African Americans watch more television than the U.S. Average and more than any other measured ethnicity makes this situation even more alarming.”
The letter lists a number of measures of Bounce’s success, noting that the channel is “the #2 most-watched African-American television network, significantly beating TV One, Centric and closing in on BET.”
King notes that despite the success of Bounce TV in reaching an underserved audience, “Time Warner Cable continues to disappoint African Americans in the two biggest cities in the United States. This does not bode well in an emerging America, a nation becoming more diverse by the day.”
The letter concludes: “Bounce has worked diligently to identify and grow best practices for widening the pipeline for underrepresented groups. We remain committed to do so, and are prepared to take further action if necessary, but we are hopeful that you will return Bounce TV to Time Warner Cable in Manhattan as well as add the network in Los Angeles.”
A rep for Time Warner Cable had not responded to a request for comment on this story. [Updated March 20th at 10:10 a.m., PT with this response emailed to us by a representative from Time Warner Cable in corporate communications: “We’ve had discussions, but we have no agreement at this time.”]