The AMC Networks-owned streaming service UMC, which was created by BET founder Robert L. Johnson to focuses exclusively on Black TV and film, will be rebranded as ALLBLK. The rebrand will happen in January 2021.
First launched in November 2014 under Johnson’s RLJ Entertainment entity, UMC was acquired by AMC Networks in November 2018 when it acquired RLJ Entertainment.
In Q1 2021, the service will have a new look and feel as it will ramp up production on new originals, including multi-cam comedy, Millennials; MC Lyte sitcom, Partners In Rhyme, legal drama, Lace, haircare makeover series, My Mane Problem and the Datari Turner/eOne reality series, Notorious Queens.
“UMC began as a distribution model for Black creatives to directly reach the then largely underserved African American audience without the restrictions of legacy content development and traditional broadcast models,” Johnson said in a statement. “As technology advances and programming demands from our community evolve, the rebranded ALLBLK will be well positioned to breakout as the preeminent streaming destination for viewers seeking Black entertainment.”
Several series that debuted on UMC will also be on the new ALLBLK, including Double Cross, A House Divided, Craig Ross Jr.’s Monogamy, and WE tv co-production Beyond the Pole, as well as newer releases like A Closer Look, For the Love of Jason, and Terror Lake Drive.
AMC Networks SVOD President, Miguel Penella stated, “As our SVOD services continue to develop loyal subscription bases, establishing strong brands that cater to the targeted interests of our viewership is highly imperative. UMC’s rebranding as ALLBLK speaks to the need for curated entertainment experiences immersed in authenticity and targeted to the viewing interest of Black Americans, specifically the Black female audience.”
Dismuke added, “Since I first came on board in January 2019, the service has seen significant growth that depicted the need to craft a new brand identity aligned with how expansive our content slate and viewership has become. While we’re revamping our brand, what remains constant is our commitment to providing a home for Black creatives in front of and behind the camera to find opportunity and tell captivating stories. As we enter a new era of diversity and reflection in the entertainment industry, we’re excited for audiences to experience what will soon be ALLBLK.”
According to the streamer, ALLBLK will replace UMC references across all apps, channels, and platforms in the U.S. during the first full week of January, including across iOS, Android, and Amazon Prime Video Channels; Apple TV and Apple TV Channels; Roku and Roku Channels; Amazon Fire TV, YouTube TV, Cox, DISH, Sling TV, Charter and more.