Diversity, Equity and Inclusion

There’s a cable network coming next year for millennial and gen X women of color

Silver Spring-based TV One is launching CLEO TV on January 19, 2019, through Comcast Xfinity to offer content that “defies negative and cultural stereotypes of today's modern women.”

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Full disclosure: Comcast has sponsored several major Technical.ly initiatives.  

Silver Spring, Md.–based Urban One primarily targets black and urban audiences, and its cable TV division, TV One, is launching a new aspirational lifestyle and entertainment cable network January 19, 2019 via Comcast Xfinity that will target millennial and gen X women of color. The new cable network, titled CLEO TV, will offer content that “defies negative and cultural stereotypes of today’s modern women,” the company said in a statement.

The cable network’s name was derived from former Egyptian Queen Cleopatra, as an ode to strong women. The press release states that the network will feature short and long-form programming centered around travel, home design, relationships, finances, cooking, talk shows, movies, docu-series, sitcoms and much more.

“We’re at a pivotal moment in history where women are making a huge impact in our society and culture, especially women of color,” Michelle Rice, TV One’s General Manager, who was responsible for shepherding the development of the new network, said in a statement. “CLEO TV will offer a diverse mix of lifestyle and entertainment content through the unique lens of millennial and young gen X women of color, an audience segment currently underserved.”

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In the first quarter of 2019, CLEO TV’s original programing lineup will included an ultimate cooking show called New Soul Kitchen and Just Eats With Chef JJ, a food-focused talk show with Harlem-based Chef JJ. In the second quarter, the series Living By Design With Jake and Jazz will launch in which siblings Jake and Jazz Smollett team up to help millennial families turn their home design dreams into reality. CLEO TV has two travel series in development that will launch sometime during the third quarter that will focus on adventure travel and a travel and culture guide for Black millennials, the press release states. The cable network also acquired additional scripted digital series to add to its lineup.

“The best part about CLEO TV is that program formats will be both a mixture of old and new school, and viewers will find shows that have a modern twist,” Robyn Greene Arrington, TV One’s VP of original programming and production said in a statement. “CLEO TV will bring to the forefront short-form and acquired programs that have only been in the digital space, which will give them more broad exposure and attract a new generation of viewers to the network. It will provide lifestyle, empowerment and entertainment lineups that mothers and daughters can watch together.”

Comcast made an announcement about CLEO TV joining its network along with another African American majority-owned independent network called AFRO. Comcast selected these two networks after evaluating proposals with this specific criteria:

  • the content of the network
  • whether the network is fully financed
  • whether the network’s ownership and/or management group(s) are well established, have relevant experience, and are substantially owned by African Americans
  • whether the network is already launched and has existing or potential multichannel video programming distributor (MVPD) distribution; price
  • whether the network and its potential carriage provide value to Comcast and its customers

“The offerings from both AFRO and CLEO TV serve as an excellent complement to the growing catalog of programming choices we offer about global black communities,” Keesha Boyd, Executive Director, multicultural products at Comcast Cable said in a statement.

CLEO TV will join other notable Urban One brands including Radio One, TV One, Reach Media, iOne Digital, One Solution and R1 Digital. Outside of Comcast, additional affiliate distribution agreements will be announced in the coming months.

Companies: Comcast
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