Roland S. Martin Launches New OTT Channel Black Star Network

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As Daily Digital Show #RolandMartinUnfiltered Marks 3-Year Anniversary, Martin Debuts New Ad-Supported Digital Network Serving Black Viewers BSN will launch a 24-hour streaming network in Q1 2022

Roland Martin Launches New OTT Streaming Service, Black Star Network

“We’ve proven over the last three years that Black women, men and children desire culturally relevant content from a Black-owned media company. We have traveled all over the country covering a variety of big news stories, and Black Star Network will allow us to further expand our footprint.”

Marking three years as the definitive daily digital source for news and information from an unapologetically Black perspective with his groundbreaking daily digital show #RolandMartinUnfiltered, award-winning journalist Roland S. Martin has announced that he is launching the Black Star Network, an OTT network aimed at African American consumers. BSN will debut with original content on Sept. 3, 2021, the third-year anniversary of #RolandMartinUnfiltered.

A hybrid OTT media network, BSN is subscription free, and ad-supported. The network will stream content focused on political, business and cultural insights and perspectives of Black thought leaders, influencers and opinion makers. The flagship show, #RolandMartinUnfiltered, has a social media following of more than 3.5 million, including nearly 800,000 Youtube subscribers. The daily show has generated nearly 509 million views and more than 1.5 billion minutes watched since its inception.

#RolandMartinUnfiltered's exponential growth is a direct reflection of Martin’s efforts to serve its audience with content and information focused on the unique concerns of Black Americans.

“African Americans are voracious news and information consumers, and they are demanding more content from their perspective that address issues that they care about,” said Martin, a digital pioneer who launched the first Black news source audio and video podcasts more than a decade ago.

“We’ve proven over the last three years that Black women, men and children desire culturally relevant content from a Black-owned media company. We have traveled all over the country covering a variety of big news stories, and Black Star Network will allow us to further expand our footprint.”

Martin says BSN will initially provide five hours of original content per day, and by December, will grow that to eight hours. He says he has already identified show hosts and content providers that will be on the network, and will be unveiling those shows over the next several weeks.

“Black Star Network will also allow us to better leverage relationships with sponsors because we will now be able to provide more advertising opportunities, especially pre-roll spots and on-site product activations,” Martin said. “We just partnered with Coca-Cola at the MEAC-SWAC Challenge in Atlanta, and will be doing three more HBCU games this fall. BSN will serve as a hub for those activities.”

Martin has engaged the services of The Urban Edge Networks (http://www.urbanedgenetworks.com) to facilitate corporate partnerships, placement and negotiations for Black Star Network.

Duane McKnight, a partner with The Marathon Fund, is advising Martin and Black Star Network on future opportunities and overall growth strategy.

With total OTT U.S. revenues expected to grow from $14.5 billion to $23.7 billion by 2023, BSN will create one of the only 100% Black-owned OTT networks targeting African American consumers with politics, news and culture content.

At launch, BSN will debut an exclusive interview with Fred Gray, the 90-year-old attorney who was the co-creator of the Montgomery Bus Boycott. The Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King once described Gray as “the brilliant young Negro who later became the chief counsel for the protest movement.” Gray provided legal advice to Rosa Parks, King’s Montgomery Improvement Association, the local branch and state conference of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), and the Montgomery Progressive Democratic Association. During the Montgomery bus boycott, Gray’s leadership and legal counsel played a crucial role in the successful desegregation of Montgomery buses. He defended Claudette Colvin and Rosa Parks against charges of disorderly conduct for refusing to give up their seats to white passengers. Gray also filed the petition that challenged the constitutionality of Alabama state laws mandating segregation on buses (Browder v. Gayle).

About Black Star Network
Black Star Network (BSN) is a hybrid over-the-top (OTT) media network that produces and delivers streaming content to global consumers engaged by the political, business and cultural insights and perspectives of Black thought leaders, influencers and opinion makers. For more information, go to BlackStarNetwork.com.

About #RolandMartinUnfiltered
#RolandMartinUnfiltered provides news and information from an unapologetically Black perspective five days a week. Celebrating its second anniversary, the show has carved its niche as a go-to source for interviews with key newsmakers and influencers. In depth discussion of topics across a variety of fields, including politics, education, health, entertainment, sports, African American issues and culture has been at the forefront of the #RMU mission since day one. When breaking news happens or big shifts in the culture occur, Martin has been there to document, explain and highlight those aspects of the story that most impact the African American community.

About Roland S. Martin
Over the course of a journalistic career that has seen him interview multiple U.S. presidents to the top athletes and entertainers in Hollywood, Roland S. Martin is a journalist who has always maintained a clear sense of his calling in this world. Martin is the host and managing editor of #RolandMartinUnfiltered and the author of three books: Listening to the Spirit Within: 50 Perspectives on Faith; Speak, Brother! A Black Man's View of America; and The First: President Barack Obama's Road to the White House as originally reported by Roland S. Martin. He has been named four times by Ebony Magazine as one of the 150 Most Influential African Americans in the United States and has been named several times to The Root 100, their annual list of influential African Americans.

In his career, Martin has been showered with more than 30 awards for journalistic excellence, including being named the Journalist of the Year in 2013 by the National Association of Black Journalists for his extensive focus on voter suppression and other issues of concern to African Americans during the 2012 election. He is a four-time NAACP Image Award winner, including being twice named Best Host.

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