Comcast And Radio One Announce New Television Network Serving The African-American Audience
Comcast Corporation (NASDAQ: CMCSA, CMCSK) and Radio One, Inc. (NASDAQ: ROIAK, ROIA) today announced an agreement in principle to launch a new television network featuring entertainment, news, opinion and sports-related programming targeted primarily towards 25-54 year old African-American viewers. The network, which has not yet been named, is expected to launch in mid-2003.
"We are very pleased to partner with Radio One, an innovative leader in reaching African-American audiences with programming that entertains and informs," said Brian L. Roberts, chief executive officer and president of Comcast. "Comcast serves 21 of the top 25 U.S. markets, where 50% of African-Americans reside. In the interest of providing the best possible multicultural programming for our subscribers, we have committed to launch this channel across a significant number of our markets and to work with other cable and satellite providers to reach as many total viewers as possible."
The network will include a broad mix of original and existing programming designed to appeal to the African-American community, which both Comcast and Radio One believe is one of the most underserved demographic groups relative to targeted television programming. African-Americans comprise approximately 13% of the U.S. population and had 2001 aggregate buying power of approximately $572.0 billion. At approximately $2.7 billion annually, cable television constitutes the largest entertainment expenditure in African-American households.
"For more than two decades Radio One has been successful at providing high quality programming to African-Americans through the many radio stations we own," said Alfred C. Liggins, chief executive officer and president of Radio One. "African-Americans have experienced explosive population and per-capita income growth and are one of this country's most attractive consumer demographic groups. We have known for over a decade that this group is woefully underserved in the television space and have long believed that we could leverage our radio experience to become successful in targeting African-Americans through television. We have searched the last four years for the right distribution and content partner that shared our vision," Mr. Liggins continued, "and are very excited to have found Comcast as that partner. Their cable distribution and network operations expertise combined with our experience in programming to African-Americans, and marketing and selling the African-American demographic is an absolute formula for success. We are very excited about the prospects of this new enterprise."
The network is a joint venture between Comcast and Radio One. Radio One will make a direct cash investment, not expected to exceed $70.0 million. This investment will be made pro-rata alongside an additional $60.0 million from Comcast and other parties, over approximately a four-year period. Radio One will provide radio advertising time over a multiple-year period in exchange for an additional equity interest in the network. As part of a management arrangement between the network and Radio One, Mr. Liggins will become Chairman of the network and Radio One will receive an annual management fee plus an additional equity interest in the network. Radio One expects that its fully diluted ownership in the network will be less than 40%. Comcast will commit both financing and a substantial number of subscribers for a similar-sized equity interest. Additional details will be available before the channel launches.
Comcast and Radio One will be holding a conference call today, January 13, 2003 to discuss this agreement in principle. This conference call is scheduled for 11:30 a.m. Eastern Standard Time (EST). Interested parties should call 904-779-4767 at least five minutes prior to the scheduled time of the call and ask for the "Comcast/Radio One Network Conference Call". The conference call will be recorded and made available for replay from approximately 1:30 p.m. EST the day of the call until 11:59 p.m. EST of the day following the call. Interested parties may listen to the recording by calling 402-220-2491 and entering conference identification number 15088736. Access to live audio and replay of the conference call will also be available on Comcast's website at www.cmcsk.com/pressroom and Radio One's corporate website at www.radio-one.com. The replay will be made available on the respective websites for seven business days following the call.
Comcast Corporation (www.comcast.com) is principally involved in the development, management and operation of broadband cable networks, and in the provision of electronic commerce and programming content. The company is the largest cable company in the United States, serving approximately 21.4 million cable subscribers. The Company's commerce and content businesses include majority ownership of QVC, Comcast Spectacor, Comcast SportsNet, E! Entertainment Television, Style, The Golf Channel, Outdoor Life Network and G4. Comcast Class A common stock and Class A Special common stock is traded on The NASDAQ Stock Market under the symbols CMCSA and CMCSK, respectively.
About Radio One
Radio One, Inc. (www.radio-one.com) is the nation's seventh largest radio broadcasting company (based on 2001 pro forma revenue) and the largest primarily targeting African-American and urban listeners. Pro forma for all announced acquisitions, the Company owns and/or operates 66 radio stations located in 22 urban markets in the United States and reaches approximately 12.5 million listeners every week. The Company also programs five channels on the XM Satellite Radio Inc. system.
This press release includes forward-looking statements within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933 and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934. Such forward-looking statements include statements relating to, among other things, the expected launch date of the network and the anticipated investment participation by outside parties. Readers are cautioned not to put undue reliance on such forward-looking statements as these statements apply to future events and/or results, many of which are outside the control of Radio One or Comcast, and are subject to risks and uncertainties that could cause actual events and/or results to differ materially, including the failure of Radio One and Comcast to reach agreement on definitive documents, the failure to attract outside parties to help finance the launch and operation of the network, the failure to attract appropriate executive and creative personnel rapidly enough to permit launch by mid-2003 and the failure to achieve anticipated subscriber penetration due to market or other factors. Radio One and Comcast disclaim any intention or obligation to update or revise any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.