From The Grio –– Former comedian and television personality Byron Allen recently announced that he would be launching a new high-definition channel for African-Americans called Legacy TV that will primarily focus on black history and biographies of African-American leaders.

Similarly this week, former BET executive Curtis Symonds promulgated that he, along with other industry veterans, would be initiating the HBCU Network this summer, which will highlight sports and education-related content relative to HBCUs.

And, earlier this year, former UN ambassador Andrew Young and Martin Luther King III also disclosed that they would also be casting “the first ever 24/7 broadcast television network for African-Americans called Bounce TV.

Click here to view a slideshow of highlights from the 2011 BET Awards

This network, which is expected to initiate this fall, reportedly will feature news programming, live sports and events from the nation’s largest African-American athletic conference, the Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association (CIAA) tournament, exclusive movies, inspirational faith-based programs, etc.

Since the promulgation of the above mentioned news, there has been a vast range of opinions marked with strong dichotomy. Some critics wholeheartedly believe that there is no need for new African-American television networks, since BET already covers current events, cultural trends, entertainment and other important topics from a black perspective.

Conversely, there are certain commentators who think that new black channels like Legacy TV, HBCU Network and Bounce TV are necessary to fill voids associated with BET and to help ensure that stories of importance to the black community get more exposure. Who is right in their assessment?

First, in examining the opinions of the critics of Legacy TV, HBCU Network and Bounce TV, one has to consider whether BET has voids that could be filled with new and upcoming black networks. Without equivocation, BET has been the standard in black television programming for over 30 years. Diverse and intelligent shows over the years like Video Soul with Donnie Simpson and Sherri Carter, Bobby Jones Gospel, Weekly with Ed Gordon, BET Tonight with Tavis Smiley, Teen Summit, Rap City, The Game and The Mo’Nique Show, amongst others, have graced our homes. And, annual shows like the BET Awards and Celebration of Gospel never seem to be devoid of great performances and surprises.

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  • I say the more the merrier. Regardless of which one has a more positive effect or not.

  • “… BET already covers current events, cultural trends, entertainment and other important topics from a black perspective”

    lol Do they? lol Do they really? lol

    I’m not a big BET viewer, never have been. Not for some big political and “Stance-Related” reason just because I prefer programming on other networks. I watch the BEt Awards and that is it really. I think there is a place for all these different networks. Why not have 10, 12, 20! Networks aimed at Black audiences. Let’s not forget that no Black experience is the same, we all have different interests and beliefs.

  • oknow

    BET sucks.. what is there to watch on there?!

  • This is something that is well needed. I don’t even watch BET like i use too, well hardly ever, and a lot of my friends don’t either. I’m in my late 20’s and I personally feel like I have out-grown the things that they show on that station. Its never informative in my opinion, and it lacks substance, but at this moment thats all we have, well we do have TVone(which I like), but I am trilled to hear there will be more to choice from, that is targeting our audience.