AMC Networks to Rebrand UMC Streaming Service (Exclusive)

ALLBLK and inset of ROBERT L. JOHNSON
Courtesy of ALLBLK; Rich Polk/Getty Images

The streamer, created by Robert L. Johnson, will become ALLBLK in January.

AMC is rebranding UMC, its streaming service devoted to Black television and film programming.

Beginning in January, UMC will become ALLBLK as it ramps up production on a slate of new originals, including multi-cam comedy Millennials and legal drama Lace.

UMC launched in 2014 under BET founder Robert L. Johnson's RLJ Entertainment as a home for programming focused on African American audiences. It was moved under the AMC Networks corporate umbrella after the entertainment company's acquisition of RLJ in 2018. "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."

Despite the new brand look, the programming featured on the streamer will remain the same. It will continue to offer originals Double Cross, A House Divided and Craig Ross Jr.'s Monogamy, as well as We tv co-production Beyond the Pole and such new releases as A Closer Look and Terror Lake Drive. Upcoming original programming includes MC Lyte sitcom Partners in Rhyme, haircare makeover series My Mane Problem and Datari Turner's eOne reality series Notorious Queens.

"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," said Brett Dismuke, general manager for UMC and WE tv. "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."

AMC Networks SVOD president Miguel Penella added, "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."

ALLBLK is part of a suite of streaming services at AMC, including Acorn TV, Shudder and Sundance Now. The service costs $5 per month — or $50 for the full year — and is available on mobile and connected TV devices.