Master P launches cable network

Better Black Television set to debut in 2009

Hip-hop entrepreneur Percy Miller, aka Master P, is launching a new family-friendly cable network.

Named Better Black Television, the network will provide "positive content for a black and brown culture," the company said.

BBTV, set to launch in 2009, will be a general entertainment channel running a wide range of scripted, unscripted and news programming, including drama and comedy series, movies, animation, reality, politics, sports and entertainment news, children's educational and teen programming, as well as "responsible hip-hop music and videos."

The BBTV advisory board members include Oscar winner Denzel Washington; Vault Load Films president Jim Finkl; NAACP executive director Vicangelo Bullock; NBA player Derek Anderson; cable industry veteran Prof. Sal Martino; hip-hop pioneer DJ Kool Herc; entrepreneur Olatokunbo Betiku; and real estate mogul Curtis Oakes.

BBTV's chairman and CEO Miller said he's had the vision for BBTV for several years.

"I believe that there is a market in our community for a new diverse network that provides a new brand of superior programming that caters to all aspects of television, from reality to original programming," he said.

The new channel is taking on the black-oriented cable channel BET.

Miller stressed he has "a great relationship with BET and MTV" and that he and his son, Lil' Romeo, "will continue to do work with them and support their networks."

He also acknowledged BET founder Bob Johnson.

"I remember him telling me back in the day that if you wanted to know real estate, you've got to hang out with real estate investors. If you wanted to know sports, you've got to hang out with athletes. I wanted to know TV, so I hung out with Bob and learned the TV game from one of the best in the business."

Production on BBTV's new programs has begun in California, New York, Louisiana and Florida.

The cable channel is in the process of purchasing local cable channel affiliates across the country.

"We believe TV content can be positive and responsible and still have good ratings with great content," Miller said.

BBTV's programming in the works:

-- "Sunset and Vine": Video show hosted by Vyshonn Miller and Brittany Phillips that will showcase the top hip-hop and R&B acts as well as play classic videos.

-- "One Shot Comedy Show": Comedy show hosted by Gary Johnson (a.k.a. G-Thing) featuring established and upcoming comedians.

-- "Gee Gee the Giraffe": Children's educational show. (Will air on BBTV Kids saturday morning show).

-- "Manage Your Money": Featuring financially successful people lending tips to promote financial literacy.

-- "Close to the Starz": A behind-the-scenes show that takes the viewers up close and personal to their favorite celebrities.

-- "Karma TV Show": Bilingual soap opera with an African-American and Latino cast.

-- "What's Cooking TV Show": Talk show that covers wide aspects of entertainment and current events while cooking healthy, budget-conscious meals.

-- "The Black List Movies": Film showcase featuring classic and contemporary movies, as well as original BBTV productions.

-- "Hip-Hop Garage Show": Saturday show that will play the hottest new and upcoming.