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Apple TV Adds Urban Movie Channel Subscription Service

RLJ Entertainment’s Urban Movie Channel (UMC) is now available on fourth-generation Apple TV devices — which the company hopes will spur signups for the $6.99 monthly service.

UMC had 20,000 subs as the end of 2016, after two years in the market. That’s just a fraction of the 430,000-plus subscribers for Acorn TV, RLJ’s British-television streaming-video service.

Urban Movie Channel’s exclusive content spans feature films, documentaries, stage plays, original series, and stand-up comedy specials. Recent premieres include romantic comedy “No Regrets,” starring Monica Calhoun, Brian White, Loretta Devine, Elise Neal and Sharon Leal; child slavery drama “Like Cotton Twines” starring Jay Ellis (HBO’s “Insecure”); documentary “They Don’t Give a Damn: The Story of the Chicago Projects”; stage play “Another Man Will” from “Almost Christmas” writer-director David E. Talbert; and mental illness drama “Knucklehead,” starring Alfre Woodard and Gbenga Akinnagbe (“The Wire”).

“The Apple TV app will give UMC the ability to reach many potential new subscribers while also providing additional exposure for the channel,” said UMC president Traci Otey Blunt. “For $6.99, we believe UMC offers our subscribers an unparalleled experience in streaming the best in African-American and urban entertainment.”

UMC is available on the web at urbanmoviechannel.com; on Roku devices; as an Amazon Prime Video add-on subscription and via Amazon Fire TV and Amazon Fire Stick. The service’s Apple TV app was developed by Brightcove, which also developed the UMC iOS app.

RLJ Entertainment is headed by chairman Robert L. Johnson, founder of BET. Last October, AMC Networks entered into an agreement with the company under which AMC is loaning it $65 million and has rights to acquire up to half of RLJ.

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