American Muslim TV Makes
Buffalo, New York: Bridges TV, the first-ever
television network in English, premiered nationwide at 12
p.m. Eastern time on November 30, 2004. Broadcasting from
Buffalo, NY, Bridges TV targets primarily the 8 million Muslims
of North America in English. It features English language
programs focused on celebrating the American Muslim lifestyle
Bridges TV was launched nationwide through Globecast Satellite,
a national satellite provider, with more than one million
subscribers and via Broadband television on the Internet.
The network recently has signed a carriage affiliation agreement
with Comcast Cable, the nation’s largest cable company,
with more than 22 million subscribers. Buckeye Cable System
has also signed a carriage affiliation agreement with the
network and will launch Bridges TV in January in the Greater
Toledo areas of Ohio and Michigan.
The launch of Bridges TV comes at a time when the Muslim community
around the world is more than ever in the spotlight.
Every day on television we are barraged by stories of a Muslim
extremist, terrorist, militant or insurgent.But the stories
that are missing are the countless stories of Muslim tolerance,
progress, diversity, service and excellence that Bridges TV
hopes to tell. Bridges TV provides the first-ever full-time
home for American Muslims to celebrate and share their stories
with the world,_ Bridges TV founder and CEO, Muzzammil Hassan,
World heavyweight champion Muhammad Ali, a subscriber of the
network, believes that Bridges TV will allow Americans to
get to know American Muslims the way they would get to know
their next door neighbor, seeing them everyday in natural
situations at work and at home. Bridges TV gives American
Muslims a voice of their own on the airwaves for Americans
of all races and religions to hear, said Ali.
Foreign language channels in the U.S. broadcast from Muslim
countries appeal primarily to immigrant parents and do not
adequately address the issues and unique culture of the English-speaking
American Muslims, added Hassan.
According to a Zogby 2000 survey, the American Muslim population
of 7 million is expected to more than double to 15 million
in the next ten years. Bridges TV presents an un-served and
upscale niche market to cable operators and advertisers since
it appeals to an affluent, well educated, younger population
with unique consumption behavior and brand preferences, according
to a 2002 Cornell University research study.
Bridges TV premieres with Bridges News, the network’s
original news show hosted by former NBC news correspondent
Asad Mahmood, as well as programming that includes talk, health,
cooking and children shows; sitcoms and movies.
"I am truly impressed by the quality of programming on
Bridges TV;_it is simply spectacular," Sheldon Altfeld,
a four-time Emmy winning Hollywood producer, said.
With U.S. funding from more than 50 investors; Ropart Asset
Management, a Connecticut-based private equity fund; more
than 10,000 paying members and 50,000 pledged subscribers;
Bridges TV was well-positioned for its historic launch.
“Before launching our network, we wanted to ensure there
was an audience for Bridges TV. For the past year, more than
10,000 American Muslims have paid a monthly fee to show support
for Bridges TV, a channel that did not exist on the airwaves
until today. We cannot think of another television network
that garnered paying members before it was available. This
outpouring of support from American Muslims shows not only
that there is an audience for Bridges TV, but also that American
Muslims are deeply committed to changing perceptions of Muslims
around the world,” said Hassan.
Bridges TV Executive Producer Tayie Rehem, formerly of CBC
Network in Canada, said that he already is reaching out to
Kurtis Productions, a Chicago-based production company that
has produced such programs as The New Explorers for PBS, to
develop original series and specials, and Unity Productions,
producers of the PBS documentary Muhammad: Legacy of a Prophet.
Another key partner is Fine Media Group, a Chicago production
company that recently released the animated movie Muhammad
in theaters across America. The network already has two years
worth of content in its programming library.
In addition, deals are pending in Canada with Rogers Cable,
which expects to carry the network upon license approval by
the Canadian Radio-TV & Telecom Commission (CRTC). The
network expects a CRTC approval by summer 2005.
Additional information, a media kit, photos and programming
samples are available at www.bridgestv.com.
For a promotional DVD of Bridges TV, call 716-578-1317 or