Death Of A Pioneer
Althea Gibson, a champion tennis player in the 1950s and the first black to play at and win Wimbledon and the U.S. nationals, died Sunday. Raised in Harlem, Gibson won Wimbledon and U.S. titles in 1957-58 and also won the French Open. She was 76.
So much for Chicago's newly renovated Soldier Field. Green Bay came in and spoiled the Bears' homecoming with a 38-23 victory on Monday Night Football. The Packers got out to a 17-0 lead after the first quarter and never let the Bears get closer than eight points.
****NFL 2003 Scores****
|Steve McNair connects on 15 of 16 passes and 3 TDs. (AP)|
|It's beyond the stellar numbers Steve McNair put up in Tennessee's heady 30-13 win in Pittsburgh. Pete Prisco says the QB again shows he is the heart of the Titans. Full story|
Tennessee 30, Pittsburgh 13
Kansas City 17, Baltimore 10
Houston 24, Jacksonville 20
|While Randy Moss destroyed the 1-3 Niners with three TDs, all Terrell Owens could do was plot his postgame tirade. 'It's a bad situation, it's not working for us,' Owens said after the 35-7 loss. 'All of America can see what's going on.' Owens' solution: Bench Jeff Garcia. Full Story ...
Vikings 35, 49ers 7
Cowboys 17, Jets 6
ESPN'S SUNDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL
Colts 55, Saints 21
Two, Payton? Try six TD's passes for you against the Saints.
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Black cable network bypasses sex, violence
In one corner, there's the longtime heavyweight champ battling to stay on top.
In the opposite corner, is the feisty upstart, determined to win over the minds, hearts, bodies and souls of Black viewers without selling out to raunchy and racy programming.
MBC Network, owned by Florida attorney Willie E. Gary and his business partners, struck a major blow against BET in its bid to become a premier cable network when it signed an exclusive five-year deal with the Southwestern Athletic Conference. This coming a few months after MBC launched an hour-long news program and announced plans for a 24-hours news channel, MBC News-The Urban Voice.
BET largely cut its swath through the cable-TV industry with risque videos and shows that some contend degrade African-Americans. MBC's mission is clear as it sets out to provide family programming and become the network where students and alums of Black Colleges can find their sports teams on a regular basis.
Gary noted a void with television programming: Too many shows teemed with violence, crime and promiscuity; too many car chases and too much rump-shaking on hip-hop video shows.
So Gary, who is a multimillionaire, decided to do something about it and launched his own cable-TV network in 1998. Thus was born the Major Broadcasting Cable Network.
"You've got first-graders going to school and killing students," Gary said. "You have high school students killing each other like the Columbine situation. They are learning this violence from television and video games. Somebody was going to have to step to the plate with some clean and wholesome programming."
Gary, along with former major leaguer Cecil Fielder, ex-boxing champ Evander Holyfield, Marlon Jackson of Jackson Five fame and Alvin D. Jones, a cable executive and promoter, have taken on that challenge.
"We have to reclaim and save our children," said Gary, MBC's chairman and chief executive officer. "It can be done."
MBC's deal with SWAC will go a long way toward providing quality programming during the next five years and could generate as much as $15 million for the conference when MBC begins to broadcast 13 SWAC football games this fall. A full slate of SWAC basketball is also planned.
Gary, who is an alum of Shaw University and North Carolina Central University, has similar deals with the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference and the Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference.
In 2002, MBC carried more than 70 live Black College sports events and plans live coverage of 100 for the 2003-04 season. The network's goal is to eventually add other sports, including the Olympics.
Included in MBC's football lineup are two key games usually carried by BET-the Magic City Classic and the 5th SWAC Championship Game. Both games will be played at Birmingham's Legion Field. BET, which carried only six Black College football games last season had reportedly planned to increase that number but is struggling to fill its lineup.
MBC also faces the challenge of becoming part of a regular cable lineup or a basic package, such as BET and ESPN.
In many cities MBC is on digital cable, in the channel 400 group not widely found in urban households.
Gary said the network is in 10 million homes in just over 48 months of business. "We've launched in 48 states and 2,500 cities," he said.
MBC's mission is to empower urban communities with programming that uplifts families and provides information and entertainment.
The network covers "everything from entertainment to the news," Gary said.
The hour-long news segment broadcasts from the Florida News Channel in Tallahassee from 7-8 p.m. EST.
Other programs include an issues show hosted by Gary, a sports/lifestyle show hosted by Fielder, and "The Future of Black America," moderated by Gary with various noted co-moderators.
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