Rolling Out

NowThatsTV CEO defends current state of Black reality TV

The CEO says his network gives opportunities to people from different backgrounds

NowThatsTV recently celebrated its second anniversary with a Cinco De Mayo pool party in Atlanta with GloRilla headlining the event.

Recently, the network’s CEO, Teleau Belton, spoke to rolling out about his medium as well as the current state of Black reality TV.

What was the vision for NowThatsTV when you first launched it?

We actually stumbled across it. We didn’t do NowThatsTV with the intention of doing NowThatsTV. We shot a project for one of our artists. … We went to pitch it, and we couldn’t get anyone to bite. So, we just decided to distribute it ourselves and went from there. After that, we were like, “Hey, this is cool. Let’s keep it going.”

Me and my partner kept rolling from that point on out.

What message do you have for creators who are shopping an idea out to larger companies?

Believe in your vision, and don’t limit yourself. Everything is possible.

We didn’t think, when we did our first show, that was gonna be a full network. We just did the full show, just thinking, like, “Hey, let’s try to get someone to pick it up and go from there.”

Have a wide-open vision with your content, and get to know who watches your content. Sometimes, I feel like creators just create stuff and don’t know what the audience really wants. Take that time to see what they like and want.

What’s the balance for a creator making what they like versus what their audience likes?

You just have to find that happy medium.

Our content is known to be chaotic, but we want to show people we have substance, too. So, it’s about finding the right balance — like the perfect match.

It’s just like mixing two ingredients. We want to make sure we have 40 percent chaotic, 60 percent substance. Sometimes you have to play around until you hit it.

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How conscious are you of providing entertaining content but not content that is a bad portrayal of Black people?

What type of content are you speaking about?

For example, a podcast discussion about splitting the bill. I think that’s just an excuse to increase the gender divide and break up Black homes.

I think it’s more than just the Black community, though. I think that’s just a worldwide thing. I think social media definitely dictates a lot of that.

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Do you feel like your platform plays a part in fueling that social media narrative, though?

With our platform, I don’t think we’re fueling it. If anything, we’re feeling like we’re bringing more opportunities.

People come from all different walks of life. This person’s next step may not be college. Sometimes being on our platform — or something similar — may open [some people’s] eyes to want to do more in life. I don’t think that we’re fueling anything to break up the homes. I just think we open up a different avenue for people who come from different walks of life. Because some people come to our platform and be very successful afterward and go on to different ventures. If our platform wasn’t here, they may not have ever even gotten those opportunities.

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