Tim: Charley, please tell us a bit about the UP and Aspire television networks. What makes your content different from other television network programmers, and what is the marketplace you’re trying to reach?
Charley: UP Entertainment has three great brands to enjoy. UPtv and Aspire are traditional cable networks offered on cable, satellite and other tv providers; and we have a family-focused streaming service, UP Faith & Family, that is offered via a low monthly subscription through our own app and through Amazon Prime, Verizon, Xfinity and many other streaming services. During the Covid-19 crisis, UP Faith & Family has a great offering of a selection movies and shows at no charge.
UPtv’s programming is designed to uplift viewers every single day. We offer light-hearted, exclusive, premiere romance movies during the week with a premiere movie every Sunday night at 7pm ET. Our uplifting hit reality series, Bringing Up Bates, shows a Christian family with 19 kids and 14 grandkids with lots of laughter, love, and big life moments on Thursdays. Additionally, we have fan favorites Little House on the Prairie, Gilmore Girls, Home Improvement and Reba that always warm your heart or make you laugh.
Our programs are for adults, but they don’t have to grab the remote if kids walk in the room. Because of this, UPtv is a top 10 network that families watch together.
We also show faith-affirming movies. This Easterweekend on Good Friday we were showing Passion of The Christ. On Saturday and Sunday, we were showing Facing the Giants, Heaven is for Real, God’s Not Dead, Courageous, and a light-hearted faith romance premiere movie, Inlawfully Yours, this past Sunday night.
For Easter worship, both UPtv and Aspire offered the special “Stellar Awards Music of Hope Concert”. It’s hosted by Kirk Franklin and features Tamela Mann, Donnie McClurkin, Marvin Sapp, Lecrae, Canton Jones, Yolanda Adams, Bebe and Cece Winans, Hezekiah Walker, Mary Mary, Patti LaBelle, Israel Houghton and many more artists.
To find out more and where to see UP visit https://www.uptv.com and UPtv’s social media site.
Tim: And what about the Aspire network?
Charley: Aspire is a network created to reflect, share and celebrate black culture and urban lifestyle with an environment that is positive, representative and authentic. Unable to find this programming elsewhere, viewers are proud to “See Yourself Here” as we say.
Aspire offers original lifestyle shows with celebrities including Unboxed with Nikki Chu design make-overs and Butter+Brown, an entertaining cooking show with Seth Brown and Leslie Antonoff and guests. On Idols, Icons, and Influencers, you see candid interviews with black celebrities from film, tv, sports, art, music and more.
Aspire is well known for nurturing fresh young talent with the Urban Indie Film Blockto showcase the best urban short films and feature films including love stories, romantic comedies, dramas, action and sci-fi. And on Friday nights, Black Movie Magic offers classic, fun, or thought-provoking black films.
Viewers can also enjoy HBCU football and basketball in season and fan favorites Bernie Mac and My Wife and Kids every weekday.
Find out more at https://www.aspire.tv and Aspire TV’s social media sites.
Tim: What led you to create and lead these networks?
Charley: I created UPtv to have a positive impact on people through uplifting stories. UPtv’s purpose is to inspire hearts to be better. There’s just too much content on TV that’s not family or faith friendly. UPtv is committed to uplift, entertain, and inspire now and always with safe, high-quality, compelling shows. We believe quality entertainment with uplifting stories can have a positive impact on people’s hearts and change our world.
Aspire was created to reflect positive, authentic black culture and urban lifestyle and give audiences a chance to see themselves in real everyday situations with shows on cooking, home design, shopping and entertainment. We also include great theatrical and independent movies and family shows like Bernie Mac, My Wife and Kids, and more.
Tim: What does your research tell you about the demand for family-friendly entertainment programming?
Charley: It’s huge. At least 40 million people want more positive programming that expresses and affirms their faith & values. They want to be able to watch with their family and avoid the toxic, violent content that is on so much of TV and streaming services.
We created UP Faith & Family to serve these same families with programming they can watch on their schedule and on any device. It’s like Netflix but for faith and values centers families.
Tim: How has streaming media impacted your programming and your business?
Charley: Fortunately for us, our Uplifting programming is sought after by so many families and adults and we are one of the few places you can dependably watch it. We created a streaming service so people of all ages have great content anywhere, any time and on all the devices they use today. It is one of the most successful streaming services of its kind and we priced it so it’s very affordable at $5 per month.
During this time of the Covid-19 crisis, we are offering a selection of some of our best movies and series without presenting a credit card at .
UP Faith & Family offers thousands of movies and shows that subscribers can choose from to watch when they want to watch for about the cost of a small cup of Starbucks a month. Unlike Netflix, which can be dark and show negative content, UP Faith & Family offers only family & faith friendly movies, series, documentaries and more to entertain, uplift, and inspire you just like our TV network, UPtv.
You can go to the UP Faith & Family website at https://upfaithandfamily.com to subscribe and watch or you can download our app from the app store on your phone.
Tim: How has the current pandemic impacted your programming and your business?
Charley: So many people are at home right now. In between home schooling, dealing with the office and managing a bit of chaos in their lives, they are watching more TV and streaming more video. We have seen a rise in our viewership on both our tv networks and our streaming service. We have adjusted programming to give families more options during the daytime to watch with their kids or teens. We have created some special programming events with our more faith focused movies. Also, some of our stars like the Bates family have been producing some fun tips for families to help them during this crazy time. Gil and Kelly Bates are experts in home schooling with 19 kids. They provided homeschooling video tips for parents that we’re showing on-air, the website, and social media.
All of our networks’ social media platforms are sharing positive, uplifting stories and good news. UPtv’s social posts feature Uplifting News every day showcasing all the good people are doing to help and support each other through this Pandemic such as a teen using her savings to shop for food and deliver to her elderly neighbors. .
And Aspire’s social media http://facebook.com/aspiretv and website https://www.aspire.tv are showcasing stories around “shelter in place” concerts from celebrities like John Legend and Beyoncé, and Tyler Perry offering a $21,000 tip to out of work restaurant workers.
We also have a new Facebook page called Uplift Someone with uplifting stories that we share, and stories posted by our audience. http://facebook.com/upliftsomeone
As a company, the pandemic has caused us all to draw closer together through regular video calls, sharing our gratitude lists, encouraging and funny messages, and images of what’s happening with us on the home front. We have weekly devotions, relaxation moments, and mandatory time away from the computer for an hour each day.
Tim: What advice would you offer for families who are navigating this quarantine with kids at home?
Charley: Even with all the tragedy that people are experiencing, there is some light in all of this. In my neighborhood, I have watched families together walking, playing, biking and doing things I don’t usually see. In our own home I am getting schooled in cards by my oldest son and learning how to really work out with weights by my younger son. I am getting a new appreciation for the little things I took for granted and may have overlooked before. I am learning to enjoy these moments as they may never come again.
Tim: What else would you like the public to know about UP, Aspire and Charley Humbard?
Charley: UPtv and UP Faith & Family won’t let you down if you’re looking for positive choices in viewing and want more programming that reflects your faith and family values. For those looking for a positive reflection of black culture and urban lifestyle, Aspire TV can’t be beat.
As for me, I’m a Jesus follower, a husband to a wonderful wife of 25 years, a father of two amazing sons in college, an avid fly fisher, home-grown chef, and life-long learner. I’m also blessed to be the son of Rex Humbard, the first televangelist who delivered the gospel around the world, bringing thousands to Christ.
Tim: Charley, where can we find more about your networks online?
Charley: UP’s website and social media: https://www.uptv.com
Aspire’s website and social media: https://www.aspire.tv
UP Faith & Family
FREE OPERATION UPLIFT: https://upfaithandfamily.com/uplift