OKLAHOMA CITY - Former U.S. Rep. J.C. Watts is developing a cable news network focusing on a black audience.

Black Television News Channel, scheduled to launch in 2009, will provide "original news programming with a distinctly African American perspective," according to a news release. It recently announced a multiyear agreement with Comcast Corp., of Philadelphia.

The news release said BTNC expects to be added to Comcast systems in key markets for black audiences such as Philadelphia, Chicago, Detroit, Washington, Atlanta and Baltimore.

"With this agreement, Comcast continues to demonstrate its commitment to working with independent programmers with diverse points of view," Watts said in a news release.

Watts, a Republican, represented Oklahoma's Fourth Congressional District from 1995 to 2003 in the U.S. House and now heads the J.C. Watts Cos. L.L.C., of Washington. He was not available yesterday for additional comment.