A new television channel, OUR – One United Region – was launched last week on ROKU by Anthony Weeks and Kalaloo Alliance Media. The channel focuses on wellness, business news, food, sports – all things Caribbean.
“The region needs a brand that brings the entire region together,” said Weeks, founder of OUR television and Kalaloo Alliance Media.
The 24-hour, seven-day-a-week channel will cover interests of “all nationalities, ethnicities, and races,” with syndicated and original programming in a multitude of genres, Weeks said.
The free OUR channel on Roku features musicians such as Rachel Villanova, Cruz Rock, Shay and Sunrise. Entertainment includes fashion shows, sports, movies and interviews with up and coming politicians. There are culinary shows with interviews and excerpts from South Beach Seafood Festival and A Taste of St. Croix, Bloomberg reports streamed through WSTX radio, real estate and small business news from around the region and Asia round out the programming. The V.I. government access channel will be coming soon, too, Weeks said.
Launched in 2017, the Roku Channel is America’s No. 1 TV streaming platform based on hours streamed, according to the company’s website.
In conjunction with the launch of OUR TV, Weeks is offering local businesses a free Marketplace TV player and remote control to allow them to market their businesses online. Marketplace TV has 70,000 members worldwide and Weeks said it is possible to search through the membership list to target advertising. Anyone with a valid business venue qualifies for the free devices and streaming service to get their message across to thousands of viewers. Companies can register at ourtv.network/the-marketplace-tv.
“The Marketplace TV mission is to establish a digital and virtual marketplace to better support and promote small businesses,” Weeks said.
The OUR TV launch celebrated 15 years of Kalalloo Alliance Media, which has broadcast live events, talks by experts on health and wellness and Week’s popular weekly show Money Talks.
Down the road, Weeks believes the OUR television network will encourage movie production in the territory. The network will be able to stream movies the way Netflix or Amazon Prime do. Once filmmakers realize that, the rest of the technology needed can be put in place to make movies in the Virgin Islands. So far, only scenes from movies have been filmed here, but a company making an entire film in the territory would be eligible for tax benefits under the STARZ Act, according to Weeks.
As a Virgin Islander and former banker, Weeks is not short on business ideas and economic philosophy. The St. Croix Economic Development Initiative – a think tank with international membership – was Weeks’s effort in 2007 to influence the V.I. economy. He also worked with two governors to create a stock exchange in the territory, but it lacked funding.
In 2019, Weeks led a group of politicians and stakeholders on a mission to Taiwan to establish a partnership between Taiwan and the Virgin Islands. He then proposed making the most of St. Croix’s fiber optic potential to develop cutting-edge technology and create a business hub or “Silicon Island.”
A capital market investment fund – The Alexander Hamilton Opportunity Fund – was created to raise $750 million by 2020 to fund technology development. That fund is now a private/public fund in partnership with the V.I. government. Weeks serves on a finance committee associated with the fund but not directly with the fund.
Weeks also is working with Gov. Albert Bryan Jr. and the Opportunity Zone group to encourage the federal government to create more opportunity zones, such as the Limetree refinery and Industrial Park on the south shore of St. Croix. Investors can delay or avoid taxes by investing in opportunity zones, Weeks said, and more opportunity zones encourage more business investment and creation.