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Earvin "Magic" Johnson & Sean Combs Launching Their own New Cable TV Networks

Photo of Tambay A. Obenson By Tambay A. Obenson | Shadow and Act February 21, 2012 at 10:26AM

First... this morning, P Diddy, aka Sean Combs announced plans to launch a music-themed cable TV network called Revolt.
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earvin diddy

First... this morning, P Diddy, aka Sean Combs announced plans to launch a music-themed cable TV network called Revolt.

According to the New York Times, the new channel, which will include a mix of 24/7 music and news content could debut at the end of this year.

Comcast has already signed up to carry the channel, while Time Warner is said to be in talks.

My quick thoughts? Pointless. The resources going into Revolt could go into something that's actually lacking. I see no need for another 24/7 music and news cable TV channel. I'm sure it'll eventually include reality TV shows. 

Second... Earvin "Magic" Johnson is also launching his own cable TV network, to be called Aspire - this one aimed specifically at the African American audience. Yup, another new TV network targeted at black folks in this country.

The question I continue to ask is, where is all the content to feed these channels going to come from? Are they all going to be regurtitating old TV shows and films? Should producers/filmmakers/writers/etc be excited at what could be new opportunities for them to sell their black-themed projects?

According to the WSJ, Aspire will have original shows, movies and documentaries.

Magic Johnson told the Journal that his goal is to create the next BET.

What does that mean exactly? *Shrug*

BET has only recently started to revamp its lineup with original fresh programming, so maybe all this new competition could be a good thing for black content creators as well as more variety for black TV audiences.

But as someone who doesn't watch much TV at all, I can't say I'm at all moved by any of this news. I'll wait to see the results in another year or two.

No word on when Aspire will launch.

But I should note that these new networks are all part of a new initiative Comcast announced last year, I believe it was, to increase minority ownership of cable TV channels, with plans to launch as many as 10 new networks over the next 10 years, a quarter of them owned by non-whites.

Although I should say that, when this new initiative was first announced, I was hopeful for black indie producers, and that one of these new networks would go to a pitch that sold a channel that didn't necessarily look like all the others. 

Ho-hum...

This article is related to: Television


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