First Promo For Sean Combs' New Cable TV Network Promises A Revolution

Television
by Tambay A. Obenson
April 16, 2013 11:19 AM
3 Comments
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I'm sorry, but when I think of citizens uniting, claiming collective power, and revolution,  P Diddy, aka Sean Combs isn't exactly the first person that I think of. He's not even on my long list. 

But that's what he's packaging his upcoming new TV network as - a revolution of sorts. 

It'll be a music-themed cable TV network called Revolt.

Every generation needs a new Revolution! The power they took from the people will return to the people. We are not machines. We do not look to the World for validation. We are the people that future generations will follow. The Revolution is Here! #REVOLT

Whatever Diddy. Nice gimmick. I hope it works for you.

First announced last year, the new channel, which will include a mix of 24/7 music and news content, will debut this summer.

Comcast already signed up to carry the channel last year, while Time Warner was said to be in talks at the time. No word on the other cablers that will carry the network, but we'll find out soon enough.

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

But I should note that these new networks (Earvin "MagicJohnson also launched his own cable TV network, Aspire) are all part of a new initiative Comcast announced 2+ years ago, 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.

When this new initiative was first announced, I was hopeful for black indie producers; I hoped that one of these new networks would go to a pitch that sold a channel idea that didn't necessarily look like all the others. 

The question I continue to ask is, where is all the content to feed these channels (Bounce TV is another recently-launched new black TV network) going to come from? You may as well add Oprah Winfrey's OWN given the recent programming moves she's made. Are they all going to be regurgitating 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?

Magic Johnson told the Wall Street Journal before Aspire launched that his goal was to create the next BET. What that means exactly, I'm not sure. Is anyone watching Aspire? If so, thoughts?

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.

Maybe some of these web series we've featured will eventually become part of some of these TV lineups, and not just as separate web content, but part of their actual TV programming.

However, as someone who doesn't watch much TV at all, I can't say I'm moved by any of this news. I'll wait to see the results in another 3 to 4 years.

Here's a preview of Diddy's new Revolt cable TV network:

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3 Comments

  • Miles Ellison | April 16, 2013 10:25 PMReply

    The question I continue to ask is, where is all the content to feed these channels (Bounce TV is another recently-launched new black TV network) going to come from? You may as well add Oprah Winfrey's OWN given the recent programming moves she's made. Are they all going to be regurgitating 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?

    This is the essence of the issue surrounding these new networks. I would think that these new networks would be an opportunity to produce programming that's different from most of the hot garbage strewn across the cable TV landscape. The problem is that there isn't any demand for that kind of entertainment. There will be lofty rhetoric and aspirations in the beginning, but it will degenerate into the usual blackface reality show porn that the majority of the audience would rather watch.

  • Miles Maker | April 16, 2013 10:16 PMReply

    I dig the Charlie Chaplin but the imagery doesn't reflect the mission or the brand. Prepare for more of the same with a new name.

  • jeni | April 16, 2013 4:02 PMReply

    IMHO, if it's going to be reflective of the ratchet nonsense looping on hip-hop radio, it's just picking up where BET left off. Due to the current state of the music industry, I can see it becoming just another bastion for VH1- and Bravo-inspired black reality tv.

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