Networks led by Magic Johnson, Sean Combs chosen for carriage by Comcast
(February 21, 2012) Comcast Corporation today announced it has selected
four new minority-owned independent networks to be broadly distributed
on Comcast Cable systems between April 2012 and January 2014.
The network agreements are part of a mandate that allowed Comcast to
merge with NBCUniversal. The plan calls for Comcast to launch ten new
independently owned and operated networks over the next eight years.
Having considered more than 100 proposals, Comcast selected four
networks. Aspire and REVOLT are majority African-American owned, and El
Ray and BabyFirst Americas are majority American Hispanic owned and
operated and programmed in English.
"We are thrilled to work with such talented individuals to launch these
new networks that will bring exciting and fresh content to consumers,"
said David L. Cohen, Executive Vice President, Comcast Corporation.
"Comcast is committed to delivering programming that reflects the
interests of our customers, and we look forward to integrating these
great networks into our rich programming line-up."
Spearheaded by entrepreneur and NBA Hall of Famer, Earvin "Magic"
Johnson, in partnership with GMC TV (formerly the Gospel Music Channel),
Aspire is dedicated to delivering enlightening, entertaining and
positive programming to African-Americans families, including movies,
documentaries, short films, music, comedy, visual and performing arts,
and faith and inspirational programs. The network will launch by summer
"Aspire will be a network that encourages and challenges
African-Americans to reach for their dreams and will appeal to all
generations. Aspire will celebrate our heritage, our groundbreaking
achievements and the fearless talent that has shaped American culture.
I'm most excited about Aspire creating opportunities for the new voices,
new visions and the next generation of storytellers," said Earvin
Proposed by superstar and entrepreneur Sean "Diddy" Combs and MTV
veteran Andy Schuon, the REVOLT network is designed to have programming
inspired by music and pop culture, including music videos, live
performances, music news, and interviews and will incorporate social
media interaction for music artists and fans. The network has entered
into an agreement to launch in 2013.
"REVOLT is the first channel created entirely from the ground up in this
new era of social media" said Sean "Diddy" Combs. "We're building this
platform for artists to reach an extraordinary number of people in a
completely different way. REVOLT will be live, like all great moments in
television history. REVOLT will also be immediate, like today's social
networks. We know it was a highly competitive process and we want to
thank Comcast for this opportunity to truly change television with
Headed by legendary Hollywood director Robert Rodriguez and FactoryMade
Ventures executives John Fogelman and Cristina Patwa, the El Ray network
is designed to be an action-packed, general entertainment network in
English for Latino and general audiences that includes a mix of reality,
scripted and animated series, movies, documentaries, news, music,
comedy, and sports programming.
The El Rey network will include programming that features Hispanic
producers, celebrities and public figures. The network has entered into
an agreement to launch by January 2014. "This partnership with Comcast
signals an important moment for the Latino community in this country --
we are passionate about creating a wildly entertaining destination that
we can be proud of by appealing to both Latino and mass market
audiences," said Robert Rodriguez and CEO of FactoryMade Ventures John
"We engineered El Rey to address a burgeoning opportunity to deliver
unique, high-quality and compelling content to a hard-to-reach
demographic and are excited to bring more opportunities to generations
of talent, storytellers and dreamers through this special partnership."
BabyFirst Americas network is designed for infants, very young children,
and their parents, and emphasizes the importance of early development of
verbal, math and motor skills. The network has entered into an agreement
to launch by April 2012. "We are thrilled to partner with Comcast and
commend them for recognizing the importance of quality education for
young children," remarked Constantino "Said" Schwarz, CEO and Chairman
BabyFirst Americas. "BabyFirst Americas aims to bring the essential
academic building blocks for Kindergarten readiness into the home,
making it accessible for families all across the U.S."
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