All Articles Tagged "comcast"
Tyler Perry isn’t the only man following in Oprah’s footsteps with a television network. Today, both Magic Johnson and Diddy announced two new ventures to change the face of television.
We’d heard about a month ago that Diddy might launch a network, but now the word on Revolt TV is official—and Diddy’s pretty excited about it. In a video announcement he thanked NBC and Comcast for recognizing the importance of minority ownership in cable television and invited Time Warner, Cable Vision and other distributors to follow suit. He also outlined his vision for the network:
“I’m going to give the artists this channel. It’s your channel to do what you wanna do how you wanna do it. It’s your opportunity to show your art the way you want to show your art—raw, uncut, uncensored, not destined by the charts and who’s pop. A channel that will give new artists an opportunity to get seen and get get heard…Today is a big day. The revolution will be televised.”
Diddy isn’t the only one Comcast has reached out to as part of its mission to launch 10 minority cable channels by 2018. Magic Johnson also has an upcoming network through the cable operator, and it’s expected to launch June 30. The network, Aspire, will show a mix of acquired and original film, television, music, performing arts, and comedy programming geared toward African Americans, Magic said.
“This is big for myself, for the African American community and the African American creative community. I wanted a vehicle to show positive images and to have stories written, produced and directed by African Americans for our community. Aspire — that’s how I’ve been leading my life.”
Aware of the risks and the issues Oprah has had with OWN, Magic said, “We’ll learn from those who have gone before us. We understand the landscape, and we will run a sound business.”
It’s good to see Comcast making good on it’s promise. Hopefully these channels will give African American viewers what they’ve been wanting.
What do you think about these new networks? Who would you like to see launch a cable channel?
Brande Victorian is a blogger and culture writer in New York City. Follower her on Twitter at @be_vic.
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Reports say Sean “Diddy” Combs is expanding his empire with plans to launch a music-themed cable network reminiscent of the old MTV but for an African American audience. So basically a new BET, right?
The channel, called Revolt, is expected to launch 12/12/12 and is being promoted as a music and music news channel with an urban skew, and sources say the venture which former MTV programming chief Andy Schuon is involved with is well funded. Comcast will provide distribution as part of its commitment to the FCC to help launch minority owned networks. The company plans to launch 10 channels over the next eight years, including eight Hispanic or African American owned ones.
A Comcast rep didn’t confirm Diddy’s involvement but he said the company hopes to make an announcement soon. Previously, Comcast did announce plans to launch an African American-owned channel by January of 2013 so Revolt could definitely be it. Time Warner is also expected to get in on the distribution which means Revolt could land in 18 millions homes when it launches.
It will be interesting to see what the Bad Boy can do with TV.
What do you think about Diddy and this new Revolt channel? Could it be good for African American media?
Brande Victorian is a blogger and culture writer in New York City. Follower her on Twitter at @be_vic.
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Part of the NBC Comcast merger involved Comcast providing a certain amount of support to Black representation in the media. Well, months after hearing about Comcast’s $20 million investment initative, we’re seeing some progress.
DreamIt Ventures and Comcast have created the Minority Entrepreneur Accelerator Program and have selected five programs to participate.
According to Black Web 2.0, the startups include:
ElectNext, a company that works like a dating site, for your elections. Clients can compare candidates and find the perfect fit.
Kwelia, a company that produces quantitatively derived analytical tools that will facilitate decision-making for residential real estate.
Metalayer, a visual search company that turns the real world into sortable data.
Qwite, a location-based service, taking clients where they want to go — from intent, to experience and memories.
ThaTrunk Inc., a company that uses mobile commerce and geocast technology to help digital creators resonate with their fans and potential consumers.
The program will provide mentoring, office space, as well as accounting, legal and administrative support for three months. At the end of the program, the participants will pitch their ideas to investors at a demo day in Philadelphia.
by Cynthia Wright
A federal judge signed off on a deal that allows Comcast to merge with NBC Universal on Thursday. Earlier this year, Comcast took 51 percent control of NBC Universal, after they paid General Electric Co. $6.2 billion and contributing channels $7.25 billion. Judge Richard Leon, who has been extremely critical of the $30 billion takeover also added reporting requirements, forcing the newly formed company to discuss any arbitration concerns by online video distributors with the court.
The added stipulation stems from online video distributors being concerned that they wouldn’t be able to access videos owned by NBC, since Comcast would now be the owner. However, with Leon’s ruling in place, distributors are allowed to enter a claim if they feel they are being “improperly” denied content.
“It is undisputed that neither the FCC nor the Department of Justice has any experience yet in administering either course of arbitration in the online-video-distribution context,” the 8-page document details.
In order to assure that Comcast follows through with the agreement, both the Justice Department and Comcast will have to make detailed reports explaining all arbitration complaints from video distributors. This report will then become one of the focal points of the yearly hearing between the courts and Comcast.
“’I am not completely certain that these safeguards, alone, will sufficiently protect the public interest in the years ahead. Since neither the court nor the parties has a crystal ball to forecast’ the effectiveness of the final judgment, the additional steps are necessary to protect the public interest”, Leon commented.
Another condition that was enforced was Comcast giving up their small stake in Hulu, causing them to lose all decision-making power in the video site. At the same time, with Hulu (along with Netflix) using a sizeable amount of NBC programming – how their relationship will fair after this merger, is to be determined.
It also doesn’t help, that Comcast has been portrayed negatively in the media a lot lately. The most recent development involves Verizon going to the Council of Better Business Bureaus’ National Advertising Division, due to Comcast’s advertising claims that Xfinity was superior over Verizon FIOS. After NAD’s investigation, it was discovered that Comcast’s claims were either “inaccurate or insufficiently supported”.
Whether this taints Comcast’s credibility factor, remains to be seen. The case is U.S. v. Comcast, 11-cv-00106, U.S. District Court, District of Columbia (Washington). The final judgment is set to expire in seven years.
Cynthia Wright is an avid lover of all things geeky. When she isn’t freelancing, she can be found on her blog BGA Life and on Twitter at @cynisright.
(AJC) — Comcast Corporation is partnering with several metro Atlanta school districts to educate families about a new program to offer discounted Internet access to low-income students. Today at a morning press conference, Comcast executives along with Mayor Kasim Reed, Gov. Nathan Deal and other area leaders will announce the program, which will be offered to families of students who qualify for free school lunch.
(Reuters) — When Comcast was angling to take over NBCU, the cable giant promised prominently to increase the profile of minorities at the company and launch eight independent cable networks, including four under African-American control. But a Who’s Who of African American media figures and civil rights leaders are frustrated that Comcast doesn’t seem to be moving fast enough, if at all. That includes a recent disastrous meeting between Comcast executives and Oprah Winfrey, in which Comcast executives rebuffed the media queen’s request for support for her OWN network. Leading entrepreneur Russell Simmons was rebuffed when he approached NBCU CEO Steve Burke about acquiring the Style network. The National Urban League, NAACP and Al Sharpton’s National Action Network, major civil rights groups, see several trouble spots with their efforts to work with Comcast, TheWrap has learned.
Al Sharpton is back under the mainstream microscope for a series of conflicting interests regarding his co-sign of the Comcast/NBC merger. The Daily Beast claims that Sharpton’s endorsement, which makes him the first “major” black leader to offer one, came with handsome payoffs both for Sharpton and his primary employer – Radio One.
“The Daily Beast has already reported that just months after Sharpton played a pivotal role in pushing the merger, he became a regular substitute host and appears now to be in line for a fulltime anchor post on Comcast’s MSNBC. As awkward as that coincidence is, how about a conflict of interest he did not disclose in his letters to the Federal Communications Commission – or his other pro-merger activities?” the Beast asks.
The site claims that Sharpton cheered on the merger when it had already paid dividends to Radio One and its affiliate TV One. After the merger, Radio One’s ownership of TV One rose to 50.8 percent, a conveniently timed stock transfer that Comcast admitted to facilitating. Radio One/TV One also became part of the basic cable package in Chicago and Miami after the deal, underlining the benefits that sprung from the companies close ties with each other.
“While Radio One is the largest single shareholder in TV One, Comcast has been its partner since TV One’s inception in 2004 and, until recently, held almost as much stock in the television network, 34 percent, as Radio One, 36.8 percent. In fact, Comcast’s role in the launch of this network, which targets a national black audience, was cited repeatedly by the company when questions were raised about its diversity track record during the yearlong debate about this merger,” the Beast reports.
So not only did Sharpton publically attach himself to a controversial cause that has already indirectly paid him for doing so, he virtually signed away the rights for the media giant to tokenize those African-American news mediums. He has been a much bigger asset politically than he has as a host for both his primary employer and his (possibly) future employer, Comcast/NBC. And this is the man who will soon become a trusted “journalist.”
(Multichannel News) — Comcast Corp. will begin the process of adding 10 new independent, minority-owned and operated channels by soliciting proposals from Hispanic and African-American networks. As part of its merger agreement with NBC Universal, Comcast pledged it would launch 10 new independent channels over the next eight years, including eight that are Hispanic- and African-American owned or operated. Comcast officials are now accepting proposals for the first three. The first, a channel that is “American Latino operated and programmed in English” — will launch by July 28, 2012. The other two will be majority African-American-owned and will launch by January 28, 2013.
(Black Enterprises) — Only time will tell if Comcast Corporation’s tapping Burrell Communications LLC. (No. 4 on the BE 100 advertising agencies list with billings of $180 million last year) as its African-American advertising agency of record is a step in the right direction for diversity or just a good PR move, industry insiders say.
The selection comes on the heels of Comcast’s purchasing NBC Universal in late January and a series of congressional hearings last year that questioned both companies’ diversity statistics within ownership, management, programming and advertising activities. The uproar resulted in Comcast pledging a few diversity commitments, such as adding at least eight independently-owned and -operated cable networks for minorities–four of which African-Americans will have a majority or substantial ownership interest–and creating a $20 million capital fund to assist minority entrepreneurs along with enhancing minority participation in news and public affairs programming, according to the NAACP. In 2009, Comcast and NBCU collectively spent more than $1.5 billion in overall advertising but only $6.3 million, or less than .5%, was spent on black media, according to Target Market News. Comcast wouldn’t disclose Burrell’s budget amount.
(Press Release) — Comcast today announced it has selected Burrell Communications as its agency of record for its African-American consumer market advertising. The Chicago-based agency will provide advertising and media services to help Comcast reach African-American consumers, and also support Comcast’s digital and social media efforts.
“Burrell has a strong track record of creating award-winning campaigns that produce results which made them very attractive to us during our agency search,” said Dave Watson, Chief Operating Officer, Comcast Cable. “We are excited to be working with Burrell on our outreach to African-American consumers and on communicating our innovative products and services to this very important audience.”
“As we celebrate our 40th anniversary, we are thrilled to be joining the Comcast team,” said Fay Ferguson, co-CEO of Burrell Communications. “We look forward to a long and productive partnership, which strengthens the Comcast brand and builds business among our consumers.”
Since its inception nearly 50 years ago, Comcast has had a longstanding commitment to diversity and focuses its efforts on four key areas: attracting and retaining a multicultural workforce; developing a diverse supplier group; pledging significant community investments; and offering a wide selection of multicultural programming.