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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