Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Comcast backs Magic, Diddy, Rodriguez networks

Part of the cable giant's minority outreach following its NBC takeover

Comcast backs Magic, Diddy, Rodriguez networks


Comcast has signed deals to "broadly distribute" two African American and two Latino/crossover TV networks over the next four years, as part of last year's promise to support 10 minority-owned cable groups while applying to get its NBC Universal takeover approved. Statement here. Summary:

1) BabyFirst Americas: Constantino "Said" Schwarz proposes an educational network forcused on babies, toddlers, parents, to debut this April.

2) Aspire - led by ex-NBA star Earvin "Magic" Johnson, "in partnership with GMC TV, Aspire plans black-theme "movies, documentaries, short films, music, comedy, visual and performing arts, and faith and inspirational programs" by this summer.

3) Revolt -Proposed by music and clothing vendor Sean “Diddy” Combs and MTV's Andy Schuon, Revolt will offer "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." Revolt "will be immediate, like today's social networks," said Combs in a statement. Projected start date: 2013. 

4) El Rey - Hollywood movie director Robert Rodriguez joins FactoryMade Ventures bosses John Fogelman and Cristina Patwa to offer "an action-packed, general entertainment network in English for Latino and general audiences" including "a mix of reality, scripted and animated series, movies, documentaries, news, music, comedy, and sports programming." Deal calls for a January 2014 launch.

Adds Comcast: "Ultimately, each of the 10 networks will be added on select Comcast systems as part of the digital basic tier of service."

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PhillyDeals posts interviews, drafts and updates that Joseph N. DiStefano writes alongside his Sunday and Monday columns and ongoing articles about Philadelphia-area business.

DiStefano studied economics, history and a little engineering at Penn. He taught writing and research at St. Joe’s. He has written for the Inquirer since 1989, except when he left a few times to work at Bloomberg and elsewhere. He wrote the book Comcasted, and raised six kids with his wife, who is a saint.

Reach Joseph N. at JoeD@phillynews.com, 215.854.5194, @PhillyJoeD. Read his blog posts at http://www.philly.com/PhillyDeals and his Inquirer columns at http://www.philly.com/philly/columnists/joseph-distefano/. Bloomberg posts his items at NH BLG_PHILLYDEAL.

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