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Comcast is set to launch four new networks in the coming years, all of them backed by minorities with a few big names on the list. We’ll get to enjoy a network from mogul Sean Combs, AKA Puff Daddy, AKA P. Diddy, AKA whatever he’s going by these days. And then there’s one from Magic Johnson, and two Latino-themed networks one of which is backed by Robert Rodriguez.
The Hollywood Reporter outlined the details on the four new networks, which have launch dates ranging from this coming summer to 2014. They’re all part of some promises cable giant Comcast made in order to appease concerns over their stake in NBC Universal. So what’s coming our way on these channels?
Combs will bring us Revolt, which he’s working on with Andy Schuon from MTV. Not surprisingly it will feature music and pop culture programming and will connect interactively with the audience through social media. Combs describes the channel as “is the first channel created entirely from the ground up in this new era of social media.” Expect live performances and music videos, possibly selections from Combs personal music taste, in which case I’ll pass.
From Revolt we go to Aspire, which is Magic Johnson’s network aimed at African-American families. The programming will vary, but it sounds like the main focus is on creating positive images and influences for African-Americans of all ages. Johnson says that it’s “a network that encourages and challenges African-Americans to reach for their dreams and will appeal to all generations.”
Robert Rodriguez, director of cult classics like El Mariachi is behind El Rey, a network with a goal of reaching Latino audiences but with English-language programming. Rodriguez hopes to create something that is “appealing to both Latino and mass market audiences.” I’m just hoping that Rodriguez brings over his online series of videos Ten Minute Cooking School over to the network. His recipe for Puerco Pibil on the series is delicious and a must-try for Once Upon a Time in Mexico fans.
Getting less attention is a second Latino-themed station from Constantino “Said” Schwartz, who has been working in Spanish-language television for years. There’s also another network, BabyFirst America on the way, but I don’t think it qualifies as a minority network even if it’s audience are minors.
Anything worth watching here? Aspire will be the first of the new networks to launch, slated for this summer, so we’ll find out soon enough.