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TV Column
Posted at 07:28 PM ET, 02/21/2012

Diddy, Magic Johnson land independent networks on Comcast


Magic Johnson (Damian Dovarganes - AP)

Back when Comcast was doing the Washington Stations of the Cross — while on its journey to a majority stake in NBCUniversal 2.0 — the cable behemoth made “voluntary public interest commitments” to launch minority-owned independent networks over the next several years.

Four of the networks would be majority-owned by African Americans, two would be majority-owned by Latino Americans, two would be operated by Latino American programmers and the final two would provide something called additional “independent programming.” And each network would be added to select Comcast systems as part of its digital basic tier of service.

On Tuesday, Comcast announced that it had selected the first four lucky winners from more than 100 submissions. Please congratulate:

●Sean P Puff Diddy Daddy Combs

●Magic Johnson

●Robert Rodriguez

●Said Schwarz

Sean P Puff Diddy Daddy Combs is the Ryan Seacrest of his new networ Revolt, which is “designed to have programming inspired by music and pop culture, including music videos, live performance, music news and interviews.” The network will “incorporate social media interaction for music artists and fans,” Comcast said. Diddy is partnered with MTV veteran Andy Schuon in the network.

Earvin “Magic” Johnson, meanwhile is the Oprah of “Aspire” — a channel that will deliver “enlightening, entertaining and positive programming to African American families,” including movies, documentaries, short films, music, comedy, visual and performing arts, and “faith and inspirational programs,” Comcast said. Johnson is partnering with GMC TV (formerly Gospel Music TV), which is run by its founder, Charles Humbard — former Discovery networks executive and son of televised evangelicalism pioneer Rex Humbard.

El Rey, from Hollywood director Robert Rodriguez and FactoryMade Ventures suits John Fogelman and Cristina Patwa, will be an “action-packed, general entertainment network in English for Latino and general audiences,” Comcast said.

Finally, BabyFirst Americas, proposed by Spanish-language TV vet Constantino “Said” Schwarz, will emphasize early childhood development of verbal, math and motor skills.

By  |  07:28 PM ET, 02/21/2012

 
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