The nation’s largest cable company, Comcast, announced a sweeping deal today with four new minority-owned network with some famous names like Earvin “Magic “Johnson, Sean “Diddy”Combs, and filmmaker, Robert Rodriguez. Comcast did not suddenly decide to reach out to minorities. The deal was part of the conditions of last month’s controversial approval by the government of that mega-merger of Comcast/NBC Universal.
The Comcast press release, states the four proposals were selected from a field of over 100. Comcast agrees to distribute the selected networks on its cable systems between April 2012 and January 2014. Two of the networks have major African American owners and the other two, have Hispanics as the majority owners.
Here are brief descriptions of the four networks:
Aspire: Headed by entrepreneur and NBA Hall of Famer, Earvin “Magic” Johnson, in partnership with GMC TV. “Aspire will be a network that encourages and challenges African-Americans to reach for their dreams and will appeal to all generations. Aspire will celebrate our heritage, our groundbreaking achievements and the fearless talent that has shaped American culture. I’m most excited about Aspire creating opportunities for the new voices, new visions and the next generation of storytellers,” according to “Magic” Johnson.
REVOLT: Project from superstar and entrepreneur Sean “Diddy” Combs and MTV veteran Andy Schuon. Combs says, “… REVOLT will be live, like all great moments in television history. REVOLT will also be immediate, like today’s social networks…”
El Rey by Hollywood movie director Robert Rodriguez and FactoryMade Ventures executives John Fogelman and Cristina Patwa. ”We are passionate about creating a wildly entertaining destination that we can be proud of by appealing to both Latino and mass market audiences,” said Robert Rodriguez and CEO of FactoryMade Ventures John Fogelman.
BabyFirst Americas proposed by Spanish language television veteran Constantino “Said” Schwarz. Constantino “Said” Schwarz, CEO and Chairman BabyFirst Americas explains, “BabyFirst Americas aims to bring the essential academic building blocks for kindergarten readiness into the home, making it accessible for families all across the U.S.”
David L. Cohen, Executive Vice President, Comcast Corporation,“Comcast is committed to delivering programming that reflects the interests of our customers, and we look forward to integrating these great networks into our rich programming line-up.”