Sean Combs begins his all-music network
FILE - In this July 26, 2013, file photo, Sean "Diddy" Combs of Revolt TV waits to take the stage for a news conference about the new channel during the Television Critics Association summer press tour at the Beverly Hilton Hotel, in Beverly Hills, Calif. Already a success in music and fashion, Combs has big dreams for television, too, wanting to build a network that will be seen as the ESPN of music. (Photo by Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP, File)
NEW YORK (AP) — Sean Combs' new Revolt channel launched with a nod to big dreams and its founder's musical past, bringing a new outlet for music to television.
Despite some technical glitches in its opening Monday, Combs aspires to nothing less than making Revolt the ESPN of music, with well-curated playlists and a strong focus on industry news.
"I want to know, who is Taylor Swift?" Combs said. "Why is Miley Cyrus twerking? Why did Jay-Z and Justin Timberlake go on tour? Why did Kanye West call his daughter 'North'? The industry of music is just as important, or more important, as the industry of sports. Sports are covered in a serious manner and we want to follow in those footsteps."
Most fans watch videos online or on demand these days, despite the existence of MTV's networks, Fuse and BET. The struggling music industry doesn't spend as much producing flashy videos as it did in MTV's heyday. Networks that have started out primarily with videos moved on, primarily because the format is unattractive to advertisers.
"We're just going to do it better," said Val Boreland, Revolt's chief programming executive. Combs said he wants a network where people program from the gut instead of sales charts, citing legendary DJ Frankie Crocker and "Soul Train." His executive team is heavy on industry experience, with former ESPN executive and Vibe magazine president Keith Clinkscales, former Warner Bros. and MTV executive Andy Schuon and Boreland, who worked at Comedy Central.
Boreland said Revolt will stay in contact with viewers through social media and said Fuse, for example, does not have a strong connection with fans. A Fuse spokeswoman declined to make an executive available to talk about Revolt, or the difficulties of beginning a new network.
FILE - In this July 26, 2013, file photo, Sean "Diddy" Combs of Revolt TV waits to take the stage for a news conference about the new channel during the Television Critics Association summer press tour at the Beverly Hilton Hotel, in Beverly Hills, Calif. It was fitting that the rap impresario Combs opened his new Revolt TV music channel Monday, Oct. 21, 2013, on the steps of the Notorious B.I.G.'s old home, introducing a video for the late artist's 1994 song, "Juicy." (Photo by Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP, File)
At its start, Revolt is available only on Time Warner and some Comcast cable outlets. The channel's website is live streaming the first three days. Combs is encouraging fans to contact cable and satellite operators to urge them to begin airing Revolt.