Rapper and style icon Sean Combs, who’s chairman and co-founder of Revolt TV, says that the music channel was “used as a pawn” in the auction for Fuse, which the parent of Jennifer Lopez’ NuvoTV agreed to buy last month. His bid in March, estimated at $200M, fell short when Fuse owner MSG agreed to SiTV’s offer of $226M and a 15% stake in the company. “It’s cool. That’s the way business works,” Combs said at a panel at The Cable Show in LA. (Fuse today is laying off staffers as it prepares to merge with NuvoTV.)
Still, Combs is optimistic, promising to make Revolt “the No. 1 brand in music worldwide” — potentially rivaling ESPN and CNN — as he urged distributors to pick up the channel. Television ”was a natural evolution for me,” especially as he saw that “music was homeless” on the medium. That “left a wide open space for the No. 1 form of entertainment, especially among Millennials.” Read More »
The performer who now just calls himself Diddy would use the music channel to boost distribution for his Revolt TV, another music service that launched in October, Bloomberg reports citing “three people with knowledge of the situation.” Comcast helped to launch Revolt to fulfill its agreement, in return for government support for its 2011 acquisition of NBCUniversal, to add minority-owned networks. But it’s been hard to secure distribution: Revolt only reaches about 22.8M homes, while Fuse is in 74M. Madison Square Garden put Fuse on the block in September retaining JP Morgan to “explore all strategic alternatives.” Distributors pay an average of 8 cents per month for each home Fuse reaches. Stifel analyst Benjamin Mogil noted at the time that Fuse could command a healthy price because its deals with distributors enable a buyer to reprogram the network to offer “anything other than live sports.” Many MSG shareholders are eager to see the company return cash to them, possibly by repurchasing shares. The stock has stagnated in recent months. In a call with analysts in February, Vice Chairman Hank Ratner — who was CEO at the time — declined to discuss MSG’s progress with the Fuse sale. Tad Smith, a former exec at Cablevision, took the top job at MSG last month. Cablevision CEO James Dolan is MSG’s executive chairman; his family controls about 69% … Read More »
Revolt network, which Sean Combs leads with MTV veteran Andy Schuon, is one of four minority-owned independent networks Comcast pledged to distribute as a condition of getting FCC approval of its NBCUniversal merger. And yet, since its October launch, Revolt has not been available in Comcast’s hometown, Philadelphia. Schoen told TV critics this morning they’re working on that. “People are noticing” he said of the omission.
“Have they given you a date?” a Philly TV critic asked.
Comcast had committed to launching Revolt “to a certain percentage of homes” in its digital basic tier and to roll it out “in more markets over time.” He noted the network is availabie in Seattle, the Bay area and Miami and in some smaller markets.
“We’re a fairly obvious market,” the Philly critic snarked. Read More »
Attention music fans between the ages of 13 and 25 – Revolt TV wants you. Revolt founder and chairman Sean Combs announced an open casting call today for on-air talent for the new multi-platform television channel set to launch next month. In an Instagram video posted today (see below), Combs asks candidates to submit 15-second audition tapes explaining why they are REVOLT. Submissions can be uploaded to Twitter, Instagram, Vine, Vimeo, Facebook or YouTube. In the video description, participants must use both #iamrevolt and another hashtag to describe their musical style, for example #alternative, #EDM, #hiphop. They can also use the description or comment section to describe their personal style and any musical inspirations. The video must end by saying “I Am REVOLT.” Deadline for submissions is September 30th. One of the top candidates could be offered to join Revolt as an on-air host. Click over for Combs’ video: Read More »
CNN got a ringing endorsement this morning from the unlikeliest of places — Sean Combs. Talking to TV critics at the TCA Summer TV Press Tour 2013 about the fall launch of his new cable network Revolt, Combs said that if cable networks were unbundled and viewers got to decide what channels they’d hang on to, “You’d keep CNN – or you’d keep Fox if you were a Republican — you would keep ESPN and probably keep The Weather Channel. Why would you keep those four? Because they are focused, live…they give you what you want. If it’s news you wanted, you went to CNN. If it’s sports, you went to ESPN. If it’s music you want, and you are a millennial, you are homeless. You have nowhere to go. You are out there all alone…But that is no more. I’m here to be the new No. 1 name in music. I would love to be humbled one day to be come compared to ESPN or CNN.” Read More »
Exclusive Media has sealed a deal with the UK’s Dogwoof on the Dan Lindsay and T.J. Martin-directed Oscar-winning documentary Undefeated. The film caused a stir at the Oscars when Martin uttered a swear word during his acceptance speech (the delay button caught it — he later apologized). The doc focuses on three underprivileged student athletes and the volunteer coach who guides them through a football season in North Memphis. Hip hop impresario Sean Combs boarded the film as an executive producer in February, just ahead of the Oscars. Exclusive’s documentary arm Spitfire Pictures and Zipper Bros Films produced the pic in association with Level 22 and Five Smooth Stones Productions. The Weinstein Co released Undefeated in the U.S. on February 17. Sales have also been concluded in Australia (Madman), Latin America (CDC) and Israel (United King) among others.
BREAKING: Sean Combs has joined the Oscar nominated documentary Undefeated as executive producer, and he will be involved in a narrative remake that The Weinstein Company is working on. The remake was part of the deal when TWC acquired the film after it debuted at SXSW. The hip hop icon known as P Diddy will take the executive producer title on both the docu and the remake.
Directed by Dan Lindsay and T.J. Martin, Undefeated is a verite style documentary that focuses on three underprivileged student athletes and the volunteer coach who guides them through a football season in North Memphis. They play for the Manassas High School Tigers, which never won a playoff game and at one point was so bad that the school would sell its regular season games to rival schools looking for a punching bag to beat up. That changed when businessman Bill Courtney volunteered to help and put the Tigers in a position to end a 110-year old playoff drought. TWC will begin rolling out the film February 17. The docu was produced by Exclusive Media’s Spitfire Pictures and Zipper Bros Films.