Music and pop-culture icon Sean Combs hosted a TCA breakfast Fri, telling critics that his new network launching in Oct—one of the minority-owned nets Comcast agreed to carry as part of its NBCU merger deal with the FCC—will take social media and multiplatform to new levels as it targets millennials with music-based content. “Revolt TV is social by design,” he said. “That’s what makes us different.” Time Warner Cable has also agreed to carry Revolt.
Execs promise a CNN/ESPN-style net completely focused on the intersection of pop culture and music, featuring breaking news and massive social media integration that lets artists break into the live programming via a special smartphone app. Fans will also be able to upload content. It’s unclear exactly how all that would work and what kind of filter would be in place, but it sounds a bit more extensive than the “iReporter” model by CNN and others.
“As young people started unplugging from cable and disconnecting and running to the Internet, a lot of people didn’t understand it,” Combs said. “I clearly understood, being from the culture. I understood that there just wasn’t anything on television that was engaging for us… People tell me, when I got into this, ‘Why are you getting into television? Television’s about to be nowhere.’ I said, ‘no, you’re wrong’… Television’s going to be everywhere. This is the time to be in television. And my mission is to bring kids back to television.”
Combs told reporters after the presentation that “I’ll be building credibility” during the 2 or 3 years the net is unrated. Combs also acknowledged the net will make mistakes as it tries to do things “the Revolt way… We’re going to have bumps in the road just like any other network.”