Magic Johnson, P. Diddy to run new cable channels

Recording artist Sean 'Diddy' Combs speaks onstage at the Keep Memory Alive foundation's 'Power of Love Gala' celebrating Muhammad Ali's 70th birthday at the MGM Grand Garden Arena February 18, 2012 in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Adriene Hill: Magic Johnson will team up with Comcast to launch a new cable channel. It will feature positive stories from the African-American community. Sean Combs -- aka P. Diddy -- is also expected to formally announce a new music channel on Comcast. Both are seen as connected to an agreement between Comcast and the federal government to diversify.

For more we go to Porter Bibb. He's a managing partner at Media Tech Capital Partners. Good morning.

Porter Bibb: Good morning.

Hill: I understand that Comcast made a deal with the FCC and the Department of Justice to diversify its offerings. Is that why we're seeing these channels now?

Bibb: Well I think those are peripheral motivations, but I think that basically, the principles who are launching these new networks see an opportunity to basically expand -- using cable television as a platform -- expand into social media and wireless communications, which is the direction that television seems to be taking.

Hill: So how many cable channels can the market support? We're well beyond 57 channels and nothing on...

Bibb: Way, way way beyond -- we're into the thousands, literally, when you count video on demamd and pay-per-view channels. That's a big question, and if you use Oprah's network as a benchmark, you can say it really is a very, very marginal proposition for any of these new channels. How they're going to attract viewers and how they're going to attract more importantly advertisers remains to be seen.

Hill: Porter Bibb is managing partner at Media Tech Capital Partners.

Bibb: It's a pleasure, thank you.

About the author

Adriene Hill is the senior multimedia reporter for LearningCurve.

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