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Magic Johnson, P. Diddy to run new cable channels

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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.

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