L.A. Lakers Legend Earvin 'Magic' Johnson to Launch Cable Network Aspire on Comcast
With original shows, movies and documentaries, the channel wants to be the next BET and open up opportunities for African-American actors, directors and producers.
NEW YORK - L.A. Lakers legend Earvin "Magic" Johnson will launch Aspire, a general interest cable network aimed at the African-American community, on cable giant Comcast this summer, the Wall Street Journal reported.
The channel will have original shows, movies and documentaries, according to the report. "African-Americans have choices, and now they have another one," Johnson told the Journal, saying his goal was to create the next BET and open up opportunities for African-American actors, directors and producers. But he vowed to spend and build carefully.
Aspire is expected to be distributed on Comcast's digital basic tier, which is a limited number of homes it serves.
Comcast committed to making available more minority-owned and -focused when it acquired a controlling stake in NBCUniversal early last year. The cable giant has said it would help launch as many as 10 minority-owned channels over a decade, of which four will be majority-owned by African-Americans, according to the Journal.
Johnson's partner in the new network is Gospel Music Channel owner GMC, according to the paper. Comcast is also set to distribute in some markets a new music network called Revolt from Sean "Diddy" Combs.