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Diddy hopes to bring music back to TV with Revolt

MESFIN FEKADU, AP Music Writer

Publication: The Day

Published June 30. 2013 4:00AM

Diddy had been working on developing a TV network for years. When he was almost shut out of performing on ABC's "Dancing With the Stars" around the release of a 2010 album, the rapper-producer realized he needed to launch the network sooner rather than later.

"I had to beg to be on ... 'Dancing With the Stars' and it was something to me that wasn't right about that," he said.

Diddy believed there weren't enough outlets for musicians on TV - and that moment drove home the point.

He's launching Revolt TV in the fall.

"There's ESPN for sports, CNN, Fox News for news and the AP. There should be a brand for music, and now we have that brand that's going to focus on music and not reality shows," he said. "There's been a gaping hole once some of the other channels stopped having focus on music and focused more on reality, and it left a gaping hole for artists and fans of not having a place to go."

The 43-year-old entrepreneur announced last week that Revolt TV had reached a deal to have his network distributed on Time Warner Cable. Comcast Corp. announced a deal with Diddy's network last year.

Sean "Diddy" Combs has produced shows like "Making the Band" for MTV, and he's hoping to bring the flavor of what's buzzing on the Internet - viral videos, behind-the-scene music moments and raw interviews - to TV sets. He's "embracing" what's happening online and plans to tap into that audience.

"We want to have partnerships with YouTube and we want to have partnerships with Facebook and Instagram and Spotify and Beats (by Dre)," he said. "We're all in this together."

MTV, which has shifted to reality TV, occasionally plays music videos, and there are channels like MTV Hits and VH1 Soul that show videos throughout the day. Diddy said Revolt TV will proudly play music videos, but "this is not an MTV 2 (or) 3.0."

"I wanted my MTV and so when I missed it, I didn't want to complain about it, I wanted to do something about it," he said. "They inspired me and helped with the blueprint."

Diddy, whose brand includes movies, fragrances, fashion lines and endorsements, said he's making sure Revolt TV isn't Diddy TV. He said Oprah Winfrey, who launched her OWN network in 2011, warned him of the hardships that would come with owning a network.

"One of the things I did learn from Oprah is that this is a marathon, not a sprint," he said.

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