Tuesday, February 21st, 2012 at 4:05 pm  |  48 responses

Magic Johnson to Launch TV Network Targeting Black Viewers

Magic Johnson’s latest business venture is in the television industry, as the NBA Hall of Famer is set to launch a network with programs targeting African-Americans. Per the WSJ: “Legendary basketball player Earvin ‘Magic’ Johnson, having transformed himself into a successful real-estate developer, is now setting his sights on television. Mr. Johnson and Comcast Corp. are expected to announce Tuesday that Magic Johnson Enterprises will launch a general interest cable channel on Comcast aimed at the African-American community. The channel, which will be known as Aspire, will feature a wide variety of programming, including original shows, movies and documentaries. ‘African-Americans have choices, and now they have another one,’ Mr. Johnson said in an interview. The channel is part of an effort by Comcast to offer more opportunities to minority-owned networks, fulfilling a commitment the company made to the Federal Communications Commission ahead of its purchase of NBC Universal from General Electric Co. last year. The cable operator plans to help launch as many as 10 minority-owned networks during the next decade, of which four will be majority-owned by African-Americans. [...] Comcast is the biggest cable operator in the U.S., serving 22.3 million subscribers. But Aspire is expected to be distributed as part of its digital basic tier, available in only a limited number of Comcast’s homes. It is expected to launch in the summer.”

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  • Heals

    So no Seinfeld in syndication then???

  • LA Huey

    Return of the Magic Hour. Oh joy!

  • http://www.fullc0urtpress.com KHoliday

    He better talk to Oprah and ask her how tough having her own station is before he jumps out the window with this madness!

  • Riggs

    yeah cause that went well with your theaters that was supposed to cater to black audiences right? pfft.

  • http://slamonline.com LakeShow

    Personally I just watch WET. (White Entertainment Channel) I can get my fix for all things whitey there.

  • Mike Mihalow

    Hey, Magic, check out the booming success that is BET

  • bike

    Magic ought to consider resurrecting Soul Train with Dennis Rodman playing the DJ.

  • robb

    @LakeShow it’s name is WEC. I watch it all the time. Bad athletes, bad dancers, girls have no @ss but hey, I’m the main target so I gotta watch it.

  • dma

    can’t wait for it to have real house wives of compton, staten island, and savannah georgia. or if he’s real smart, he’d have a show dedicated to twitter’s trending topics and just show all the tweets for 30 minutes.

  • http://www.reverbnation.com/tray24 T-Ray

    Not really a big fan of these “all black” networks. I always wonder what would happen if they had a white entertainment network(not sure if what robb said was true) but I think black people would have a problem.

  • http://slamonline.com LakeShow

    Robb, dam I knew WET was too perfect. WEC is made for the white man by the white man. lol. I never understood ~Insert color/race here~ Television. It just seems silly. White guys find Dave Chappelle just as funny as black dudes. I’m sure some of you black fellas like a little Jim Carrey too right? Seems silly to me, but it’s whatever. If that’s how you make your money go for it.

  • http://ggfhh.com Jukai

    Outraged people: the idea is that most channels were catered towards white people. This is because white is the majority of the usa, and networks want the biggest audience possible. The ideas are to attract white america, the test audiences are mostly white america. The idea of minority networks are to cater their ideas towards a minority audience. Understand?

  • http://slamonline.com LakeShow

    Don’t really know who you are talking to Jukai, but no one here doesn’t know what you just said. 1+1=2 also BTW.

  • http://cnbc.com JTaylor21

    Jim Carrey is the funniest white man on earth.

  • http://www.reverbnation.com/tray24 T-Ray

    Uh JTaylor the funniest white man is David Spade

  • Heals

    For what it’s worth just an anecdote I remember from the ESPN book: ESPN was the most watched channel/network among black males from 16-45 years (maybe it was 2nd from 28-45)…

  • http://slamonline.com LakeShow

    LOL… Really T-Ray? Never thought of Spade as being that funny. Whenever he was next to Chris Farley I felt Farley took the show away. Joe Dirt is a great funny flick, but I didn’t think it was Spade that made it that way.

  • robb

    Funniest white man is Eddie Murphy as a white man

  • http://www.slamonline.com Slick Ric

    lol @ all the b*tching

  • LeBryanNash


  • http://www.kb24.com The Seed

    This is crap, we have TVONE, BET, Ecentric and Word Network. That is enough channels for my people. Also OWN, by Oprah don’t count. Magic about to mess the game up. BOOK IT!!

  • Just Sayin

    @ The Seed is black? Oh lawdy!

  • Pais

    Not necessarily a bad idea, assuming the programing schedule is planned in a responsible and constructive manner. The vast majority of television caters to a white audience, eliminating the need for for a white channel (WEC). There’s absolutely nothing wrong with any minority group trying to assume a degree of control of such a vital, wide reaching and influential media tool. BET continually perpetuates existing negative stereotypes and does little to encourage the evolution of african americans. Successful, intelligent and articulate african-americans need to be visible and pushed to the forefront. Role models are needed, as is open and honest discussion regarding the various social ailments that afflict black america and BET has not exactly shown itself to be that. When I was growing up we had the Cosby show, a successful, strong, african-american family who maintained admirable values and spoke proper english. As a people we’ve got a long way to go and need to step up our efforts to ensure that we’re not left behind.

  • Pais

    So much more I’d like to say, but this probably isn’t the time or place.

  • http://www.reverbnation.com/tray24 T-Ray

    Na I was kidding Lakeshow lol I’d say Farley

  • http://unb.ca WNDR

    Funniest white man is Louis CK … cmon now besides standup and TV he wrote and directed Pootie Tang

  • Dungeon Family

    I see the “suburban” kids Don’t understand what Magic is doing.

    and Ya’ll got 11 months Yet ya’ll complain about us getting the shortest month which is February………

    Prime example of ignorant @dma comment at the top

  • riggs

    Jukai with the common sense, thanks man.

  • http://www.slamonline.com blackvictiry23

    LOL to all the racists hating on magic for working towards portraying positive black role models for our youth. You people are so transparent.

  • http://www.slamonline.com blackvictory23

    LOL to all the racists hating on magic for working towards portraying positive black role models for our youth. You people are so transparent.

  • http://slamonline.com. datkid

    Louis CK wrote pootie tang??? and also Jerry Seinfeld deserves to be in the funniest white person ever convo..

  • shutup

    Louis CK is funny as hell, and yeah he wrote pootie tang, tippy tie sadda tay. anyway the only problem with networks that gear themselves towards one demographic is you get really racist commercials, such as every mcdonalds commercial on BET having singing or rapping

  • Matt Park

    This network is a good thing… for everyone. Can’t hate on empowerment.

  • http://www.andywhitby.com Andy Whitby

    So “catering” to black people is letting them watch other black people ?

  • Pais

    @Andy – c’mon Andy, at least make an honest attempt to understand. If the only example of visibly successful black people are gold tooth wearing, semi-literate rappers and athletes it’s fair to assume that large portions of young african-americans are likely to aspire to the same. This is quite obviously a detriment to the development of african american society. The african-american value system needs to be adjusted in a way that makes carrying a book cooler than carrying a gun. Education needs to be something that more young people aspire to, rather than being a millionaire rapper or pro-athlete as obviously it’s not realistic for all but a tiny fragment of the overall population to achieve. Only visible, positive african-american role-models can make this happen. Essentially we need more Obama’s and less Lil’ Wayne’s.

    It’s proven and ought to be expected that African-americans can’t rely on existing networks to re-shape and promote core values for black america. Black america can’t afford to be complacent. The black empowerment movements of the past need to be revitalized in a constructive manner. It’s irrational to expect white owned and operated networks to do anything but capitalize on the commercial value of perpetuating existing stereotypes (Flava Flav anyone).

  • http://www.andywhitby.com Andy Whitby

    Can a black man not be inspired by someone of a different race without being labled as an uncle Tom ?

  • Pais

    Absolutely, but I think it’s natural that when a young person looks for a role model, they inherently look for someone that they can identify with. The first step in doing so is quite naturally a superficial one, for example someone who looks like themselves.

  • AD

    just dont call it black…..

  • Pais

    @AD – I agree actually, regardless of who the intended target market might be, calling ‘black’ is exclusionary and can’t lead to anything positive.

  • hillbilly

    “Sine yo pitty on the runny kine.” -P. Tang

  • http://www.twitter.com_dfrance dfrance21

    So many of you just missing the point. smh. And DMA really brought it with the stereotypes sheesh. AllenP is rolling over in his grave right now.

  • Pais

    @ dfrance21 – the scary truth is there’s a good chance DMA might end up being pretty on point. I have a bad feeling that this will be another great opportunity squandered.

  • wawaynewade

    stop complaining about B.E.T u guys have a W.E.T….. its callled CBS, FOX,DISNEY,MTV and viacom.

  • http://www.alllooksame.com Tarzan Cooper

    George carlin was the funniest man ever, regardless of skin color.

  • hushabomb

    Let’s put it simply. If George Carlin or Dave Chappelle makes you laugh, do you actually care. No, because you laughed!!!!!

    Its no different to Mark Cuban with HDNet. Magic Johnson sees a gap in the market and wants to put his channel on to compete with the big boys. With Magic’s business acumen, I can only see success for him.

    Now if Magic is interested in getting a baseball team to LA, maybe he can save the Hornets…….

  • http://thetroyblog.com Teddy-the-Bear

    Louis CK is the best comedian in America, white, black, Hispanic, Asian, it doesn’t matter. He’s simply the best. ALSO he is Mexican in case you didn’t know. Born in Mexico and came to the US when he was 7. Fact.

  • http://thetroyblog.com Teddy-the-Bear

    Best comedian *currently. Also one of the best all-time.

  • ratguts

    @wawaynewade CMT and BET are both owned by the same company, viacom.

    watch the game, and then turn the set off.