Saturday, July 27, 2013
Sean "Diddy" Combs Wants to Bring A New Year's Eve Ball Drop to Los Angeles
Sean "Diddy" Combs met with reporters on Friday morning to tout Revolt, his new music-centric cable channel run by former KROQ program director and MTV executive Andy Schuon. (Above, yes, that's me on the far right as part of a press gaggle with Diddy. This is from his Instagram site.)
Revolt has already taken over the TV studio space operated by TV Guide Network at the Hollywood and Highland complex. Diddy touted the live nature of much of Revolt's programming, with some of that content coming straight from Hollywood and Highland. That's why he hopes to bring big events there -- including a version of New York's New Year's Eve ball drop in Times Square. It's too soon to do it this year, but Diddy hopes to launch such an event as 2014 turns into 2015.
Los Angeles has always struggled to come up with a major New Year's Eve event; the city's Millennium celebration in 2000 was famously derided as lackluster. And of course, we all remember last year's Jamie Kennedy-led New Year's Eve disaster on KDOC.
As for Revolt, the channel already has distribution on Time Warner Cable (including in Los Angeles) and Comcast (which is funding the channel, which came out of Comcast's promise when it acquired NBCUniversal to launch more minority-led channels) around the country. The channel, which launches in October, has around 25 million homes lined up so far. DirecTV and Dish deals are still in negotiations.
Diddy is putting a chunk of his own fortune into the channel -- which he compares to CNN and ESPN for music -- as well. He's also realistic that the channel, geared toward a Millennial audience, will have a bumpy start.
"This is the hardest challenge I've ever had to meet," says Combs, who says he'd now like to be the "next Steve Jobs." "It gets to the point where it's so crazy and there's so much pressure it feels like it could break you. I'm learning new things and new words, technology I didn't even realize. It's so inspiring."
He adds: "I'm going to let the work prove itself. You're watching a more mature and evolved me as a promoter. I'm going to be doing smarter things like this, with the industry, and not overpromise anything. I'm not doing anything ratings-based for the first two or three years. I'm going to be building my credibility. I'm playing chess, not checkers. That's what I've evolved as a businessman and you'll see it in this venture."