Puff Daddy: Revolt TV to Be Next ESPN

The hip-hop mogul says his network fills a gap created when Viacom’s VH1 and MTV shifted away from music videos.

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Sean “Puff Daddy” Combs speaks onstage during the 2014 iHeartRadio Music Awards held at The Shrine Auditorium on May 1, 2014, in Los Angeles.

Kevin Winter/Getty Images for Clear Channel

When Viacom’s VH1 and MTV moved away from music videos, they created an opportunity for Revolt TV network, hip-hop mogul Sean “Puff Daddy” Combs told executives recently in Los Angeles, according to CNBC.

“We're following the footsteps of ESPN and CNN,” he told the crowd, according to CNBC. Consumers “need the Weather Channel and they need Revolt,” he told the audience at the annual Cable Show, the industry’s largest trade show.

Combs predicted that his Revolt TV network will one day be the size of The Walt Disney Co.’s ESPN. He acknowledged the risk of starting a traditional TV network in today’s environment, in which consumers increasingly are moving toward digital video streamed over the Internet. But he argued that Viacom’s shift to reality shows and away from music videos left fertile ground for his television network to flourish.

“MTV—they changed their business model,” he said, CNBC reports. “It left a wide-open space.”

Revolt TV began airing in October, and distributors include CNBC parent Comcast and Time Warner Cable, the report says. A spokesman told CNBC that the network is available in about 25 million homes, roughly a quarter of the market.

ESPN, which is the most profitable network in the country, will earn $9 billion in operating revenue in 2014, according to estimates from research service SNL Financial, the report says. Revolt TV is expected to garner $23 million in operating revenue.

“Five years from now, a brand like Revolt will be available on a billion devices,” Combs said. “We're the first network that was brought up in this social media age.”

Read more at CNBC.