Revolt Kicks Off With Tribute to Biggie

Aside From Bud Light, Commercials Mostly Direct-Response and PSAs

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Diddy in a Time Warner Cable promo for Revolt
Diddy in a Time Warner Cable promo for Revolt

Sean "Diddy" Combs premiered his new music cable network, Revolt, Monday night from the steps of Notorious B.I.G.'s house, kicking off the channel with the mantra, "the revolution will be televised."

In an ode to the deceased rapper, the first music video played on the channel was Biggie's 1994 hit, "Juicy."

In what has become a rare occurrence in prime time, Revolt launched with a programming block of music videos, interspersed with interviews with Mr. Combs about his vision for the channel.

"B.I.G. symbolizes what Revolt is: freedom, truth, authenticity… B.I.G. was one of one," Mr. Combs said, giving Biggie credit for changing the game and embodying the fearlessness needed in music.

From the onset, however, Mr. Combs emphasized that Revolt is not a hip-hop network, even though he is "a black man from the world of hip-hop," at one point promising to even play country music "if it's funky enough." The first programming block of music videos included an eclectic mix of electronic dance music, pop and hip-hop, featuring artists from Daft Punk and Gesaffelstein to Justin Timberlake, Michael Jackson and Rihanna. Videos went at least as far back as Run D.M.C. and got as "alternative" as The 1975, an indie rock band from Manchester, England.

While advertisers have expressed interest in the channel as a means to reach young consumers, Revolt had few national commercials in its first hour. Aside from Bud Light, the inital ads mostly went to direct-response marketers and public-service announcements.

Mr. Combs has said Revolt will focus on music programming and won't veer into general entertainment. In its first few weeks, Revolt will air "The Gate of Revolt," a block of hip-hop videos; "In Harms Way," where host Andy Harm plays emerging music primarily in rock and alternative genres; "Revolt Authorized (Live)," which airs music-video blocks that are curated in real time.

In January, the network will also introduce "Revolt Live," which Mr. Combs previously described as the channel's version of ESPN's "SportsCenter," and "Power to the People."

Revolt is available in about 25 million Comcast and Time Warner Cable households. It can also be streamed live on www.live.revolt.tv.

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