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Comcast to Carry Networks of ‘Magic’ Johnson, Sean ‘Diddy’ Combs

Feb. 21 (Bloomberg) -- Comcast Corp., the largest U.S. cable operator, agreed to distribute new independent networks led by basketball hall of famer Earvin “Magic” Johnson and rap artist Sean “Diddy” Combs.

Johnson and GMC TV, formerly the Gospel Music Channel, will later this year introduce “Aspire,” a network targeted at black families that will broadcast movies, comedy and inspirational programs, according to a statement. Combs’s “Revolt” will air in 2013 with live performances and music videos.

Comcast agreed to carry 10 new independently owned and operated networks as a provision of its acquisition of NBC Universal in January 2011. Eight of the 10 will be owned and run by Hispanic or black individuals, Comcast said last year.

Philadelphia-based Comcast also said it had agreed to distribute two networks in the “Hispanic category.” Film director Robert Rodriguez will spearhead “El Rey,” an English-language network for Latino audiences. The company will also carry “BabyFirst Americas,” a channel for infants.

Comcast fell 0.7 percent to $28.98 at 11:40 a.m. in New York. The shares had gained 23 percent this year before today.

To contact the reporter on this story: Alex Sherman in New York at asherman6@bloomberg.net.

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Peter Elstrom at pelstrom@bloomberg.net

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