ASPiRE (TV network)
|Launched||June 27, 2012|
|Owned by||Magic Johnson Enterprises|
|Picture format||480i (SDTV)
|Slogan||Our Past. Our Now. Our Next. That's Aspire.|
|DirecTV||Channel 381 (HD only)|
|Verizon FiOS||Channel 272 (SD)|
|AT&T U-verse||Channel 158 (SD)
Channel 1158 (HD)
As part of its arrangement to acquire a minority interest in NBCUniversal, Comcast Corporation committed to carry several minority-owned channels. The arrangement followed pressure led by Maxine Waters in congressional hearings. In April 2011, Comcast solicited proposals for minority owned networks. In February 2012, Comcast announced distribution arrangements for four networks, including ASPiRE. The four announced networks and six forthcoming stations are being chosen from among an excess of 100 proposals to begin airing by 2020.
The focus of the network will be "positive, uplifting images of African Americans", according to Johnson. The station intends to deliver films, music and comedy, with a combination of acquired projects and original programming. The programming will include performing arts and shows about faith. The show is intended to provide a forum for African American producers and performers. Johnson is partnering with the Gospel Music Channel. Johnson said the following about the network: "Aspire will be a network that encourages and challenges African-Americans to reach for their dreams," adding that it "will celebrate our heritage, our groundbreaking achievements and the fearless talent that has shaped American culture."
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- Gray, Madison (February 21, 2012). "Magic Johnson, Sean 'Diddy' Combs Toss Their Hats Into the Cable TV Ring". Time. Retrieved February 24, 2012.