PRESS TOUR: Emerging cable networks Revolt and El Rey

Sunday, 12 January 2014 01:52 PM Written by 

Click here to read Friday's TV Q&A and other, earlier press tour posts at the blog index page.

Revolt TV logoPASADENA, Calif. -- Cable network Revolt had a messy launch in October -- messy due to its media roll-out with a promised conference call that was postponed and never rescheduled -- but landed on Comcast in November (Channel 138 on traditional Comcast systems and Channel 145 on former Adelphia systems). It doesn't appear to have satellite carriage at this time but has an active website. (And weirdly, Revolt is not on Comcast in Philadelphia where there's a much larger market for its content than in Pittsburgh.)

Revolt, co-founded by music impresario Sean Combs, is a music news and culture channel that plays "curated" music videos and covers music news. Revolt adds what it calls its flagship show on Jan. 27. "Revolt Live" (5 p.m. and 8 p.m. daily), hosted by Sibley and DJ Damage, covers music news and the lifestyle around music culture.

"It brings live energy, communictaion with social media," Sibley said at a Revolt press conference. "We talk to people like we're with them in their homes."

The show will include interviews with music artists and Revolt president Andy Schuon said "Revolt Live" will take a "SportsCenter" approach to music news in its effort to be "the CNN of music."

El Rey, which has yet to launch, may be a more ambitious cable network as it launches with an original scripted drama series. Read more about El Rey after the jump. ...

El Rey Network Neon SignA 24-hour, English-launguage network, El Rey was created by film director Robert Rodriguez and launched in December. It's generally male-skewing content includes action movies, grindhouse genre, cult action, horror and sci-fi. The network will add reruns of "Starsky & Hutch," "The X-Files" and "Dark Angel" on Feb. 14. In the second half of 2014, El Rey will add lucha libre wrestling produced by Mark Burnett ("Survivor").

On March 11 El Rey will debut the 10-episode "From Dusk Till Dawn: The Series," based on Rodriguez's 1996 movie. McCandless native Greg Nicotero, an executive producer on "The Walking Dead," will oversee makeup effects. But so far local viewers can only see El Rey if they have DirecTV (Channel 341). It's not carried locally by Comcast or Verizon's FiOS.

DUSK ImageAt an El Rey press conference, Rodriguez said "From Dusk Till Dawn" (photo of stars Zane Holtz and D.J. Cotrona at right) is intended to draw new viewers to El Rey.

"I thought it was a great way to bring and audiences to inroduce to the network," he said. "It was a name that was known... There was so much I wanted to explore in that movie I didn't get to. ... If the film was the short story, this series is the novel."

Rodriguez said the show will re-tell the movie story and then expand out from there. "From Dusk Till Dawn" stars D.J. Cotrona, Wilmer Valderrama, Adiranne Palicki, Jake Busey, Don Johnson, Lane Garrison and Robert Patrick.

Later in 2014, El Rey will add a second scripted drama, "Matador," from the producers of "Sleepy Hollow." The action-drama will follow popular soccer star Antonio "Matador" Bravo (role not yet cast), a popular soccer star also known for his playboy lifestyle off the field. But turns out that's all a cover for his work as a CIA operative.

Both Revolt and El Rey come out of a deal Comcast made with the FCC to support minority-owned networks as part of the approval of the NBC-Comcast merger, so it seems inevitable that El Rey will be available on local Comcast systems eventually.

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