GO
Loading...

CNBC Transcript: CNBC's Maria Bartiromo Speaks with Sean "Diddy" Combs Today on "Closing Bell with Maria Bartiromo"

Monday, 21 Oct 2013 | 4:14 PM ET

WHEN: TODAY, MONDAY, OCTOBER 21ST

WHERE: CNBC'S "CLOSING BELL WITH MARIA BARTIROMO"

Following is the unofficial transcript of a CNBC interview with Sean "Diddy" Combs today on CNBC's "Closing Bell with Maria Bartiromo." All references must be sourced to CNBC.

MARIA BARTIROMO: Sean Combs, great to meet you. Congratulations on your-- launch today.

SEAN COMBS: Thank you.

MARIA BARTIROMO: You're launching a new music cable network. Tell us about it.

SEAN COMBS: Yes, today is Revolt's birthday. Revolt is my new-- cable music network. It's distributed through Time Warner and Comcast. And to put it simply, it is the ESPN of music. It is a platform for music. Music has been homeless over the last couple of years. You know, the kids have been going to the internet. There has not been one destination for music. And that is no more because of today Revolt is the new number one name in music.

And we will be playing musical content from emerging stars, from new stars-- from existing stars that are out there. But we will be raising the bar of creativity and visual creativity that's out there. And we will be here to amplify-- and celebrate this art form.

You know, right now there's no one particular place that you could go to-- when you want to know about music. And music is getting consumed at an all-time high rate. And there is, like-- you know, when you want to know about weather, you may go to the Weather Channel. But when you want to know about music-- you know, there's so many different choices, there's no one trusted name in music until today.

MARIA BARTIROMO: Yeah, it's like when you want business you go to CNBC.

SEAN COMBS: Yes, (LAUGH) when you want business-- exactly, you go to CNBC. So you got it.

MARIA BARTIROMO: Yeah, let me let me ask you because I'm sure you've studied a lot of this. What happened to the platform for music? Because people are not going to cable for watching music, you're right. I mean, I remember the years, "I want my MTV." MTV is doing reality shows. They're not even showing music videos. So why do you think Revolt TV's going to work in an environment where it hasn't worked and it's gone away?

SEAN COMBS: I think music was abandoned. Music was abandoned and-- people changed their business-- plans and the way they were trying to hit their numbers. And they went away from just being-- a music network and went into more lifestyle. And you know, that's the way it is in business, sometimes you have to change your business plan.

But I've seen the opportunity that because nobody has been taking advantage of all this music consumption and all the interest in music, and especially when you think about millennials-- you know, they make up 50% of the world's population. And number one thing that they consume is music.

And-- there is a misconception that millennials are not watching television, but that's a misconception. In the last ten years they've gone from 25 hours a week to 31 hours a week. It's just there's a new definition for television for millennials. And that's-- available on any device anywhere. So when they are-- they're looking at-- Game of Thrones on their pad, that's still television to them. When they're going to be watching Revolt on their pad or on their iPhone, that's still television for them. And the opportunity for us is that in five years we'll be available on a billion devices worldwide when you think about the access.

MARIA BARTIROMO: So it sounds like, you know, you're basically going after the YouTubes of the world. I mean, I'm glad you brought up millennials because that is such an attractive group for advertisers. And right now they may be watching music, but they're not watching it on TV. They're watching it on YouTube. Is that who you're-- you got your sights set on?

SEAN COMBS: No-- I'm not going after the YouTubes of the world. One of the things that we're doing that's different is that we are actually curating-- you know, our content. Our content is curated. You know, back in the days we had Soul Train, we had American Bandstand to find out, and we trusted those experts and even MTV to tell us what was new and what was coming up.

Right now when-- we still want kids to go on YouTube and search and have their own identity and create their own play lists. But we want them to also feel like they have a home. And Revolt is for the fans, by the fans and for the artists, by the artists. And-- you know, so I think YouTube is something that is very important for the freedom of music. But we're going to be able to take-- what the consumer is searching for on YouTube and curate it down to a play list and curate it down to the best of the best.

So when you watch ESPN, you want to know the highlights, what did-- what were the ten best plays? And specialists have to do that or, you know, on CNBC, you know, the highlights of today in the world of finance, people tune in to watch the highlights of it. And it's curated, you know, you don't tell every business story that's out there. And we can't play every music video or do a interview with every artist. We're really trying to amplify the best.

MARIA BARTIROMO: I love it. You explain it really well actually. Thank you for that. Let me ask you about putting this together. How tough was it? You are an entrepreneur's (LAUGH) entrepreneur and you've got-- an empire that you started yourself. Was it tough to get the financing to start Revolt TV?

SEAN COMBS: When I actually put up the starting finance myself. Then I worked with a group of private investors and-- a financial organization called Highbridge. And it-- you know-- I had to sell my vision, you know--

MARIA BARTIROMO: But they bought into it right away?

SEAN COMBS: Yeah, I wouldn't say bought-- anybody bought into it right away because you do have the different concerns and misconceptions about music, the misconceptions about, you know, why-- maybe kids are on the internet and maybe if they're turning their backs on TV. When I explained it to them, I told them that this is the definition of social TV. We're social by design first and foremost.

We're the first network that's brought up in this social/digital age. So everything we do is-- and-- is going to be-- have a social DNA to it and going to be a true definition of social TV. And that the opportunities are endless, you see this music festivals going on-- you know, every weekend that -- like a Coachella.

Coachella used to be-- you know, one weekend. Now it's so big it's for, like, six days, two weekends, the same thing in, you know, ultra or Electric Daisy festival-- you have these different festivals where hundreds of thousands of kids-- are thirsting to see a diverse array music. And-- you know, with that appetite being out there, there needs to be a place that's covering all of this action.

MARIA BARTIROMO: So the demand is there--

SEAN COMBS: Yes--

MARIA BARTIROMO: --obviously?

SEAN COMBS: --yeah-- yes-- so I was able to prove that the demand was there. I was able to prove that the audience was there. When you think about the shows on television-- three of the top five shows are music shows, you know. So when you think about music being consumed on a worldwide level-- music is the greatest communicator for us on a worldwide level. We could-- disagree on religion, on race, on even-- you know, which country we're from. But you go to the World Cup and-- you play a hit record, the whole entire stadium is singing it together--

MARIA BARTIROMO: Yeah, we come together with music.

SEAN COMBS: because we come together with music.

MARIA BARTIROMO: I love that.

SEAN COMBS: And it was strange for me that nobody-- not enough people were identifying that there needed to be-- a brand built to focus on music and not focus on other things. People have tried to focus on music, but then they've also tried, you know, different types of original programming that kind of steered away from their music credibility. And I think that that's what we're going to bring to it is music credibility.

MARIA BARTIROMO: Yeah, but you don't have, you know, rose colored glasses here. You know this is going to be tough. I was reading that you ran into Oprah-- recently and even Oprah said to you, "Listen, I launched OWN, and-- it was really difficult."

SEAN COMBS: Yes, I'm going to be-- extremely transparent with you. This is the toughest TV I've ever done. But the rewards of it-- you know-- are just-- incredible. And it's the most challenging thing that I've ever done. And you know, people ask me what are my first-- six months going to look like. And I tell them, you know, they -- it's-- you know, it's -- things are going to be kind of messed up.

We're going to be making a lot of mistakes. And you know, if you want to see-- maybe a little bit of just guerilla style train wreck television, you know, check us out. But it will be authentic. It'll be the truth, and we'll be getting better every day. You know, I've never owned a cable network, so I have a lot of growing and learning to do. But it's a marathon for us, not a sprint. So we have a five year plan. We don't have, like, a one week, one month, one year plan.

MARIA BARTIROMO: So what does the advertising look like-- early on right now? Have you gotten a good reception from advertisers?

SEAN COMBS: Yes, advertisers-- are in search of these elusive generation. The millennial generation's the most elusive generation. And they're the most fearless generation. And they really only connect with authenticity and credibility. The thing that they're looking for the most is the truth. And Revolt really represents the truth. And so from the world of automotive-- to technology to-- fast foods to beverages and so on, we've been able to secure-- quite a bit of adver-- of advertising, you know--at this point, yes.

MARIA BARTIROMO: Let-- you know, there was a report out today, almost six--

SEAN COMBS: Electronics, too-- I'm sorry.

MARIA BARTIROMO: Yeah, (LAUGH) you've got basically every category?

SEAN COMBS: Yes, yes, yes-- we were able to--

MARIA BARTIROMO: --fast food, electronic, health care-- media?

SEAN COMBS: Insur-- you know-- health care, s-- insurance also.

MARIA BARTIROMO: So there was a report out this week. Almost 6 million young -- 6 million people between 16-24 are either out of work and out of school or either-- one of them. I mean, this-- there's an enormous youth problem in the world today. And when you look across the world-- much of the people are young people when you look across the world. And yet 15% of those people age 16-24 have neither work or they're at home, they-- they're not doing anything. This is a problem.

SEAN COMBS: We have a state of emergency in our communities and we're not treating it like a state of emergency. We give more aid to other countries and we give more aid to other situations than we do give aid to the future of our country which is our young minds. And the writing is on the wall the it's declining and declining and declining. And even with the government shutting down the other day, it's just an example of what has to change.

And people have to open their eyes and realize that it's not about now, it's about the future. One of the things about Revolt, we've taken on that responsibility to-- make sure that we empower the future of music. We feel like music has given-- millions of kids all over the world an opportunity. They-- it's given 'me inspiration. And I know especially from the inner cities-- music has affected the inner cities a great deal because of the amount of jobs that it has created.

But I think-- it's a bigger problem that has to be addressed just like if they would address if there is-- a devastation someplace. Because there's an actual devastation going on in our inner cities. And-- people that-- are turning a blind eye to it. And you know, they're going to wake up one day and they're not going to be able to-- you know, turn away from what is the result of not paying attention and not sending the proper support.

MARIA BARTIROMO: It's a great point. And I think-- does that put the onus on you and Revolt TV to be a positive role model for young people? Do you feel that--

SEAN COMBS: I--

MARIA BARTIROMO: --do you feel that responsibility?

SEAN COMBS: I'm definitely not a person to-- you know, to talk…criticize. I'm a person to lead by example. And I think that at Revolt we're leading by example. When you look at the -- multi-culturalness and also the youth of our-- network, I said I wanted young men and women, I want them to run my network. So I think I'm leading by example in that.

But also I'm leading by example of coming from these neighborhoods that are actually have been stricken with this plague I would call it-- of unemployment and of poverty. And you know, through hard work, you know, I've made it out of that situation. And if I could do it, they could do it. But-- yes, there is definitely a responsibility for me to turn back and make sure that I'd do anything I can to make sure that-- I, myself, am treating that just as a parent, a member of the community, as the state of emergency that it is.

MARIA BARTIROMO: Let me ask you about that. How did you do it? You've got Sean Combs Enterprises, now you've got Revolt TV. You are the number one wealthiest individual on every hip hop list out there. I mean, between you and Jay-Z, you know, are role models for that youngster out there saying, "Wow, look what he did. Look Sean Combs has done." How did you do it?

SEAN COMBS: I did it through a lot of hard work. A lot of times when you're-- when you get to-- a point of celebrity people don't see the other side of the hard work that you-- really have to put into things--

MARIA BARTIROMO: But you had to overcome--

SEAN COMBS: --on a daily basis.

MARIA BARTIROMO: --challenge?

SEAN COMBS: Yes, and-- overcoming challenges-- and to speak to that point-- you know, it's through the grace and the glory of God, you know, that has me here along with, you know, my hard work. Because, you know, I was able to wake up in a day and we all have the same 24 hours I say. So you know, what I decided to do with my 24 hours-- paid out in different results. And I challenge-- I even challenge young kids, I say, "You know, me and you have the same 24 hours. Let's see if you can work harder than me."

You know, I-- I've always had a great work ethic because my mother, she had to work four jobs. She would only -- be able to sleep three hours a day. And-- you know, seeing somebody actually do that -- it affects you. And it affected me in a positive way. And just through her inspiration I was able to get to this point. So-- my thing is that when I am on those lists or you do hear about my success-- I want it to inspire kids that if I could do it, you know, that they can do it.

MARIA BARTIROMO: I love that story. That's so-- I'm so glad you brought up your mother. So when was it in your lifetime that you felt that you could go this way or you could go that way and you decided to take the right road toward hard work, toward creating something that actually enriched you so much? When was that?

SEAN COMBS: I think it was in me from, like, probably I would say-- when my father got killed. My father was murdered-- he was-- a street hustler. He was a drug dealer. And so that being in my life-- and that being-- a part of-- a tragic part of my life, losing my father at a young age, it had me-- when I was walking on the blocks to school-- I didn't stop on the corners. I didn't want to hang out on the corners. I wanted to work.

And these walks that I would take-- I started talking to myself and started and started dreaming. And that's-- and-- I tell people all the time, I just I felt like I was different. And I would say to them and they would-- I wouldn't really get empowered, you know. And like, so one of my kids, they asked me like I remember I would ask, like-- you know, my friends and stuff, "You ever feel different? You ever feel like you know what you're going to do?" And they'd be like, "No, what are you talking about?" (LAUGH)

And-- you know, I just always felt like, you know, I-- there were-- I had a bigger mission in life and I could dream big. And so I would actually walk around and talk-- not, like, out loud but (LAUGH) I would talk to myself in my head just about things that I wanted to do, like, who I wanted to be-- where I saw myself at.

MARIA BARTIROMO: You had come up with your strategy?

SEAN COMBS: Yes-- yeah, I was dreaming, I was-- I would say-- I have this saying, "Don't be afraid to close your eyes and dream, but then open your eyes and see." So I had the -- I would dream, but then I would also do the research to find out what it would take for me to achieve that dream.

MARIA BARTIROMO: I love that. I love the fact that-- well, unfortunately tragedy and challenge and upset empowered you.

SEAN COMBS: And then there was also this whipping that I got. I remember this one whipping that I got because I went and I had crossed the street before my mother. And any time I think about doing something bad or going in the wrong direction, I think about that day I got that whipping. So-- that's really-- a true story. Like, my mother just re-- she wanted to protect me, and my grandmother, and they refused to let me go down the same path-- you know, that so many before me have gone down.

MARIA BARTIROMO: She sounds like a special woman, your mother.

SEAN COMBS: Yeah, yeah, yes, she is.

MARIA BARTIROMO: So you needed role models. You had role models. Your mother obviously has been a role model. Who else were your role models? Who is the, you know, Sean Combs back then? Because you're going to be the role model for that young person who's choosing which direction to go right now.

SEAN COMBS: I mean, my role model—was -- I-- was someone who works for me now, he's the-- assistant chairman. And--

MARIA BARTIROMO: You gave him a job? How great.

SEAN COMBS: No, he's the-- he's-- no, he's the vice chairman. I don't want to mess up his title. (LAUGH)

MARIA BARTIROMO: That's all right. Bottom line, he's one of your executives?

SEAN COMBS: Yeah, yeah, yes-- Andre Harrell, who gave me my first job, I would say Russell Simmons, Barry Gordy—they kind of showed me that it could be done-- Oprah Winfrey, you know, --

MARIA BARTIROMO: That is so wonderful.

SEAN COMBS: Just watching them showed me that it could be done. And then as I got older Steve Jobs, you know-- I'm a big Steve Jobs fan.

MARIA BARTIROMO: And his company changed the music business.

SEAN COMBS: Yes, (LAUGH) yeah, definitely.

MARIA BARTIROMO: And for awhile there we weren't sure if it was going in the right direction.

SEAN COMBS: Yes, yes, I mean, that's the thing about business and being an entrepreneur and being a dreamer is that -- you know, sometimes at first things don't go so well. And even during the journey, you know, you hit peaks and valleys. But-- you know, true winners and true businessmen, they figure that's-- they figure it out, they don't panic. And they work the same way that they worked the first day, but-- you know, hopefully smarter.

MARIA BARTIROMO: So when you look-- when you look at today's role models-- are they doing a job? You look at-- a woman like Miley Cyrus, you're known for creating hit makers and successful artists-- and you've done a good job at it, what's your take on her performance, the twerking-- VMAs? Did she do everything right? Did she do-- did she make mistakes? What do you-- what do you think?

SEAN COMBS: I think Miley Cyrus is-- doing an excellent job. I think that she's branding herself. I think she has us talking I think that Miley Cyrus is smarter than people are giving her credit for. And-- you know, some forms of expression and artistry people don't understand. But if you do them authentictically-- authentically to yourself-- and you do it in truth-- then-- it comes across sometimes to some people as something that they don't understand--

MARIA BARTIROMO: But it's authentic?

SEAN COMBS: But when it's authentic to you, in the long run it pays off. And I think that-- you know, that as an artist you're allowed to do whatever that-- every you want to do. And I don't think because, you know, she stuck out her tongue or did some provocative things that all of a sudden you could just throw away all the work that she did when she was Hannah Montana and she had to-- you know, she was in a certain type of-- tween leadership role.

I think she did that role very well. She's grown up now. And-- she wanted to come out here and make a mark and-- and make a lot of noise. And-- you know, she has-- an incredible hit album. And I think she has you asking me-- in my interview the day that I launch my network about her. So-- I think she's doing something right.

MARIA BARTIROMO: (LAUGH) Right, we're talking about it, right? Who are the hottest artists right now? Who should we be watching?

SEAN COMBS: You should be watching Kendrick Lamar-- French Montana. You should be watching-- I like a band called Churches-- a rapper called Chance, James Blake--

MARIA BARTIROMO: We're going to see all these on Revolt I guess?

SEAN COMBS: Yes, you're going to see all these Revolt. I know I'm leaving some people out. You should definitely-- Pharrell and Daft Punk, they have a second single that's even-- you know, even more incredible than the first single. There's so many alternative artists, there's so many new artists, fresh artists that are out there that-- and so much content that Revolt is coming at the right time, you know.

The timing of it is right because Revolt is the independent artist. You know, we're unlike any of our competition. We're more like the independent artists. We're not like the huge-- you know, superstar band. We're like the independent artist that's grinding every day, going from city to city, you know, just trying to strum up-- just an audience and a community that believes in what we believe in. And that's why the first six months actually is called road to Revolt. And we're actually going to be going out into-- going on a multi state tour, going into the cities and actually being in the streets.

MARIA BARTIROMO: I love that. That's such a smart strategy.

SEAN COMBS: Yeah, we're actually canvassing. We're actually going to be treating it like-- an election, knocking on people's door, asking them if they have Revolt. And-- you know, we're going to have a lot of fun. We're going to put the power in the kids' hands.

MARIA BARTIROMO: I love it. So what do you think about all these shows? I mean, are we getting saturated with some of these shows? Because you look at the ratings, American Idol has seen a massive ratings decline, The X Factor has yet to fulfill ratings expectations. The Voice-- also has yet to produce-- a viable singing star. Is it too much? Is it-- you know, is it overdone? And here you are coming out with Revolt TV right now when some of these shows are struggling.

SEAN COMBS: Those shows are struggling, but they're still-- the top shows on the air. I think that-- you always have to constantly reinvent yourself. You know, not to say I'm qualified to give, you know-- the producers of those shows-- you know, any advice, but--

MARIA BARTIROMO: Innovation, got to reinvent?

SEAN COMBS: No, I mean, but-- I mean, I am kind of qualified to give them some advice, so I'm going to give them some advice.

MARIA BARTIROMO: (LAUGH) Do it.

SEAN COMBS: I think that they have to-- you know, they have to reinvent those shows. They have to constantly keep them fresh, keep something new and fresh happening with it. I think that the decline in those shows kind of also shows that people are looking for music that's not always as commercial and-- things that are a little bit to the left, a little bit different and-- you know-- a little -- just things that are unique.

So that-- that's what kids actually get on-- online and search for, things that are unique. And so I see-- I-- you're seeing, like, a shift go on from popular music to even when you see Miley Cyrus, they, you know-- she wants to go more in the lane or when you see-- a lot of other artists, they want to go more in the lane of creativity, more in the lane where there's more risks that are taken, more chances that are taken. And those are the type artists we want to support.

MARIA BARTIROMO: You have a big empire. Talk to me about that empire which is Sean Combs Enterprises. What is it you-- what are some of the products? I know Revolt TV is a second business.

SEAN COMBS: Yeah, so Combs Enterprises consists of our record company, which we've sold-- hundreds of millions, I think it was, like-- 400 million records worldwide. You have our Daddy's House recording studio, you have Sean John-- you have AQUAhydrate water-- which is a deal that I've done with-- Mark Wahlberg and Yucaipa and Ron Burkle. You have Sean Jean-- who I also-- am in a partnership with-- Yucaipa and Ron Burkle. You have Ciroc, and that's through Diageo.

MARIA BARTIROMO: Very successful?

SEAN COMBS: Yes, very successful-- in the spirits industry. And-- you have Daddy-- you know, my Daddy's House social program, my philanthropic program. And you have my six kids-- (LAUGH)

MARIA BARTIROMO: That's also-- that's the dominant part of the business, right?

SEAN COMBS: Yeah, that's my-- number one prioritized business. And today now you finally have the new number one name in music, Revolt.

MARIA BARTIROMO: I love it. So I-- and along the way lot of-- well, a couple different names. You had Sean Combs and then P. Diddy and then Puff Daddy. What-- what's the history on all these names?

SEAN COMBS: They really were nicknames that-- people called me around my neighborhood. And you know-- and they kind of at times -- represented a change for me. But-- I think I did it, like, one too many times, but-- (LAUGH) so it's kind of confusing sometimes when you want to find information for me-- when you want to Google me. But--

MARIA BARTIROMO: It's --

SEAN COMBS: --you know, my name is Sean Combs. Those-- the entertainment alter ego-- the entertainment alter egos have kept me sane and-- made me be able to do all these different business ventures and be able to separate the two and have made me, you know-- a better father. Because I'm able to leave those personas on the stage or in front of the camera and go-- you know, when I go home or I'm in the office, you know, I'm Sean.

MARIA BARTIROMO: I was looking at the-- Forbes-- you know-- hip hop millionaire list and you're right there with Jay-Z. You guys competitive-- yeah, you're number one, everybody thought he was number one.

SEAN COMBS: What did the--

MARIA BARTIROMO: The Forbes hip hop--

SEAN COMBS: --what-- what-- what-- what did the Forbes say I was?

MARIA BARTIROMO: (LAUGH) Number-- you're number one.

SEAN COMBS: What'd the Forbes say I was?

MARIA BARTIROMO: You-- you.

SEAN COMBS: I can't hear you.

MARIA BARTIROMO: (LAUGH) You're number one.

SEAN COMBS: No-- what we do is-- me and Jay-Z, we play a little game. We trade it back and forth. So-- you know, we have an agreement and-- we're negotiating to see if I'm going to give it up for next year. (LAUGH) But-- no, no, we inspire each other. And it's going from just being about money. We want-- we don't want to be defined as-- the money that we're making all of a sudden is something special because we're-- African American. You know, as far as, like, the numbers at the end of the day, we shouldn't be put in, like-- a African American--

MARIA BARTIROMO: Category?

SEAN COMBS: Yeah, box or category, you know-- we're businessman. And so our competition is the top businessman in the world, you know. So my competition is Warren Buffett, you know-- that's who, you know, I'm competing with, and that's who Jay is competing with. I-- we don't segment ourselves and just compete with each other. And if anything, we help each other.

MARIA BARTIROMO: So Warren Buffett's got about $40 billion. Is that where you're going?

SEAN COMBS: I'm going to pass him, (LAUGH) yeah. Yeah, I'm going to-- I'm not going to pass him-- it's-- I think-- even Warren Buffett as you see--you've seen-- I've know you've -- covered him. It's not about the money for him, it's about the impact that-- that he can have.

And I think that's what has changed for me is the impact that I could have philanthropically-- with the economic power. So instead of me talking about-- and criticizing, you know, just how we-- we're treating our young people, I'll be able to give different donations and-- you know, come up with different-- solutions to problems.

MARIA BARTIROMO: It's great to meet you. And you are such a role model. Sean, thank you very much.

SEAN COMBS: Oh, one thing I do want to say is-- the only way that I could-- pass Warren Buffett, if he gives me some advice. So I never met Warren Buffett, so I know you watch the station. I need some advice in order to pass you.

MARIA BARTIROMO: Good for you. That's-- (LAUGH) a very good plea to make on our air. Did you want to add anything else that I may have missed, Sean?

SEAN COMBS: Yeah, I mean, one of the things that's really affecting me today is I saw this movie-- called 20 Years a Slave-- and I saw that this weekend.

MARIA BARTIROMO: So the movie you saw this weekend?

SEAN COMBS: Yeah, yeah, yeah, one of the things I mean, one of the things that is on my heart and soul today is I saw this movie this weekend called 12 Years a Slave. And it was about slavery, and it was the first time I think slavery was truly, truly depicted the right way. Brad Pitt is a producer-- and-- it's on Fox Searchlight. I have nothing to do with the movie.

But it really affected, like, just the way I view today that, you know, 200 years ago we were enslaved and we were-- in chains and we were whipped and we were beaten and we were forced to do labor and we weren't free and weren't treated as humans. And-- now today-- I own-- a network. And it's just through the power and the resilience of just my people, you know. And-- I just thank all the support my communities have given to me.

And you know, this is something I hope that inspires people-- all over the world. But to know that it was just 200 years ago-- I'm very appreciative because that wasn't that long ago. And to now-- be able to own a cable network is a huge thing for me and, you know, my whole community.

MARIA BARTIROMO: This is a part of the fabric of who you are?

SEAN COMBS: Yes, it's a part of the fabric of who I am and also-- this also-- speaks to America, too, on just the power of America that we do have the chances and opportunities that we have.

MARIA BARTIROMO: Congratulations. Well, thank you for your leadership, Sean.

SEAN COMBS: Thank you, thank you very much.

MARIA BARTIROMO: Sean Combs joining us.

About CNBC:

With CNBC in the U.S., CNBC in Asia Pacific, CNBC in Europe, Middle East and Africa, CNBC World and CNBC HD , CNBC is the recognized world leader in business news and provides real-time financial market coverage and business information to approximately 390 million homes worldwide, including more than 100 million households in the United States and Canada. CNBC also provides daily business updates to 400 million households across China. The network's 16 live hours a day of business programming in North America (weekdays from 4:00 a.m. - 8:00 p.m. ET) is produced at CNBC's global headquarters in Englewood Cliffs, N.J., and includes reports from CNBC News bureaus worldwide.

CNBC also has a vast portfolio of digital products which deliver real-time financial market news and information across a variety of platforms. These include CNBC.com, the online destination for global business; CNBC PRO, the premium, integrated desktop/mobile service that provides real-time global market data and live access to CNBC global programming; and a suite of CNBC Mobile products including the CNBC Real-Time iPhone and iPad Apps.

Members of the media can receive more information about CNBC and its programming on the NBC Universal Media Village Web site athttp://www.nbcumv.com/mediavillage/networks/cnbc/