The parent company of indie cabler NuvoTV, whose shareholders including Jennifer Lopez, has reached a $226 million deal with MSG to acquire the music-centric cabler Fuse.
“Music is my first love so the acquisition of Fuse is near and dear to my heart,” said Lopez, who serves as chief creative officer for NuvoTV.
“It’s exciting that between NuvoTV and Fuse we’ll have the ability to deliver a broad array of terrific content both from a Latino perspective and across multiple genres, including music, to a broader audience. The acquisition of Fuse means we now own two wonderful assets. It’s a phenomenal time for our company and we look forward to growing both networks in the years ahead.”
Deal unveiled Friday by SiTV Media CEO Michael Schwimmer and MSG prexy-CEO Tad Smith calls for MSG to receive cash plus 15% of the equity in the enlarged SiTV Media parent company of NuvoTV. MSG will have a seat on the board of the privately held SiTV Media.
Schwimmer indicated that SiTV Media intends to keep Fuse operating as a separate entity from NuvoTV, despite speculation that the company would consolidate distribution of the channels.
“The acquisition of Fuse represents a transformational event for us and also provides significant benefits to NuvoTV,” said Schwimmer, who is also CEO of NuvoTV.
Having two channels gives SiTV Media more scale, but Fuse is hardly a must-have channel for MVPDs, meaning that it has limited leverage especially now that it’s removed from MSG. Nonetheless, Schwimmer emphasized the importance of expanding the company’s cable real estate.
“It enhances our distribution relationships, dramatically expands our aggregate subscriber base, provides substantial economies of scale, affords unique opportunities for programming and cross-promotion and should be extremely appealing to the advertising community as we roll out our plans for both NuvoTV and Fuse,” he said.
NuvoTV bowed in 2004 as SiTV, an English-lingo channel targeting U.S.-born Hispanics that was founded by producer Jeff Valdez, who is no longer with the company. The channel was rebranded as NuvoTV in 2011. Lopez bought a stake and signed on as CCO in September 2012.
Fuse reaches about 73 million MVPD homes, compared to about 30 million for NuvoTV.
Among the other contenders for the cabler were Sean Combs, who recently expanded into the cable TV biz with the launch of Revolt TV.