An earlier report that SiTV Media, parent company to the NUVOtv channel that Jennifer Lopez is chief creative officer of and retains a minority stake in, has acquired the Fuse Network has been confirmed.
The Madison Square Garden Company announced its sale of Fuse this morning in a statement.
An acquisition of Fuse was being sought by Sean Combs, who launched his similarly music-focused Revolt TV channel in the Fall of last year and had plans to turn Fuse into an extension of Revolt.
In an interview that took place on earlier this week, before the deal was reached, Lopez’s manager Benny Medina, in a conversation about JLo’s entrepreneurial branding strategy, said that if NuvoTV emerged the victor, there were no immediate plans to change Fuse’s format. “We do look at these channels as two different companies with two different identities, audiences and goals,” Medina said. “And these shall remain intact.”
The plan to maintain Fuse’s format for the time being may have to do with something called a “definition of service” clause that cable operators can include in their contracts with the services they carry.
According to one cable television-industry source, the clause enables operators to drop a network or decrease the fees paid for carriage if the network’s ownership or programming format changes. This could prove to be a synergistic stumbling block given that Fuse’s music-video heavy programming does not bear much resemblance to NuvoTV’s largely non-musical slate of programs, which include reruns of “Dexter” and the new boxing reality show “Knockout.”
While numbers on the deal weren't disclosed, Sean Combs, backed by billionaire Ron Burkle, made a $200 million offer on Fuse in early March.
“The acquisition of Fuse represents a transformational event for us and also provides significant benefits to NUVOtv,” SiTV Media CEO Michael Schwimmer said in a statement. “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.”