During last summer’s Television Critics Tour press conference to announce his new Revolt TV channel, Sean “Diddy” Combs said he initially wanted to buy one of Comcast’s cable networks to compete his vision of owning a music-based cable service.
Now it looks like Combs has his sights set on buying Madison Square Garden’s 24-hour music channel Fuse.
The hip hop mogul and entrepreneur – who Forbes last year named the richest artist on the hip-hop scene -- is reportedly looking to corner the cable music marketplace by offering $200 million to purchase Fuse, according to Bloomberg.
If successful, Combs would add a 75 million-subscriber network to his fledgling Revolt Tv channel, which launched this past October with the promise to fill the “white space” left when networks like MTV, VH1 and BET abandoned the music video genre years ago to focus on reality programming.
Revolt is currently in nearly 25 million homes, so a Fuse purchase would help boost the Revolt brand, whether it’s through a full takeover of Fuse or through the infusion of Revolt content on the network. Combs’ representatives would not comment on the report and a Revolt spokesperson would only say that the company is “just focused on building Revolt as the number one name in music.”
A Combs purchase of Fuse would also boost the industry’s minority network ownership profile without the benefit of Comcast intervention. Combs’ Revolt is one of four minority-owned networks launched over the past two years by Comcast as part of the FCC's conditions for the MSO's acquisition of NBCUniversal.
Comcast executive vice president Dan Cohen recently told Multichannel News that the company is committed to launching four additional minority-owned channels over the next few years, but Combs’ reported Fuse bid bodes well for future minority network ownership within the industry.
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