Hispanic Heritage Month begins Sept. 15, and multicultural youth-targeted network Fuse TV has several programming initiatives planned for the celebration. The network later this month will premiere Varsity Punks, an original film, as well as talk show Like, Share, Dimelo, which is targeted to young, Latino audiences — part of the network’s broader fall lineup of five original series and documentaries.
Fuse TV CEO Miguel Roggero, who took over the reins of the network in April 2019, recently spoke with Multichannel News about Fuse’s multicultural youth-targeted brand, as well as its programming strategy and partnerships surrounding the upcoming elections and the country’s ongoing movement against social injustice.
MCN: How would you define the Fuse brand under your leadership?
Miguel Roggero: I don’t see it any differently than the original mission of what we started. I’ve been with the company 14 years and so I’ve seen how we’ve evolved. The focus is a little broader than when we started, but it’s really an entertainment-based service for the multicultural community. The idea is to really provide this audience with authentic stories that are inclusive. When we first started in the old Sí TV days [Sí TV acquired Fuse TV in 2014], it wasn’t quite as inclusive because it was targeted to Latino audiences. But we’ve evolved over time to really reflect the young, multicultural audience today.
MCN: That young, multicultural audience, like all young viewers, is watching more and more content on multiple platforms. How does Fuse plan to reach its core audience with a mostly linear service?
MR: Television is still the largest medium out there and we have a product that serves the distribution community really well. The industry needs a product like ours. In 20 years, America is going to be half-multicultural, so the television ecosystem needs to be sensitive to this audience and we have a product that goes straight to the sweet spot. I think we’re in the right space in a moment in time where everybody’s paying attention to this audience and, and now more than ever, the diversity and inclusion that we represent is that much more important. We’re experimenting with a lot of different new platforms to see which ones are going to emerge, but the cable TV universe is still the predominant form of delivery for us. We continue to have good relationships with our partners on the distribution side and we expect that to continue. We have to stay focused as a content brand.
MCN: With the presidential election coming up and with the continued discussion about social injustice, will Fuse look to develop original content that speaks to the concerns of its young, multicultural viewer?
MR: We look for stories that our audience can not only look at but feel empowered by. We've always been about providing positive stories and representations for our inclusive audience. So whether it’s music-related, lifestyle, culture or social responsibility, we’re developing content that hits those different touch points and will resonate with our audience.
We were heavily involved creating content around the 2016 election and we’re going to be heavily involved in the 2020 election. We’re in the process of producing a town hall that'll be focused on local elections. We have a partnership with Color of Change, Climate Power 2020 and Stacey Abrams. There are like-minded partners out there and we have a platform for their messages. We do that because it’s part of our DNA.
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