MSG Sells Fuse To SiTV Media

Madison Square Garden Company has sold its music-themed network Fuse TV to NUVOtv parent company SiTV Media, both companies said Friday.

As part of the deal SiTV Media paid $226 million for the 73 million-subscriber network, and will give MSG 15% equity in the combined company, said officials. The Hispanic-targeted, English-language NUVOtv network will also take over Fuse’s current New York-based street front studio to develop content.

MSG put the Fuse up for sale last September and reportedly drew a number of interested parties, including Revolt TV founder Sean “Diddy” Combs. The network has struggled to find an audience – Fuse drew only 62,000 viewers in primetime during first quarter 2014, down 3% from first quarter 2013.

While the networks will continue to operate independently, the deal will undoubtedly boost the fortunes of the 32 million-subscriber NUVOtv, in which actress/singer Jennifer Lopez has a financial stake and serves as its chief creative officer.

“The acquisition of Fuse represents a transformational event for us and also provides significant benefits to NUVOtv,” said Michael Schwimmer, CEO of SiTV Media and NUVOtv network 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.”

Added Tad Smith, CEO of The Madison Square Garden Company: “We are pleased that Fuse has joined the SiTV Media family, and are looking forward to the continued success of the network.”

R. Thomas Umstead

R. Thomas Umstead serves as senior content producer, programming for Multichannel News, Broadcasting + Cable and Next TV. During his more than 30-year career as a print and online journalist, Umstead has written articles on a variety of subjects ranging from TV technology, marketing and sports production to content distribution and development. He has provided expert commentary on television issues and trends for such TV, print, radio and streaming outlets as Fox News, CNBC, the Today show, USA Today, The New York Times and National Public Radio. Umstead has also filmed, produced and edited more than 100 original video interviews, profiles and news reports featuring key cable television executives as well as entertainers and celebrity personalities.