Artist Series makes $350M offer for Fuse TV


FuseNY-based Artist Series made a conditional offer to buy Madison Square Garden’s Fuse TV for $350 million in cash, which would surpass offers by Jennifer Lopez and Sean “Diddy” Combs, Artist Series said. Artist Series, founded in 2002, produces Web programming, including YouTube videos. The company has developed 16 shows that are ready to be produced once Artist Series has a network.

Joe DiRosa, owner and founder of Artist Series, told Bloomberg he hasn’t lined up financing yet, though he has met with Guggenheim Partners, Blackstone Group LP and Disney: “I don’t have solid, solid financing yet,” he said in a phone interview.

NuvoTV, an English-language cable channel for Latinos backed by Lopez, made an offer for the Fuse cable channel including cash and equity valued at more than $200 million. Sean Combs, the hip-hop mogul now known as Diddy, has bid about $200 million for the channel, according to a Bloomberg report. Combs has his hand in a variety of businesses and founded cable-music channel Revolt TV. Revolt made its debut on Comcast last year and airs music videos, live performances, news and interviews. Fuse is dedicated mostly to music, and features original series and specials, exclusive interviews, live concerts and blocks of music videos.

Fuse is available in about 74 million homes through pay-TV systems including DirecTV, Dish and Cablevision Systems, compared with Revolt TV, which reaches about 22.8 million homes and is carried by Comcast and Time Warner Cable.

The Dolan family, which spun Madison Square Garden off from Cablevision four years ago, has been asking for about $400 million for Fuse, said the story. Al Jazeera acquired Current TV for about $500 million last year. Current reached about 60 million U.S. homes. Fuse’s distribution on Comcast and Time Warner Cable would be less valuable to Diddy because they already carry Revolt TV.

See the Bloomberg story here.