Jennifer Lopez has outbid Diddy to acquire Fuse TV from Madison Square Garden Co. NUVOtv parent company SiTV Media, backed by Lopez, outbid hip-hop mogul Sean “Diddy” Combs, offering $226 million in cash and a 15% equity stake in the combined Fuse and NuvoTV, an English-language channel marketed to Latinos.
Under the terms of the transaction, the 15% equity of the combined company will be subject to potential reduction based on certain performance goals. MSG will also gain a seat on the SiTV Media Board. The deal is expected to close in MSG’s fiscal 2015 Q1 between 7/1 and 9/30.
For SiTV Media, LionTree Advisors LLC and Jefferies LLC served as financial advisors and Greenberg Traurig LLP and Goodwin Proctor LLP served as counsel, while for MSG, J.P. Morgan served as financial advisor and Sullivan & Cromwell LLP served as counsel. Financing commitments for the transaction were provided by Jefferies Finance LLC.
As a national network dedicated to music, Fuse reaches 73 million Nielsen subscribers nationwide and features original series and specials, exclusive interviews, live concerts and video blocks – all rooted in the music experience. NUVOtv is the premier English-language destination for Latino entertainment, embodying the vibrancy and richness of modern Latino culture. The networks will continue to operate independently.
“The acquisition of Fuse represents a transformational event for us and also provides significant benefits to NUVOtv,” Schwimmer said. “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.”
Lopez – who serves as NUVOtv’s Chief Creative Officer as well, said, “Music is my first love so the acquisition of Fuse is near and dear to my heart. It’s exciting that between NUVOtv and Fuse we’ll have the ability to deliver a broad array of terrific content both from a Latino perspective and across multiple genres, including music, to a broader audience. The acquisition of Fuse means we now own two wonderful assets. It’s a phenomenal time for our company and we look forward to growing both networks in the years ahead.”
NUVOtv is the premier network for Latino entertainment and offers a diverse array of high-quality programming across genres. NUVOtv’s new 2014 line-up includes original programming co-executive produced by Jennifer Lopez under her Nuyorican Productions banner: a weekly music program The Collective, Powered by Vevo; and quarterly film showcase Nu Point of View: The Emerging Latino Filmmakers. Mario Lopez is an executive producer of two original shows for the network: celebrity interview show Mario One-On-One and the upcoming romantic dating competition Love and Salsa (premiering 5/6).
As part of the acquisition, NUVOtv also plans to utilize Fuse’s current street front studio on 7th Avenue across from MSG to continue to create content.
Fuse, which became a part of MSG in 2008, has remained dedicated to bringing artists and fans together through its music programming, which includes music news and information, coverage of premier artists, events and festivals, original content and concerts.
RBR-TVBR observation: In mid-March, Diddy bid about $200 million for Fuse. Combs’ Revolt TV made its debut on Comcast last year and airs music videos, live performances, news and interviews. The reason for the move from Combs was likely better carriage, as he would convert Fuse into Revolt TV, which has backing from Comcast. Lopez, instead, is keeping both networks and will likely cross-promote them.