Sean Combs, the hip-hop mogul now known as Diddy, has bid about $200 million for the Fuse cable-TV 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.
The reason for the move from Combs is likely better carriage, as the article said he would convert Fuse, owned by New York-based Madison Square Garden Co. (MSG), into Revolt TV, which has backing from Comcast. Combs is one of several Fuse bidders.
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.
“As we have stated, we are exploring strategic alternatives for Fuse, and will have no further comment during what is still an ongoing process,” Kimberly Kerns, a spokeswoman for MSG, told Bloomberg.
Michael Senno, an analyst at Credit Suisse, estimated in a Sept. 12 report that Fuse would receive bids between $200 million and $250 million.
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.