MSG Media Revs Buoyed By Knicks, Fuse
With the Fuse network launching a news program it hopes will serve as an anchor, parent Madison Square Garden reiterated its bullishness on the channel Wednesday. “A significant
growth opportunity for our company,” said CEO Hank Ratner.
Launching Wednesday, “Fuse News” is a weeknight prime-time show promising the “first hard-hitting news show to tackle music exclusively.” Fuse, which has national distribution, has been trying to establish itself since the fall as a go-to brand for music news across multiple platforms.
“Fuse News” will offer a live Grammys red carpet show Sunday.
Investment in original programming at Fuse overall continues, MSG said on an earnings call to discuss the October-December 2012 period.
Also at MSG Media, ad sales at the regional sports networks benefited from the strong start of the New York Knicks, even as there were no NHL games with the league lockout. Ad sales were up $5.1 million, pushing total revenue to nearly $157 million. (An NBA lockout last year curtailed the number of Knicks games in late 2011.)
Total MSG revenues, which are also derived from live shows, such as the “Radio City Christmas Spectacular," reported ticket sales at the MSG arena at $388 million, up from $373 million last year.
AOCF (adjusted operating cash flow), one metric the company uses to reflect financial health, rose 37% to $108 million.