SiTV Buys Major Stake In Fuse

Madison Square Garden has sold a majority of its ownership in Fuse, its cable music network, to SiTVMedia, the parent of NUVOtv.

For the 73 million-subscriber Fuse Network, MSG will receive $226 million, and retain 15% equity of the combined company. MSG will also gain a seat on the SiTV Media board of directors.

Fuse features original music series and specials, interviews and live concerts.

Michael Schwimmer, chief executive officer of SiTV Media and its NUVOtv network, said about the deal: “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.”

Originally, Fuse was launched in 1994 as MuchMusic USA, in a partnership between Cablevision Systems and Toronto-based CHUM. In 2008, Cablevision moved Fuse to its MSG business, which was spun off as a separately trade company in 2010.

NUVOtv, the Latino-entertainment channel, is available in more than 32 million homes nationwide with major distribution from AT&T U-verse, Comcast, Cox, Dish Network, Time Warner Cable and Verizon FIOS. Singer/producer Jennifer Lopez has a major profile on NUVOtv as the network’s chief creative officer, as well as providing TV programming from her Nuyorican Productions.

Madison Square Garden owns New York-based sports teams New York Knicks (NBA), the New York Rangers (NHL), the New York Liberty (WNBA), and the Hartford Wolf Pack (AHL), in addition to the cable sports channel, MSG Network. It also creates live entertainment, such as the Radio City Christmas Spectacular featuring the Radio City Rockettes.

Tags: cable tv, m&a, tv
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