Glendale-based NUVOtv buying Fuse from MSG

J-Lo has beat Puff Daddy in the quest to buy Fuse. SiTV Media, the parent of the Jennifer Lopez-backed English-language Latino cable network NUVOtv, has entered an agreement with the Madison Square Garden Co. to acquire its music television channel Fuse, the companies said on Friday.

SiTV will pay $226 million for the channel, which is carried in 73 million homes in the United States, and MSG will take a stake in the combined company. Hip-hop mogul Sean Combs was said to have also bid for the network.

The acquisition could greatly expand the reach of Glendale-based NUVOtv. 

The purchase will enhance the company's relationships with pay-TV distributors and open up opportunities for programming and cross-promotion on both networks, said Michael Schwimmer, CEO of SiTV Media and NUVOtv.

"The acquisition of Fuse represents a transformational event for us and also provides significant benefits to NUVOtv," Schwimmer said in a statement. 

Fuse and NUVOtv will continue to operate independently, the companies said.

Lopez, who is NUVOtv's chief creative officer and a shareholder, joined the company in 2012 after it hadstruggled for years for attention from audiences and advertisers. She is best known as a pop music singer and actress, and also serves as a judge on Fox's "American Idol." 

"Music is my first love so the acquisition of Fuse is near and dear to my heart," Lopez said in a statement. "The acquisition of Fuse means we now own two wonderful assets."

As part of the deal, MSG will receive a 15% stake in the combined company, though that share could be reduced depending on SiTV's performance.

Sean Combs, who once dated Lopez and has been known at various times throughout his career as P. Diddy, Diddy and now Puff Daddy, had bid around $200 million for the network. Combs launched the music television channel Revolt TV in the fall. Like NUVOtv, Combs' channel is available in a fraction of the number of homes Fuse TVreaches. 

The New York-based MSG had sought around $300 million when it put the music cable channel up for sale last year, a former Fuse executive said. Fuse joined MSG in 2008.

Besides its namesake entertainment venue, MSG's properties include Radio City Music Hall, the Beacon Theatre and the Forum in Inglewood, along with professional New York  sports teams Knicks (NBA), Rangers(NHL) and Liberty (WNBA).

-- Ryan Faughnder,

Follow on Twitter: @rfaughnder


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