Comcast drops Fuse, the music company owned in part by Jennifer Lopez. He raises questions about the future of the independent channel as a linear cable offering.
Fuse made the cable giant's decision on Sunday, claiming he had met Comcast's financial demands and no other requirements were ever communicated to us. "Comcast said its subscribers were informed about the change a few weeks ago. It is unclear how many subscribers Fuse, targeting young, urban audiences with music and lifestyle programs, will lose to Comcast, the nation's largest MVPD.
Fuse reached some 74 million cable households a few years ago, but only about 60 million from February this year, according to Nielsen. Comcast has a total of 22 million video subscribers.
Fuse Chairman Michael Schwimmer signaled on Sunday that he was beginning to pressure Comcast for giving up one of the few major independent broadcasters in the US cable landscape. Comcast's status as a leading cable operator and broadband provider makes it vulnerable to attack by watchdog groups. Schwimmer quickly mentioned the history of the Department of Justice, which accompanied the Konglom for the antitrust oversight of the Konglom by taking over NBCUniversal in 201
another independent media company, in this case one who is committed to providing a platform for inclusive voice and authentic representation at a once-important time in our society, "said Schwimmer. "Commitment to diversity is a lasting value and not a politically meaningful card that Comcast can play as long as the declarations of consent or business goals no longer require it. Comcast's behavior, which led to his decision to strike down Fuse, reveals an agenda that is inconsistent with her public statements, further underpinning the merits of ongoing DOJ oversight. "
For the past seven years, Comcast has had to operate its cable systems under behavioral restrictions set in exchange for federal approval to purchase the NBC Universal. However, the company's agreement with the Ministry of Justice expired in the fall. Despite the lobbying of Comcast's rivals, it is not believed that the Department of Justice has taken steps to extend this oversight.
Comcast's punishment of Fuse comes inasmuch as all the major traditional MVPDs take a hard line with programmers to restrict their lineup to underperforming niche channels. The traditional cable and satellite television business is under extreme pressure from Netflix, Amazon and the new low-cost streaming channel packages offered by YouTube TV, Hulu and others.
Fuse was founded in 1994 as a music cabler by Cablevision. the former New York cable giant. Lopez came into play in 2014 when its NuvoTV channel bought Fuse for $ 226 million and merged operations under the fuse banner.
It is known that the company has been in the block for quite some time. A single, niche-oriented, ad-supported channel, largely dependent on cable transportation, is a heavy sale to the pay-TV ecosystem at a time.
Lopez bought from NuvoTV in 2012. The company was founded the back of Si TV, the groundbreaking cable channel in Latino, which was founded in 2004 by producer entrepreneur Jeff Valdez.
(Image: Wilmer Valderrama in Fuse, broadcast of the ALMA Awards 2018)