NUVOtv and parent company SíTV Media have finalized their acquisition of Fuse, which was purchased in April from the Madison Square Garden Company for $226 million. MSG will receive a 15% equity in the combined company, subject to potential reduction based on certain performance goals.
An English-language cable network targeting Hispanic millennial audiences, NUVOtv is estimated to be available in over 34 million pay-TV households by the end of 2014, according to analytics firm SNL Kagan. With the addition of Fuse’s 73 million households, Nuvo’s reach will more than triple. ”We are pleased with the overwhelmingly positive response by the financial community and other stakeholders to this transaction. It is confirmation of the value we recognized in Fuse and our growth plans,” SíTV Media CEO Michael Schwimmer said in a statement.
NUVO’s chief creative officer Jennifer Lopez recently spoke to Billboard about the impending acquisition at NUVOtv’s upfront presentation to advertisers in New York, noting, ”The fact that it’s a music channel, which is so near and dear to my heart, I just feel I know exactly what we need to do. We’re gonna get together and figure out what that is, once the deal is completely finished.” Lopez is also a minority investor in the NUVO, with an estimated $2 to $3 million stake in the network.
Lopez has already been involved with meetings from day-to-day production of NUVO series like “A Step Away” and “The Collective” to meet-and-greets with cable operators who could potentially distribute the still-fledgling network, currently available in 34 million homes. “What has really impressed everyone here is her high degree of focus and commitment – while she’s busy, she’s been very dedicated over the last 12 months,” says Schwimmer recently told Billboard.
Prior to the acquisition’s close, Fuse shed roughly 50% of its 200-person staff, as well as pulled the plug on “Fuse News,” a half-hour news program launched in January 2013 with celebrity hosts like Jack Osbourne and Alexa Chung. Though NUVO and Lopez beat out Sean Combs’ Revolt TV in the bid to acquire Fuse, the changes were already in the works at MSG, according to multiple executives familiar with the company’s plans.
“Fuse News” often rated at the very bottom of Nielsen’s cable rankings, when it rated at all. “Things were so bad that it got what TV industry people call ‘hashmarks,’ or no registered audience,” says one executive familiar with Fuse’s history. “They’d talked about a news division for years and wanted to be for music what ESPN was for sports, but it didn’t pan out.” Another executive with familiar with Fuse’s plans notes that the “Fuse News” programming model and talent contracts prevented content from living online. “Plus, the news programming was expensive – too expensive for it to not go online and continue to live there.”
Schwimmer declined to elaborate on the company’s plans for Fuse prior to the deal closing, but acknowledged the natural synergies between Nuvo’s own music news program “The Collective,” powered by Vevo, which was recently renewed at the network’s upfront presentation. “Let’s just say when you’re getting ready for the merger of two networks, there’s natural alignments and organizational changes which occur in any industry,” Schwimmer says.
The Brooklyn Netshave agreed in principle to a deal making Lionel Hollins their next head coach.
Hollins’ deal could be worth as much as 4 years, $20 million if the team picks up his fourth-year option, a source told ESPN.com’s Ramona Shelburne.
“We have a nice nucleus to build with,” Hollins told Shelburne. “We want to be better than last year, and obviously that’s going to take work. We’re going to work hard, be aggressive and we’re never going to quit.”
Hollins led the Memphis Grizzlies to three consecutive playoff appearances in his last three seasons with the team. In 2012-13, his final year at the helm, the Grizzlies won 56 games and advanced all the way to the Western Conference finals. The two sides ultimately decided to part ways, and Hollins’ contract was not renewed, apparently because there were philosophical differences between him and ownership.
Hollins takes over for Jason Kidd, who left the team for the Milwaukee Bucks earlier this week.
Sources say the Nets wanted to move quickly in the wake of the Kidd saga and focused on Hollins immediately, meeting with him Monday and Tuesday.
Hollins has been a favorite of Nets officials for some time and was pursued by Brooklyn to serve as an assistant to Kidd after the in-season departure of Lawrence Frank, but the former Grizzlies coach was determined to wait for a head-coaching opportunity. Hollins was also chased hard this spring by the Houston Rockets to serve as the top aide to Rockets coach Kevin McHale in the event that Hollins didn’t land a top position.
“I’m humbled,” Hollins said. “The process to get back in the league was a long one. But I’m thankful to God because I believe this is the perfect fit for me.”
Nets general manager Billy King, during an appearance Wednesday on ESPN Radio’s “Mike & Mike,” said experience would be key when making the team’s next head-coaching hire.
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Miles and the Pacers agreed to a four-year deal in the $18 million range, sources confirmed. The deal could potentially cut into the Pacers’ flexibility when it comes to trying to re-sign swingman Lance Stephenson.
The Indianapolis Star first reported Wednesday that Miles had struck a multiyear deal with the Pacers.
Miles spent the past two seasons with the Cleveland Cavaliers. He averaged 9.9 points in 51 games for the Cavs this past season.
The Pacers also struck bargain deals Thursday with European prospect Damjan Rudez and undrafted free agent Shayne Whittington as they try to improve their roster after a disappointing second half of the season and an Eastern Conference finals defeat to Miami.
Indiana can’t sign Miles until July 10, when a leaguewide moratorium on signings and trades is lifted. The Pacers might be forced to make tough decisions on players such as Luis Scola and Chris Copeland to ensure they have enough room under the luxury-tax line to afford Stephenson, with whom they’ve reached an impasse in contract talks, according to ESPN The Magazine’s Chris Broussard.
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