J-Lo has outbid Puff Daddy in a battle to acquire pay-TV distribution for their rival cable networks.
NuvoTV, backed by Jennifer Lopez, has reached an agreement to buy Fuse TV from Madison Square Garden Co., the companies announced on Friday. Bloomberg News reported on Thursday that a deal had been reached.
The pop star and entrepreneur, known as J-Lo by fans, outbid hip-hop mogul Sean ‘Puff Daddy’ Combs, offering $226 million (Dh830 million) in cash and a 15 per cent equity stake in the combined Fuse and NuvoTV, an English-language channel marketed to Latinos.
NuvoTV will use Fuse to expand its audience. Even with Lopez’s star power, the channel can more easily gain eyeballs by acquiring another network than by trying to secure its own deals with pay-TV operators.
Los Angeles-based NuvoTV reaches more than 32 million households, less than half of Fuse TV’s 73 million. Time Warner Cable Inc. and DirecTV have been dropping low-rated channels to focus on the most popular ones.
The deal “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,” Michael Schwimmer, chief executive officer of NuvoTV, said in Friday’s statement.
Combs, 43, was once linked romantically to Lopez. He also sought to buy Fuse for its distribution. The rapper, who has been known as P. Diddy, announced he would return to his stage name of Puff Daddy in a recent teaser video for his next single.
Lopez, who holds a minority stake in NuvoTV, is the chief creative officer there and contributes programming through her Nuyorican Productions. The 44-year-old singer, actress and American Idol judge also advises the network on strategy and marketing.
“Music is my first love so the acquisition of Fuse is near and dear to my heart,” Lopez said in the statement. “It’s exciting that between NuvoTV and Fuse, we’ll have the ability to deliver a broad array of terrific content both from a Latino perspective and across multiple genres, including music, to a broader audience.”