Comcast Set to Remove Jennifer Lopez’s Underperforming Fuse Channel
Jennifer Lopez’s Fuse channel just hasn’t performed up to par. So, Comcast gave it the boot.
According to a new report, Comcast will drop Fuse.
Slamming the cable giant after negotiations failed, the channel, partially owned by Jennifer Lopez, had reportedly met Comcast’s demands.
Michael Schwimmer, President and CEO of Fuse Media, said in a statement,
“Despite Comcast’s publicly-stated commitment to support diverse and independently operated networks, Comcast has elected to drop Fuse, a multicultural-focused television network, on Dec. 31st, after more than a decade of carriage. This decision is both surprising and troubling considering that Fuse met Comcast’s financial demands and no other requirements were ever communicated to us.”
Comcast notified its subscribers about the change weeks ago.
The channel primarily targets urban viewers. It offers youth-oriented music and lifestyle programs.
Lopez first purchased NuvoTV six years ago. In 2014, the NuvoTV channel purchased Fuse for $226 million, choosing to adopt the Fuse name.
The channel had reached around 74 million cable households several years ago. Earlier this year, according to Nielsen, that number dipped to about 60 million. The cable giant has around 22 million video subscribers.
Fuse Media’s contract with the US cable provider expires on December 31st.
Schwimmer confirmed the independently-owned channel will undertake a campaign to place ‘PR pressure’ on Comcast. Fuse Media’s President and CEO cited the cable giant’s antitrust history, specifically, a 2011 Justice Department investigation.
“We have been dedicated from the very beginning to providing opportunities for diverse creative talent to entertain and inform diverse communities. By removing our network from its consumer offering, Comcast is silencing yet another independent media company, in this case one that is devoted to providing a platform for inclusive voices and authentic representation at a uniquely important time in our society.”
Comcast’s move comes as the pressure heats up for channels to promote fresh programming to attract new viewers. Comcast, like other cable and satellite companies, faces stiff competition from Amazon and Netflix. They also face competition from lower-cost premium TV providers, like YouTube TV and Hulu.
Continuing on the attack against the cable giant, Schwimmer concluded,
“A commitment to diversity is an enduring value, not a politically expedient card for Comcast to play until such time as consent decrees or business objectives no longer require it. Comcast’s behavior leading to its decision to drop Fuse reveals an agenda inconsistent with their public statements, giving further credence to the merit of ongoing DOJ oversight.”
Featured image by Prisa Radio (CC by 2.0).