UPDATED With a statement from Verizon
Fuse will disappear from Verizon’s Fios service at the end of the day, representing the second such loss of carriage in a week. Cable giant Comcast reached a similar decision yesterday.
The media company put the blame solidly on Verizon, claiming it said offered terms that the telecommunications giant knew were unacceptable to Fuse.
“This is another instance of one of our nation’s largest telecommunications companies taking action inconsistent with its public posture regarding diversity,” Fuse said in a statement. “While claiming to be committed to supporting customers from underserved communities, Verizon Fios is removing unique content programmed to the passions and values of the large and growing multicultural millennial audience.”
Verizon issued a statement saying that its priority is to subscribers with content at a fair price.
“Because the cost of programming is the single biggest factor in higher TV bills, we carefully review proposals from content providers to ensure that the rates they propose are in line with their viewership. Doing this allows us to bring you competitive rates for Fios TV packages,” the company said. “As part of that process, we have decided to drop Fuse channels from our lineup effective January 1, 2019.”
Fuse is home to series such the unscripted T-Pain’s School of Business and The Hollywood Puppet Show from executive producer Wilmer Valderrama and Entertainment One. The programming also includes the Fuse Docs series of documentaries such as the Peabody Award-winning Indivisible about Dreamers. Fuse recently greenlit the new animated series Sugar and Toys.
The media company says ratings in the coveted 18-to-34 age group are up 50% from 2015 through the third quarter of this year.
Verizon Fios, which dropped BlazeTV on Dec. 28, warned its customers that they may also be facing the loss of Tenga TV stations as of 5 pm today. Tenga owns WVEC (ABC Norfolk), WUSA (CBS DC) and WGRZ (NBC Buffalo). Verizon could not immediately be reached for comment.
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