Latino-owned TV and media company Fuse Media is rolling onto the streaming battlefield with the official launch of Fuse Plus, priced at $2 per month as a standalone service and available at no extra cost to customers of participating pay-TV operators.
Fuse Plus officially launches Sept. 13, after debuting in beta in June. The service is targeted at a multicultural and millennial audience. The company says it will launch with more than 500 hours of original programming, comprising a mix of content that airs day-and-date with linear TV premieres on the company’s flagship Fuse cable channel, along with some free, ad-supported content.
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“As our research has shown, young consumers demand empowering content that is representative, inclusive and authentic,” Fuse Media CEO Miguel “Mike” Roggero said in announcing the launch. “Fuse Media is launching Fuse Plus as another step in serving this audience across all screens.”
Fuse Plus, in addition to previously announced availability on Apple TV and Amazon Fire TV, will also be available on the Roku platform, as well as iOS and Android mobile devices. The subscription VOD service costs $1.99/month or $19.99/year; free access is included as part of select cable or satellite TV packages.
In addition, Fuse announced a content deal with Amara La Negra, the Afro-Latina global star, musician, entrepreneur, author and activist. The first show to debut as part of the deal is “Don’t Cancel Me With Amara La Negra,” slated to premiere Dec. 1 on Fuse Plus and Fuse.
“Don’t Cancel Me With Amara La Negra” follows her into the streets of Miami to have honest conversations about topics including immigration, colorism, body image and LGBTQ+ rights. In each of the eight half-hour episodes, La Negra will sit down with a panel of personalities including local advocates and business owners.
“I’m beyond thrilled to be continuing to help the world continue to see the diversity and culture around them,” La Negra said in a statement. “‘Don’t Cancel Me’ represents important conversations we need to be having right now and I couldn’t be more excited about it!”
Roggero added, “Amara La Negra perfectly captures our brand’s point of view with her singular vision that thoughtfully pushes boundaries and challenges the norms of ‘what’s expected.’ Her contributions are important to the Fuse family and ‘Don’t Cancel Me’ will be a defining part of the future of Fuse Plus.”
Here’s a rundown of original series coming to Fuse Plus:
“Shine True” (premieres Sept. 14), in which mentors and role models help a nonbinary or trans person explore their inner identity and passions;
“Made From Scratch” (premieres Sept. 15), a “not-really-a-cooking-show” that goes beyond the recipe to serve up a candid look into the lives of artists as they prepare their most-loved childhood dishes with the family who knows them best;
“Sex Sells” (all episodes on Fuse Plus on Sept. 21), a show that celebrates sex-focused businesses from a female perspective; and
“The Canvas: Los Angeles” (premieres Oct. 6), profiling the unconventional journeys of some of L.A.’s most enigmatic up-and-coming visual artists.
“Like a Girl” (premieres 2022): Denise Jones, a vocal leader in the fight for gender equality in sports, hosts a multigenerational interview and competition series. In every episode, Jones will spend a day with a talented young, female athlete, including training and competing with some of the biggest athletes on the planet.
Additionally, Fuse Plus will showcase an independent and inclusive array of filmmakers and talent in front of and behind the camera, including:
“Fuse Films: The MisEducation of Bindu” (premieres Oct. 12): Follows a bullied Indian teen who forges her mother’s signature to test out of high school. When she discovers she must pay a test fee by the 7th period, she is left with no choice but to turn to the students she desperately wants to leave. Directed by Prarthana Mohan, the film stars Megan Suri, Gordon Winarick and David Arquette. The Duplass Brothers serve as executive producers.
“Fuse Films: Sam & Mattie Make a Zombie Movie” (premieres Oct. 26): Two best friends with Down syndrome rally an entire town to help them make a zombie film. With appearances from the documentary’s executive producer Peter Farrelly (“There’s Something About Mary,” “Dumb and Dumber”), Conan O’Brien and DJ Pauly D (MTV’s “Jersey Shore”).
“Fuse Docs: The All-Americans” (premieres Nov. 23): Home to the nation’s largest Latinx immigrant population, East Los Angeles sits squarely in the crossfire of debate about American identity. Yet every November, this community comes together for a distinctly American event, one of the country’s fiercest high school football rivalry games: The East L.A. Classic. “The All-Americans,” Executive produced by Becky G, follows four students seeking glory on the field, while grappling with personal obstacles and striving to make sense of their community’s place in today’s America.
“Fuse Docs: Inherent Good” (premieres Dec. 14): As an urgent response to swelling economic anxiety and wealth inequality in America, comedian Trae Crowder takes us on a journey to the South to explore a transformative idea of giving free cash to every citizen – no strings attached.
“Fuse Docs: The Third Strike” (premieres Jan. 18, 2022): Attorney MiAngel Cody leads a small – but mighty – team of women fighting to free people sentenced to life in prison for drugs and to end the brutal “Three Strikes” drug law that put them there.
“Fuse Films: Unsound” (premieres February 2022): A musician’s romantic spark is ignited by a deaf, emerging trans man as they work together to save his community nightclub for the deaf. Starring Reece Noi (“Game of Thrones”), Yiana Pandelis, Paula Duncan, Todd McKenney and Christine Anu.
Other shows on Fuse Plus include “Like, Share Dimelo,” an unfiltered talk series hosted by Latina comedians Dee Nasty (Darlene Demorizi) and Sasha Merci, and every episode of Fuse show including “Big Freedia: Queen of Bounce,” “Big Freedia Bounces Back” and “T-Pain’s School of Business.”
Fuse Media’s other new streaming brands — Fuse Backstage (music), Fuse Beat (Black and hip-hop culture) and Fuse Sweat (retro home fitness) — are each available within Fuse Plus as part of its free tier, along with select episodes of the above programming and the company’s library of original short-form content.
Last fall, Fuse Media was taken over in a management buyout led by Roggero, following its 2019 bankruptcy reorganization. In 2014, NuvoTV, an independent cabler that counted Jennifer Lopez among its investors, had acquired Fuse from MSG.
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