Fusion, the millennial-focused television network and online media property jointly owned by Walt Disney Co. and Univision, lost more than $64 million between 2012 and 2014, according to Univision financial statements. And things don’t seem to be getting any better.
On Thursday, Univision filed new documents, which showed that the broadcaster recognized a $17.8 million loss on its share of Fusion’s net losses during the first nine months of 2015. That’s nearly 50% higher than the $11.9 million loss on Fusion that Univision suffered during the first nine months of 2014.
Perhaps this helps explain recent reports that Disney
is looking to extricate itself from Fusion, which originally was conceived of as a media outlet for English-speaking Hispanics.
To be sure, losses and new media companies are often tied at the hip. But such companies usually are privately-held and funded by venture capitalists, which means the results are kept under wraps. Not so for Fusion, particularly with Univision being required to publish financial disclosures as its prepares for its (indefinitely delayed) IPO.
If there is a saving grace for Fusion, it may be that at least it isn’t El Rey, another youth-focused 24-hour cable network in which Univision partnered with filmmaker Robert Rodriguez and FactoryMade Ventures (led by former WME agent John Fogelman). Since 2013, Univision has recorded an equity method loss of nearly $118 million on El Rey, which provides general entertainment programming.