Fuse, the youthful music television challenger to MTV, will be playing some classic licks next year.
The Cablevision-owned network has made a deal to televise live the annual Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony for three years beginning in April. The agreement with the Hall gives Fuse both the on-air and online rights to the event.
Fuse ranked only 68th among the 70 ad-supported cable networks in total audience during prime time during the fourth quarter, according to Nielsen. But its viewership has increased 37% from a year ago.
The network has been trying to build a following by becoming the official television outlet of several music festivals, including Lollapalooza, Bonnaroo and the Voodoo Experience. It also has begun airing reality shows, including “Redemption Song,” an “American Idol”-like contest for bad-girl musician with checkered pasts.
“Fuse’s partnership with the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame strengthens our reputation as the home of music on television,” said Fuse President Eric Sherman. “The Rock Hall is the preeminent institution for celebrating rock music, with the induction ceremony being famous for bringing together some of the most legendary names in music. Fuse is proud to bring all of the artists, performances and impromptu moments live to our viewers.”
Fuse’s first Hall of Fame telecast will originate from the Public Auditorium in Cleveland on April 4 at 8 p.m. Nominees for induction include Metallica, Run-DMC, Jeff Beck, the Stooges, Chic, Wanda Jackson, Little Anthony and the Imperials, War and Bobby Womack.
The Hall of Fame, founded in 1983, is located in Cleveland.
In 2010 and 2011, the Hall of Fame ceremonies will take place at the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel in New York.
“We are thrilled for Fuse to join us as our television and online partner, and look forward to working together to expand our audience and create even more magical moments that continue to recognize the legends of rock ’n’ roll and their impact on our lives and culture,” said Joel Peresman, president-CEO of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Foundation.
MTV cousin VH1 and its VH1 Classic offshoot have televised the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductions over the past decade.