Fubo pressured by ESPN, Fox, WBD deal
February 8, 2024
Fubo has seen its stock price dump more than 20 per cent since Disney, Fox and Warner Bros Discovery announced their JV plan to bundle their linear sports networks in a live-streamed service.
“We have already seen that a consortium born of historical competitors is a difficult undertaking, and streaming joint ventures rarely work,” Fubo said.
The statement came, somewhat ironically, as Disney reported that Hulu, launched by historical competitors NBC and Fox in 2008, had reached at the end of 2023 an all-time subscriber high of 49.7 million paid users.
Fubo has made the bundling of linear sports networks its main seller, and it could be undermined by a streaming bundle with the same national sports channels running at half the monthly price.
The Fubo statement on the deal in full: “The recent announcement regarding the collaboration between Fox, Disney and Warner Bros. Discovery to introduce a sports-only streaming service has undoubtedly captured our attention. Fubo has consistently championed the principle of consumer choice and we’re not surprised more sports streaming options are becoming available. We have already seen that a consortium born of historical competitors is a difficult undertaking, and streaming joint ventures rarely work. As well, we know sports-only programming is highly challenged.
Consumers have demonstrated that they want an aggregated sports, news and entertainment package differentiated by a quality product experience. This is what Fubo delivers. We have also continuously pushed the boundaries of live TV streaming with market-first features like 4K, multi viewing and AI products like our just-launched Instant Headlines.
The underlying motives and implication of this joint venture also command our scrutiny. Every consumer in America should be concerned about the intent behind this joint venture and its impact on fair market competition. This joint venture spotlights a concerning trend where an alliance with significant market share, reportedly controlling 60-85 per cent of all sports content, could dictate market terms in a manner that may not serve the broader interests of consumers.
We believe our robust programming and quality product experience cannot be duplicated by what is likely to emerge from this joint venture.”