Advanced Television

Fubo loses WBD channels

May 1, 2024

Fubo, the sports-first live TV streaming platform, has failed to renew its content agreement with Warner Bros Discovery (WBD) for networks including Discovery, HGTV, Food Network and TLC, among others, and to obtain licence rights for its Turner sports networks TNT, TBS and truTV.

Fubo said offered WBD market rates for its content and, despite Fubo’s efforts to negotiate in “good faith”, WBD did not provide any counteroffer, and insisted on continuing an offer that Fubo considered “above-market rates for its content”. Fubo said that it views WBD’s refusal to engage in negotiations as “another example of its abuse of massive market power that ultimately limits consumer choice”.

Fubo’s statement added: “It is always Fubo’s mission to offer a leading package of premium sports, news and entertainment content while also providing value and keeping costs as low as possible for consumers. Warner Bros Discovery has also denied our customers the choice of subscribing to their Turner sports content separately from Discovery content through a more affordable skinny sports bundle. Yet Warner Bros Discovery has announced that it plans to make this must-have content available in its forthcoming sports streaming joint venture with The Walt Disney Company and Fox Corp.

“Warner Bros Discovery’s refusal to offer Fubo standard market terms and packaging flexibility are more examples of the unfair and anti-competitive practices it and other vertically integrated media companies have imposed on Fubo for many years. These practices, outlined in our recent antitrust lawsuit filed against the joint venture companies, aim to monopolise the market, stifle any form of competition, create higher pricing for subscribers and cheat consumers from deserved choice. Fubo is taking action against these unfair market terms to avoid passing on these extra costs to consumers. It is clear to us that Warner Bros. Discovery’s actions hurt consumer wallets and limit their choice,” added the statement.

Responding to Fubo, in a statement provided to Deadline, WBD said: “Our priority is to deliver the best content, at the best value, to our fans wherever they want to watch it. We have been and remain ready and willing to work diligently with Fubo to reach a fair market agreement. We proposed an extension of our current agreement, with no changes or price increases, that would allow Fubo to continue carrying these networks, and it is unfortunate that Fubo has decided to alienate their own customers in this way.”

WBD networks left Fubo as of April 30th at 5pm ET.

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