Fubo Suing Disney, Fox, Warner Bros. Discovery Over Joint Sports Streaming App

Brit Tuttle

Fubo Suing Disney, Fox, Warner Bros. Discovery Over Joint Sports Streaming App

Fubo, a “sports-first” streaming service, has filed a lawsuit against Disney, Fox, and Warner Bros. Discovery over their previously announced plans to launch a sports streaming app, according to Variety.

Fubo Suing Disney & Co. Over Sports Streaming App

Fubo TV Logo
Image Source: Variety

In the suit filed today, Fubo alleges that Disney, Warner Bros. Discovery, Fox, and their affiliates have “engaged in a years-long campaign to block Fubo’s innovative sports-first streaming business resulting in significant harm to both Fubo and consumers.” Their complaint also alleges that the launch of the joint sports streaming service violates antitrust law and “steals Fubo’s playbook.”

Fubo seeks to block the joint streaming app or require restrictions on the studios in order to move forward with their plans, like “economic parity of licensing terms.” Fubo is also seeking monetary damages, but an amount is not specified in the complaint.

Fubo believes it has incurred billions of dollars in damages as a result of the Defendants’ actions.

Fubo in a statement to Variety

A representative for Disney declined to comment to Variety on the matter, and representatives for Fox and Warner Bros. Discovery did not respond to requests for comment.

Per Variety, Fubo alleges that the three media companies have “anticompetitive tactics to prevent Fubo from competing fairly in the marketplace, including unfair ‘bundling’ — by forcing Fubo to carry dozens of expensive non-sports channels that customers allegedly do not want ‘as a condition of licensing the Defendants’ sports channels.'”

In addition, Fubo claims that the three companies have restricted them from offering “compelling streaming products” that consumers would want, despite similar products being offered by other pay TV and streaming platforms, including Hulu.

Each of these companies has consistently engaged in anticompetitive practices that aim to monopolize the market, stifle any form of competition, create higher pricing for subscribers and cheat consumers from deserved choice.

By joining together to exclusively reserve the rights to distribute a specialized live sports package, we believe these corporations are erecting insurmounable barriers that will effectively block any new competitors from entering the market. This strategy ensures that consumers desiring a dedicated sports channel lineup are left with no alternative but to subscribe to the Defendants’ joint venture.

David Gandler, co-founder and CEO of Fubo.

Disney, Fox Corp., and Warner Bros. Discovery announced their plans for a joint sports streaming venture on February 6, 2024. The team-up would see Disney’s ESPN, Warner Bros.’ TNT, and Fox Sports together in one app. Each company is planned to own one-third of the service, which will have its own branding and management team.

It was planned to launch this fall, though it is unclear if this lawsuit will affect the rollout timeline.

Just a week before the announcement, Nelson Peltz suggested that Disney team up with Netflix for sports streaming. Previously, Disney CEO Bob Iger indicated that he was searching for a partner for ESPN, which saw a decrease in profits in 2023.

Source: Variety

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