Fubo CEO Calls Disney, Fox, Warner Bros. ‘Sports Cartel,’ Says Lawsuit Over Joint Sports App is ‘A Duel to the Death’

Brit Tuttle

Fubo CEO Calls Disney, Fox, Warner Bros. ‘Sports Cartel,’ Says Lawsuit Over Joint Sports App is ‘A Duel to the Death’

Fubo CEO David Gandler has blasted the bundled sports app announced by Disney, Fox, and Warner Bros. Discovery, calling the companies a “sports cartel” participating in “borderline racketeering,” according to Deadline.

Fubo CEO Calls Out Disney, Fox, Warner Bros.

The logo for Fubo TV

The comments were shared during a conference call discussing the company’s fourth-quarter results. Fubo reached 1.62 million paid subscribers, bringing a 29 percent gain in revenue to $402 million. The company has yet to reach profitability, but executives pledge to be free cash flow positive by next year.

Last month, Fubo filed a lawsuit against Disney, Fox, and Warner Bros. Discovery over their joint sports app. When speaking on this during the call, Gandler said that Fubo could have turned a profit last year if not for “anti-competitive” practices by distributors, who he claimed forced Fubo to pay higher rates to carry less-desired programming in order to access sports.

When asked by a Wall Street analyst if this legal fight is “to the death” or if Fubo will relent, Gandler said,

This is a duel to the death. It has been when we started this company. We’re fighting for consumers. We’re fighting for our customers. We’re fighting for the tens of billions of dollras that are wasted annually on consumers paying for the same content multiple times. This is a very important process. We are sticking to our principles, to our guns. We are continuing to walk and chew gum at the same time, as you see in our numbers.

David Gandler, CEO of Fubo

Gandler called the joint sports app “just the latest example of the sports cartel’s attempt to block and steal Fubo’s vision of what a sports streaming bundle should look like, resulting in billions of dollars of damages to our business.”

“We’ve been competing with these very large companies for nine years now,” said Gandler when asked how Fubo will continue to reach carriage deals after suing Disney, Fox, and Warner Bros. Discovery. “We have an overwhelming amount of evidence from all these years that demonstrates anti-competitive patterns that we’ve been dealing with […] We just want parity.”

The logo for ESPN

Disney, Fox, and Warner Bros. Discovery announced their plans for a joint streaming service in early February 2024. The team-up would involve Disney’s ESPN, Warner Bros.’ TNT, and Fox Sports, all together in one app. Each company would own one-third of the service, which will sport its own branding and management team.

The joint venture was planned to launch this fall, though it is unclear if the timeline will change due to the lawsuit.

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