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Fubo Sues Disney, Fox, and Warner Bros. Discovery Over Planned Sports Streamer

Live streamer Fubo is suing a handful of Hollywood studios over an impending sports-centric streaming platform. Tuesday, it was revealed the platform has filed suit against Disney, Fox, and Warner Bros. over the companies’ plans to combine its portfolio and offer it in a single streaming platform centered on sports. According to Fubo, which specializes in live-streaming sports, the new platform violates antitrust laws.

“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,” Fubo CEO David Gandler said in a statement.

He added, “By joining together to exclusively reserve the rights to distribute a specialized live sports package, we believe these corporations are erecting insurmountable 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.”

Fubo’s federal lawsuit comes just days after news broke suggesting the Justice Department was already looking into the new service. In a report from Bloomberg at the time, an anonymous source within the department said it was looking into potential antitrust violations.

As it stands, the combined streaming service is expected to include ESPN, ESPN2, ESPN+, ESPNU, SECN, ACCN, ESPNEWS, ABC, Fox, FS1, FS2, BTN, TNT, TBS, and TruTV. A name and price has yet to be unveiled for the platform.

The combined service also appears to be different from a new ESPN service announced during Disney’s latest earnings call. According to Disney chief Bob Iger, this new service will livestream ESPN.

“ESPN is a differentiator for this company, is the best sports brand and television, is one of the best sports brands in sports. It continues to create real value for us,” Iger said in 2023. “It is going through some obviously challenging times because of what’s happened in linear programming. But the brand of ESPN is very healthy, and the programming of ESPN is very healthy. We just have to figure out how to monetize it in a disrupting and continuing disrupting world. That’s it. We’re not engaged in any conversations right now, or considering, a spin-off of ESPN.”

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