Amid the now resolved dispute between YouTube TV and Disney, one of the landing places for many YouTube TV refugees was fuboTV. However, many noticed that while fuboTV had added Disney-owned channels like ABC, ESPN, Disney Channel last year, it was now missing WarnerMedia-owned networks like TNT and TBS which it dropped in June 2020.
For a sports fan, that was – and has become a bigger problem. While it previously meant you would miss a big chunk of the NBA and MLB playoffs, now it also means you’ll miss 50 NHL regular season games and half of the NHL playoffs (including the Stanley Cup Final next season).
But, it appears that things might be changing.
In a since deleted response by fuboTV CEO, David Gandler, to a tweet that commented on the fact that fubo is missing “a good chunk of the MLB & NBA playoffs,” – Gandler responded “more to come on this front!”
In March at the Deutsche Bank Conference, when asked about whether a sports service could be without March Madness – and whether TNT and TBS could return to the platform.
“Yes. There’s always potential. I mean we’re optimizing our bundles all the time. I think I’ve said even before we had ESPN, we would love to have every content provider because the more you have, the better. But there is a reality that this is supposed to be a relatively skinnier bundle,” said Gandler.
“96% of our users watch sports, so it allows us to amortize sports content in ways that other services can’t given the more of a general entertainment-type audience that they have. We’re having discussions all the time, and hopefully, there’s an opportunity to bring them back at some point.”
In reality, it certainly feels like a matter of when, not if, for WarnerMedia channels to return to fuboTV. A sports streaming service can’t be without three of the four major sports leagues’ postseason games.
Also, they may not have a choice, after Discovery and WarnerMedia merge. fuboTV reached a deal to carry Discovery channels in June 2019, meaning that it is likely up at some point this year. With the WarnerMedia/Discovery deal expected to close by the middle of the year, fuboTV’s next renewal with Discovery, may in fact require them to get the entire bundle of Warner Bros. Discovery channels including TNT and TBS.