FOX Exec: Tubi Isn’t Good Fit for Major Live Sports Rights Deals
There has been much talk lately of the power of ad-supported video-on-demand (AVOD) services and what they can offer both customers and media companies. But according to FOX Corporation CFO Steve Tomsic, there are still definite limitations to what AVOD streamers, like FOX’s free service Tubi, can do.
“The Tubi model doesn’t support big, high-profile live rights,” he said. “But I think that those sort of rights continue to belong where they are right now for us.”
That means that live sports like the NFL and MLB that air on the FOX linear networks are going to stay there for the foreseeable future. Tomic definitely has a point when it comes to the business model of services like Tubi not supporting big sports rights deals. While Tubi’s main source of revenue is its advertisers, like the cable and broadcast networks that air games now, it is on a much smaller scale than those massive operations.
That doesn’t necessarily mean there will be no opportunities for more sports content on Tubi in the future. The service currently offers on-demand replays of World Cup matches, as well as a free ad-supported TV (FAST) channel with even more World Cup content. That type of content could certainly find its way onto Tubi in the future, even if the service doesn’t become home to live sporting events in the U.S.
Tubi recently reported having 1.3 billion hours streamed during the third quarter of 2022, a number that is likely to jump even higher thanks to its World Cup programming. The service expanded its international footprint to Latin America in August.
Tomsic also provided a glimpse of Tubi’s future at the conference, noting that he saw opportunities to further monetize the service, though he did not provide details as to what those efforts would entail. Tomsic pointed out the size of Tubi’s library — at over 48,000 on-demand titles — and suggested users should expect more original series on the service, though not shows that carry huge production costs.
Tubi is a free video streaming service that includes on-demand access to 45,000+ movies and television shows - more than any other streaming service. Its ad breaks are shorter and less frequent than most free services. Fox executives have called their service “TV on steroids.”
The service includes 55+ live news channels affiliated with NBC, FOX, Cox Media Group, Hearst, and Scripps. Local affiliates provide coverage in most major media markets.
Tubi’s programming includes films and television series from Fox Entertainment, MGM, Paramount Pictures, Lionsgate, Sony Pictures, Warner Bros., NBCUniversal, Disney, and more.