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Fox Says ‘No Plans’ to Stream NFL on Tubi

Ben Bowman

In today’s earnings call, Fox executives threw cold water on the notion that they would ever stream an NFL game on its ad-supported streaming platform, Tubi.

Fox Executive Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Lachlan Murdoch said, “We are very mindful of the exclusive value of live NFL on broadcast television, and we’re very mindful of the value that attributes to our O&Os (owned-and-operated stations) and our affiliates. So we don’t have a streaming service behind a paywall where we would currently put a simulcast, and we have no plans to do so.”

This makes Fox and Tubi an outlier in the football universe.

Comcast plans to leverage their NFL deal with its streaming platform. Peacock will get exclusive national rights to stream six regular-season games, one per year from 2023-28. Peacock will also launch a virtual NFL channel highlighting classic games and content from NFL Films.

Paramount+ will stream local CBS games to customers on both their ad-supported and ad-free tiers.

ESPN+ will air one international game and can simulcast Monday Night Football games that air on ESPN/ABC. Starting with the 2022 season, ESPN+ will stream one exclusive national game each year.

And Amazon Prime Video outbid Fox to grab exclusive rights to Thursday Night Football. Murdoch explained that Fox calculated that Thursday Night only added a small boost to their retransmission fees beyond what they already get from the Sunday afternoon package.

This is not to say you might not see Fox’s NFL broadcasts appearing in some other form in the future. Murdoch said Fox was careful to make sure it had the flexibility to monetize its NFL rights in different ways in the future, though he said he couldn’t predict how that might manifest over the terms of the deal.

Just two days ago, Amazon announced it would get its hands on Thursday Night Football starting with the 2022 season. The other NFL rights agreements run for 10 years, starting with the 2023 season.

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