Fox CEO Plans to Add Sports Content to Tubi
Tubi’s current sports offerings are slim, to say the least (unless, of course, movies like Most Vertical Primate 2 catch your eye). Fox CEO Lachlan Murdoch wants to change that. During his company’s Q2 2021 earnings call on Wednesday, Murdoch discussed adding sports channels to the platform.
“There’s a sports category,” he said, “which we’ll be launching sports channels soon, including the NFL Channel and some other sports.”
We’ll likely see a similar group of offerings that are found on Pluto TV, including the MLB Channel, NFL Channel, Major League Soccer, PGA Tour, Pac-12 Insider, Impact Wrestling, and others. We likely won’t see a Bellator MMA channel, as the mixed martial arts promotion is owned by ViacomCBS, though we may see additional stations revolving around college athletics, as Fox owns the broadcast rights to the Big 10, Big 12, and the Big East conferences.
Fox also holds an ace up its sleeve — the potential to air NFL games on Tubi. While Fox said it had “no plans,” to air NFL games on Tubi back in May of this year — say it with me now — never say never when it comes to streaming content, especially when competitors are streaming games on their own services in the coming years.
Tubi is a free video streaming service that includes on-demand access to 50,000+ 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.
Peacock will get exclusive national rights to stream six regular-season games, one per year from 2023-28. 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, and starting with the 2022 season, ESPN+ will stream one exclusive national game each year. Amazon Prime Video outbid Fox to grab the exclusive rights to “Thursday Night Football.” With so many different streaming options available outside of Fox’s sphere of influence, one might wonder if they won’t consider pulling the trigger on “NFL on Tubi” sooner rather than later.
Lately, Fox has wanted to capitalize on markets it hasn’t ventured to, such as the weather. Fox Weather will kick off during the third quarter of 2021, utilizing meteorologists and resources from Fox News and Fox television stations around the nation. It wouldn’t be out of the realm of possibility for Fox to level up its sports offerings, considering it’s had rights to many sports leagues for decades.