Report: CBS Could Return to fuboTV Soon After Affiliate Board Endorses Carriage Proposal
The recent fuboTV-CBS drama could be coming to an end. NextTV is reporting that the CBS Affiliate Board has approved a new carriage proposal from Paramount Global that would return the channel to the live TV streaming service, as well as extend the carriage arrangement for the Eye Network and its local affiliates on Paramount+, Hulu + Live TV, and YouTube TV.
A dispute on carriage fees led to fuboTV having to remove local CBS affiliates in 160 markets across the United States in late January. Fubo users in those markets saw their CBS channel replaced by a national feed, which meant that they had to turn elsewhere for local news, sports, and other programming. According to Chris Ripley, CEO of Sinclair Broadcasting Group — which owns many of the affected local CBS stations— Paramount had negotiated a carriage contract that its affiliates felt they could not accept.
“The CBS Affiliate Board unanimously [believed] that the offer CBS presented at the broadcast stations meaningfully undervalued the important local content that our stations provide,” Ripley explained. “Fubo is also seemingly getting caught in the crossfire here, so to speak, as it’s our understanding that they were not given the opportunity to negotiate with us directly.”
That Affiliate Board is now satisfied, according to NextTV’s report, meaning that local stations still must choose whether or not to opt into the deal, but given that it has the endorsement of the CBS Affiliate Board, that feels much more like an eventuality than a possibility. No timetable was given by the report, but it’s likely users could see movement in the next few weeks or so. With CBS being one of the main broadcasters of the upcoming NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament, not being on the air, even if it is just for a fraction of customers, would not be ideal for local affiliates.
One of the biggest issues causing disputes like the CBS-Fubo dustup is the fact that virtual multi-channel video programming distributors (vMVPDs) — also known as live TV streaming services — are regulated differently than traditional cable and satellite companies. Broadcasters would like them to be regulated the same way, which would give affiliates the chance to negotiate with virtual providers like fuboTV and YouTube TV directly, instead of having to use the network as a middleman.
The same issue could be causing the current ABC-Hulu + Live TV dispute. Earlier this week it was confirmed by Hulu and Disney that users in 34 markets would no longer be getting their local ABC affiliate. Sinclair is once again at the center of the dispute, as it owns all 34 of those affiliates. Next TV reports that the dispute has cropped up because Sinclair is unsatisfied with the terms agreed to by ABC, and won’t allow the affiliates to opt into the deal.
Fubo users are likely hoping their local CBS affiliate gives the new carriage deal a thumbs up soon. The 2023 NCAA March Madness tournament starts Thursday, March 16, and although fuboTV does not carry the other three channels that will air games from the tourney (TNT, TBS, and truTV), having local CBS channels back will at least ensure Fubo users get the games most important to them this year.
Fubo is a live TV streaming service with about 90 channels for $74.99/month. This plan includes local channels, 25 of the top 35 cable channels, and regional sports networks (RSNs). In total, you should expect to pay about $85.98/month, after adding in their RSN Fee. Fubo was previously known as “fuboTV.”
The streaming service does not carry channels from WarnerMedia-owned (CNN, TBS, and TNT), A+E (A&E, History Channel, and Lifetime), and AMC Networks (AMC, BBC America, and WE tv).
Fubo is a great option for sports fans, especially those who want to stream local sports. They recently announced added Bally Sports RSNs to their channel lineup.
It is the least expensive option to get RSNs in many markets like Altitude, AT&T SportsNet Pittsburgh, AT&T SportsNet Rocky Mountain, AT&T SportsNet Southwest, Bally Sports Arizona, Bally Sports Carolinas, Bally Sports Detroit, Bally Sports Florida, Bally Sports Great Lakes, Bally Sports Indiana, Bally Sports Kansas City, Bally Sports Midwest, Bally Sports New Orleans, Bally Sports North, Bally Sports Ohio, Bally Sports Oklahoma, Bally Sports San Diego, Bally Sports SoCal, Bally Sports South, Bally Sports Southeast, Bally Sports Southwest, Bally Sports Sun, Bally Sports Tennessee, Bally Sports West, Bally Sports Wisconsin, Fox Sports Arizona, Fox Sports Carolinas, Fox Sports Detroit, Fox Sports Florida, Fox Sports Indiana, Fox Sports Kansas City, Fox Sports Midwest, Fox Sports New Orleans, Fox Sports North, Fox Sports Ohio, Fox Sports Oklahoma, Fox Sports Prime Ticket, Fox Sports San Diego, Fox Sports South, Fox Sports Southeast, Fox Sports Southwest, Fox Sports Sun, Fox Sports Tennessee, Fox Sports West, Fox Sports Wisconsin, Marquee Sports Network, MSG, MSG Sportsnet, NBC Sports Bay Area, NBC Sports Boston, NBC Sports California, NBC Sports Chicago, NBC Sports Northwest, NBC Sports Philadelphia, NBC Sports Philadelphia+, NBC Sports Washington, NBC Sports Washington+, NESN, Root Sports Northwest, and SportsNet NY.
Fubo also includes MLB Network, NBA TV, NFL Network, NFL RedZone , NHL Network, and beIN Sports (which is not available on most services). You can add Fox Soccer Plus as part of the International Sports Plus add-on for $6/month.
You can add the fubo Extra ($8) to add ~39 channels including Baby TV, Cooking Channel, DIY, and GSN.