Fubo Announces 'Streaming Joint Ventures Rarely Work' ... on the Same Day Hulu Reports 49.7 Million Subscribers

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With its stock price down more than 20% since Disney, Fox and Warner Bros. Discovery announced a new plan to bundle their linear sports networks in a live-streamed service, struggling virtual MVPD Fubo is playing a little defense. 

“We have already seen that a consortium born of historical competitors is a difficult undertaking, and streaming joint ventures rarely work,” Fubo said in a statement sent out Wednesday afternoon. 

The missive arrived in our email box less than an hour after Disney reported that Hulu, perhaps the most famous — and successful — streaming joint venture of all time, launched by historical competitors NBC and Fox back in 2008, had reached at the end of 2023 an all-time subscriber high of 49.7 million paid users. 

We get the competitive threat: Starting at $80 a month, Fubo has made the bundling of linear sports networks its calling card. And it certainly could be undermined by a streaming bundle with the same national sports channels running at half the monthly price. 

We sent an email response to Fubo asking for a few other examples of failed streaming JVs, and we're still waiting to hear back. 

Here's Fubo's full statement:

The recent announcement regarding the collaboration between Fox, Disney and Warner Bros. Discovery to introduce a sports-only streaming service has undoubtedly captured our attention. Fubo has consistently championed the principle of consumer choice and we're not surprised more sports streaming options are becoming available. We have already seen that a consortium born of historical competitors is a difficult undertaking, and streaming joint ventures rarely work. As well, we know sports-only programming is highly challenged.

Consumers have demonstrated that they want an aggregated sports, news and entertainment package differentiated by a quality product experience. This is what Fubo delivers. We have also continuously pushed the boundaries of live TV streaming with market-first features like 4K, multi viewing and AI products like our just-launched Instant Headlines. 

The underlying motives and implication of this joint venture also command our scrutiny. Every consumer in America should be concerned about the intent behind this joint venture and its impact on fair market competition. This joint venture spotlights a concerning trend where an alliance with significant market share, reportedly controlling 60-85% of all sports content, could dictate market terms in a manner that may not serve the broader interests of consumers.

We believe our robust programming and quality product experience cannot be duplicated by what is likely to emerge from this joint venture. 

Daniel Frankel

Daniel Frankel is the managing editor of Next TV, an internet publishing vertical focused on the business of video streaming. A Los Angeles-based writer and editor who has covered the media and technology industries for more than two decades, Daniel has worked on staff for publications including E! Online, Electronic Media, Mediaweek, Variety, paidContent and GigaOm. You can start living a healthier life with greater wealth and prosperity by following Daniel on Twitter today!