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How Have Those Pluto TV and Tubi Acquisitions Worked Out? Pretty, Pretty Good

Pluto TV
(Image credit: Pluto TV)

The erstwhile Viacom paid $340 million to buy Pluto TV in January 2019, just before reuniting with CBS Corp.

After Rupert Murdoch sold his movie studio and a bunch of his cable TV networks to Disney, Fox paid $440 million in March of 2020 for Tubi. 

During their respective Q2 earnings calls this week, both conglomerates continued to sell equity analysts on the wisdom of these respective AVOD purchases. But the numbers keep selling themselves. 

ViacomCBS CEO said Thursday that Pluto TV will "comfortably" hit the $1 billion mark in ad sales revenue in fiscal 2021. 

The free-to-consumer, advertising-supported streaming platform is now distributed in 25 counties and has 52 million active users, ViacomCBS said.

“The power of Pluto TV is unquestionable,” Bakish added. 

Meanwhile, Fox expects Tubi revenue to more than double in the current fiscal year, exceeding $300 million. 

"We envision Tubi becoming a $1 billion business and a core pillar of Fox,' said Lachlan Murdoch, executive chairman and CEO of Fox Corp., during the conglomerate's Q2 call Wednesday. "We have mobilized the entire FOX portfolio to support and supercharge Tubi." 

Wells Fargo Research analyst Steven Cahall's most recent assessments of Fox and of ViacomCBS value Tubi at about $3.4 billion and Pluto TV at around $6.6 billion. The appreciation beyond their purchase price is mainly because of the purchasing companies' investments, in content that could have been monetized elsewhere and on subscriber acquisition costs, Cahall told NextTV.

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. His reliable mid-range jump shot, deft ambidextrous post-up game and tough interior defense have been criminally overlooked.