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Tubi Officially Joins the Sports TV Biz as Part of Fox’s New NFL Deal

If an NFC Championship game winds up streaming on Tubi, can Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers win it? (Image credit: National Football League)

The NFL and its TV partners formally announced the culmination of their recent extension talks Thursday, negotiations that resulted in a total multi-year licensing payday of more than $100 billion for the league. 

Amazon’s takeover of an expanded Thursday Night Football franchise starting in 2023, which had been expected, captured the narrative of a National Football League that recognizes its audience is moving from linear to streaming channels. Meanwhile, ViacomCBS and NBCUniversal said pro football games would find their ways onto Paramount Plus and Peacock, respectively, over the life of the new contracts. 

Read Next TV’s broader coverage of the new NFL TV rights extensions here.

More quietly, as part of its agreement to extend its 27-year relationship with the NFL through the 2033 season, Fox said that its ad-supported VOD service, Tubi, will become one of its destination platforms for NFL content. 

This will include streams of condensed game reruns, was well as various VOD components of league coverage, Fox said.

Tubi’s inclusion in Fox’s announcement today wasn’t wholly surprising, either. Last week,  Fox CFO Steve Tomsic, speaking at Deutsche Bank’s Media, Internet & Telecom Conference, said, “I can see a world where you would experiment with sports to drive sampling of Tubi and drive the brand of Tubi, and maybe some of the second- and third-tier sports could find a home if the economics worked with Tubi to drive that.”

He added, however, “I think it’s a reasonable distance away before you’d see sort of the core home of any of our major sports on Tubi.”

The distance turned out to be not so reasonable.

Earlier this week, Fox announced that Tubi would soon have a major sponsorship presence in NASCAR, entering an agreement to festoon the Tubi name onto the Chevrolets of Chip Ganassi Racing team members Ross Chastain and Kurt Busch. 

Tomsic also said that Fox expects Tubi to generate $300 million in ad revenue in 2021. The conglomerate paid $440 million for the startup last year.