While various streaming services are investing in live sports to attract audiences, Tubi will remain firmly on the sidelines.
FOX CEO Lachlan Murdoch said he “doesn’t envision any significant live sports on Tubi in the near or even long-term future.”
Murdoch spoke on the company’s fiscal first-quarter earnings conference call, where he also revealed that Tubi had hit 70 million monthly active users in September, with total view time in the period rising 65% from a year ago.
His comments come as a raft of services bulk up their live sports offering, from Max offering the same games that it broadcasts on TBS and TNT through its Bleacher Report sports add-on, Apple TV offering MLB and MLS games, YouTube TV offering Sunday Ticket, Peacock touting the most live sports out of any subscription streaming service, and Amazon Prime Video carrying Thursday Night Football games.
Tubi stands apart from some of those other services because it’s a free, ad-supported service with a mix of live channels and videos on demand. But from a viewership perspective, it’s among the top players, having a larger audience than Max, Peacock, or Paramount+ in September, according to Nielsen.
That free service means there’s less incentive to put live sports, which are costly to carry and likely would require additional deals. While other media companies are keen to move more content to its direct-to-consumer streaming services, FOX is sticking with the traditional cable model.
“We are not interested in moving premium content away from our cable distribution partner,” he said. “That would be a mistake for us and for them.”
Murdoch added he sees Tubi as the future of how audiences engages with the company’s entertainment content.
In the fiscal first quarter, Fox reported net income of $407 million, or 82 cents a share, compared with a year-earlier profit of $605 million, or $1.10 a share. Revenue rose slightly to $3.21 billion from $3.19 billion a year ago.