It seems that the sale of FOX owned FX, FXX, FXM, and National Geographic to Disney has caught up with fuboTV. Earlier today fuboTV dropped the now Disney owned networks FX, FXX, FXM, and National Geographic.
Update: BabyTV has also been dropped from fuboTV.
Update #2: fuboTV has sent Cord Cutters News the following statement:
In 2019, Fox divested its entertainment channels, which were purchased by Disney. As of January 1, 2020, these networks have left fuboTV. Over the last 18 months, fuboTV has added dozens of entertainment networks to its base package, including leading channels from AMC Networks, Turner, Viacom and Discovery. fuboTV remains a leading platform for the best movies and TV shows across every genre – from comedy and drama to nature and reality – both live and on demand.
Disney often requires services to carry all of their networks if they want someone of them. It seems the fact that fuboTV does not offer ESPN means they can’t also have FX, FXX, FXM, and National Geographic.
Recently fuboTV has once again officially commented on why ESPN is not included in a statement posted on Reddit. They go into detail not only about why they don’t have ESPN but also on their relationship with Disney. Here is what fuboTV staffer had to say about ESPN on Reddit:
Hi everyone – considering ESPN has become a central subject in this thread, I figured we should take a moment to address it.
As a member of the fuboTV team, I can tell you this: we would love to add ESPN to the bundle, and we have had many discussions with Disney over the years. In fact, Disney is a fuboTV investor (through its acquisition of 21st Century Fox assets) and sits on our board.
However, as many of you know, neither fuboTV nor any other distributor is able to license “just ESPN” from Disney, instead, distributors are required to license the “Disney bundle”. There is no way around this. As such, we aught make the difficult decision of building a channel lineup that is both differentiated and affordable to consumers. If you look up the cost of the Disney bundle as estimated by SNL Kagan, you’ll see it runs for +$16 per subscriber, which would require fuboTV to revisit bundle pricing. Additionally, it’d come with high penetration requirements, which would limit our ability to offer a differentiated offer for different consumer cohorts.
With all that said, we know ESPN is important to many consumers, so I would not dismiss the possibility of Disney/ESPN coming to the lineup in the future. However, there are many implications around cost/pricing that ought to be considered.
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