FuboTV Takes Legal Action Against Media Giants

FuboTV Takes Legal Action Against Media Giants

News by Roberto Orosa
Published: February 21, 2024

Live TV streaming service FuboTV has taken legal action against entertainment giants Disney, Fox and Warner Bros. Discovery, alleging anticompetitive behavior over the years.

The legal action, lodged in the federal court in the Southern District of New York, additionally lists ESPN and Hulu as defendants in the case.

What Is FuboTV's Lawsuit About?

According to court documents, FuboTV is accusing the media conglomerates of stifling competition in the sports-focused streaming market.

In the lawsuit, FuboTV asserts, "Instead of competition, Defendants have chosen collusion — giving their own cartel, and no one else, the ability to market and sell a live-sports-centric package."

"They have thus ensured that their combined entity will not face effective competition. They are now harming, and threaten further harm, to United States competition and consumers."

Additionally, the television service contends that the media companies have coerced them into accepting bundling requirements and have imposed licensing fees above market rates.

This has allegedly led to higher prices for consumers and hindered FuboTV's growth.

The lawsuit seeks a permanent injunction to halt the companies' joint venture operations and demands the companies to end the three-way partnership.

Behind the Super Sports Streaming App

The joint venture announced this month by Fox, Disney and Warner Bros. Discovery, aimed to launch a direct-to-consumer streaming app, has stirred controversy.

Once functional, the app would grant access to sports broadcasts across 14 combined linear channels owned by the companies. Each of the three companies will possess an equal one-third ownership interest in the venture.

"We believe the service will provide passionate fans outside of the traditional bundle an array of amazing sports content all in one place," Fox CEO Lachlan Murdoch shared in a statement.

However, FuboTV alleges that this partnership will "substantially lessen and soften competition" by enabling collusion between the companies in controlling access to critical sports content.

"With the JV, Defendants have aligned their interests and will have the opportunity and incentive to collude when it comes to licensing must-have sports content to third-party distributors," the lawsuit concluded.

The joint venture has significant implications for the sports television landscape, with Disney, Fox and Warner Bros. Discovery collectively holding the rights to NBA, NHL, NFL, MLB and NCAA Tournament games, among others.

Editing by Katherine 'Makkie' Maclang

Subscribe to Spotlight Newsletter
Subscribe to our newsletter to get the latest industry news