Fubo Sports Streaming Platform Cuts Ties With Warner Bros. Discovery, Citing ‘Abuse of Massive Market Power’

The media company accuses WBD of refusing “to engage in good faith negotiations”

Fubo, Warner Bros. Discovery

Fubo cut ties with Warner Bros. Discovery on Tuesday after renewal negotiations for their partnership fell through.

The sports streaming platform cited the David Zaslav-led media conglomerate’s “abuse of massive market power” and refusal to “engage in good faith negotiations” as cause for the decision.

“Fubo offered Warner Bros. Discovery market rates for its content and, despite Fubo’s efforts to negotiate in good faith, Warner Bros. Discovery did not provide any counteroffer and insisted on continuing to offer us above-market rates for its content,” the company said in a statement obtained by TheWrap.

“Fubo views Warner Bros. Discovery’s refusal to engage in good faith negotiations as another example of its abuse of massive market power that ultimately limits consumer choice. It is always Fubo’s mission to offer a leading package of premium sports, news and entertainment content while also providing value and keeping costs as low as possible for consumers.”

The sports streamer and WBD were in negotiations to renew their content agreement with WBD networks Discovery, HGTV, Food Network and TLC in addition to getting license rights for TNT, TBS and truTV.

“It is clear to us that Warner Bros. Discovery’s actions hurt consumer wallets and limit their choice,” Fubo said, concluding that WBD networks were removed from Fubo on Tuesday at 5 p.m. ET as a result.

“Warner Bros. Discovery has also denied our customers the choice of subscribing to their Turner sports content separately from Discovery content through a more affordable skinny sports bundle. Yet Warner Bros. Discovery has announced that it plans to make this must-have content available in its forthcoming sports streaming joint venture with The Walt Disney Company and FOX Corp,” the statement continued. “Warner Bros. Discovery’s refusal to offer Fubo standard market terms and packaging flexibility are more examples of the unfair and anti-competitive practices it and other vertically integrated media companies have imposed on Fubo for many years. These practices, outlined in our recent antitrust lawsuit filed against the joint venture companies, aim to monopolize the market, stifle any form of competition, create higher pricing for subscribers and cheat consumers from deserved choice. Fubo is taking action against these unfair market terms to avoid passing on these extra costs to consumers.”

In a statement of their own obtained by TheWrap, Warner Bros. Discovery said they are “ready and willing” to continue negotiations with Fubo “to reach a fair market agreement.”

“Our priority is to deliver the best content, at the best value, to our fans wherever they want to watch it,” the WBD statement said. “We have been and remain ready and willing to work diligently with Fubo to reach a fair market agreement. We proposed an extension of our current agreement, with no changes or price increases, that would allow Fubo to continue carrying these networks, and it is unfortunate that Fubo has decided to alienate their own customers in this way. “

Fubo dissolved its negotiations with WBD after a preliminary injunction hearing was set for Aug. 9 over its legal claims against Fox, Disney and WBD. The sports streamer filed an antitrust lawsuit in February arguing the companies “leveraged their iron grip on sports content to extract billions of dollars in supra-competitive profits.” DirecTV and Dish followed by backing Fubo’s claims.


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