Fox Corp CEO Lachlan Murdoch is more than pleased that CNN is getting into the streaming game with the forthcoming launch of CNN+. His reasoning? It proves they were ahead of the game with Fox Nation, which debuted back in 2018.
“When someone copies you it’s the best form of flattery,” Murdoch said Wednesday during the company’s earnings call. “We don’t see CNN launching into that space as anything other than affirming of our strategy and what we’re doing.”
CNN will launch its streaming service, CNN+, in the first quarter of 2022. The move into streaming is highly anticipated given CNN has lagged behind competitors Fox News — which has three different streamers — and MSNBC in this space. The launch of CNN+ comes after the company’s previous big digital venture, Great Big Story, folded last fall.
Murdoch devoted a lot of time to Fox Corp’s streaming ambitions during the call. Aside from needling CNN about copying their strategy with Fox Nation, Murdoch touted the performance of Tubi, it’s general entertainment ad-supported free service.
Murdoch said that Tubi’s viewers “are in large part exclusive to Tubi,” and added that they “tripled” its revenue during the upfront sales period. Tubi’s improvement was among the reasons cited for the company’s overall 38% growth in ad revenue.
Tubi will expand into original content this fall, but Murdoch was adamant that it would not get into the high-priced premium content game that other streamers like Netflix and Disney+ are playing.
At the outset, Tubi will feature more than 140 hours of original content, dubbed “Tubi Originals.” It will consist of feature-length documentaries from Fox Alternative Entertainment, Animated titles from Bento Box and “premium independent-minded” titles across across the Black Cinema, thriller, horror, sci-fi, romance and western genres.
Murdoch also said that Fox Nation had its best quarter in terms of new subscribers but stopped short of revealing numbers on how many people are paying for the Fox News-branded streaming service.