Fubo sees strong streaming growth and calls lawsuit over US sport streamer ‘duel to the death’

US sports streamer Fubo saw strong growth across revenue and subscribers at the end of 2023 despite its claims of anti-competitive practices imposed by rival companies — Disney, Warner Bros. Discovery (WBD) and Fox. 

fuboFubo reported it increased its subscribers by 12% year-over-year to 1.618 million and saw total revenue increase by 29% to $402 million in North America during the fourth quarter. The company’s advertising business also accumulated a total revenue of $144 million at the end of last year, up by 14%.

In an earnings call, David Gandler, founder and chief executive officer of Fubo, said ESPN, WBD and Fox’s plans to form a joint US sport streaming platform is an “attempt to block and steal Fubo’s vision of what a sports streaming bundle should look like”.

The streamer filed a lawsuit against ESPN’s parent company – The Walt Disney Company, Fox and WBD last month following its announcement of a joint venture. The company alleged the planned streamer by the trio which it describes as the “sports cartel” will destroy competition and inflate prices for consumers.

Commenting on the lawsuit, the Fubo boss it was a “duel to the death” to which it was fighting for consumers to have a choice.

“We are fighting for the tens of billions of dollars that are wasted annually by consumers paying for the same content multiple times. This is a very important process. We are sticking to our principles, to our guns, and we’re continuing to be able to chew gum and walk at the same time, as you can see from our numbers,” he said.

Gandler went on further to highlight Disney’s free carriage deal with Charter Communications where the cable operator provides ESPN+ to its customers, with Fubo’s offers repeatedly rejected by the media giant.

“We just want parity. Parity means that they don’t levy rates on us that are 30% to 50% above market. They don’t force us to license unwanted content to be able to access must-have programming, and they don’t impose on us penetration rates that are above market, along with some of these restrictions,” explained the chief.

According to reports, the planned US sport streamer is set to be investigated by the US Department of Justice with similar concerns that it could negatively impact consumers, sports leagues and rivals.

Fubo also reported it achieved year-over-year improvement in net loss of $71 million in Q4, compared to a net loss of $95.9 million in the further quarter of 2022.

In the Rest of World (ROW), Fubo delivered $8.4 million total revenue, up 18% year-over-year. However, paid subscribers fell by 3% year-over-year during the quarter to 406,000.

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