Date set for Fubo case against ‘Spulu’ partners

A New York Federal court has set August 7 as the date for a preliminary injunction hearing on streamer Fubo’s case against sports streamer partners Disney, Warner Bros. Discovery and Fox.

Fubo has been vociferous in attacking the trio’s plan for a joint sports streamer, alleging that it is anti-competitive.

Disney, WBD and Fox have already suffered a setback in the case when a New York  court refused a motion of dismissal.

Fubo’s case against the partners focuses on plans to bundle linear sports channels.

The streaming JV is under pressure on a number of fronts.

DirectTV and DISH Network have lent their support to Fubo’s suit.

Last week two US Congressmen wrote to the bosses of Disney, Fox and Warner Bros. Discovery to ask a series of probing questions about the trio’s plans.

House Judiciary Committee Ranking Member Jerrold Nadler and Representative Joaquin Castro, both Democratic Party representatives, expressed concern about the potential impact of the JV, as yet unnamed but dubbed ‘Spulu’ by the press, on the pricing of sports content and the collective power of the three groups to negotiate content licensing deals with the likes of the NFL and NBA.

In the letter addressed to Disney CEO Bob iger, Fox chair and CEO Lachlan Murdoch and WBD CEO David Zaslav, the two Congressmen said that the planned JV “raises questions about how this new offering would affect access, competition, and choice in the sports streaming market”.

The pair then posed some 19 questions for the execs, including how many subscribers it is projected to have, whether it will distribute the channels of non-JV partners, , and how the partners will set the pricing of their own sports channels.

It had previously also been reported that the Department of Justice would probe the deal once its terms were finalized.

Fubo launched its suit against the partners in February, with CEO David Gandler subsequently charactersing the case as a “duel to the death”.

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