Lawsuit Filed by FuboTV Against Disney, Fox, Warner Bros. Over Sports Partnership

FuboTV, the sports streaming platform, has initiated legal action against Disney, Fox, and Warner Bros. Discovery following their joint venture announcement, asserting what it deems as “extreme suppression of competition in the U.S. sports-focused streaming market,” as per a lawsuit obtained by CNBC.

The recently unveiled joint venture aims to introduce a fresh avenue for accessing premier live sports content, scheduled to debut this autumn. However, uncertainties linger regarding its pricing and framework.

Joint venture aims to reshape sports streaming
The joint venture aims to reshape sports streaming, raising concerns about monopolistic practices.

In the complaint, FuboTV accuses these entities of collusion to establish a joint venture that could detrimentally impact competition and consumers. The lawsuit also implicates Disney-owned ESPN and Hulu as defendants.

David Gandler, CEO of FuboTV, remarked, “Each of these companies has consistently engaged in anti-competitive practices that aim to monopolize the market, stifle any form of competition, create higher pricing for subscribers, and cheat consumers from deserved choice.”

He believes the exclusive reservation of rights for distributing specialized live sports content erects formidable barriers to new market entrants.

Analyst predicts antitrust challenges as major distributors
Analyst predicts antitrust challenges as major distributors fear the impact on cable TV subscriptions.

FuboTV alleges that Disney, Fox, and Warner Bros., holding a substantial share of live sports content in the U.S., imposed bundling requirements and demanded “significantly above-market licensing fees,” thereby inflating consumer prices.

The lawsuit contends that the new joint venture enables these media conglomerates to undercut prices and circumvent channel restrictions, granting them a competitive advantage.

Even within the traditional pay-TV sector, the joint venture has stirred concerns among major distributors, who fear it could lead to an increase in cable TV cancellations, according to CNBC’s Alex Sherman. Analyst Craig Moffett of MoffettNathanson predicted potential antitrust challenges in response to the venture.

Sajda Parveen
Sajda Parveen
Sajda Praveen is a market expert. She has over 6 years of experience in the field and she shares her expertise with readers. You can reach out to her at [email protected]
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