Fubo Drops Warner Bros. Discovery Networks, Including HGTV, Food Networks, Discovery

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Internet-TV provider Fubo dropped all Warner Bros. Discovery networks from its lineup, alleging that the media company was seeking “above-market rates” and refused to license Turner Sports networks separately.

In a statement Tuesday, Fubo said it attempted to renew its Discovery content agreement with WBD for networks including Discovery, HGTV, Food Network and TLC. The streamer also was seeking to license Warner Bros. Discovery’s Turner Sports networks, TNT, TBS and truTV. But Fubo said WBD would not negotiate in “good faith” and that as a Warner Bros. Discovery networks were pulled from Fubo as of April 30 at 5 p.m. ET.

“Fubo offered Warner Brothers Discovery market rates for its content and, despite Fubo’s efforts to negotiate in good faith, Warner Brothers Discovery did not provide any counteroffer, and insisted on continuing to offer us above-market rates for its content,” the streaming provider said in a statement. “Fubo views Warner Brothers 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 clear to us that Warner Bros. Discovery’s actions hurt consumer wallets and limit their choice,” Fubo said.

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In a statement, Warner Bros. Discovery said: “Our priority is to deliver the best content, at the best value, to our fans wherever they want to watch it. 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.” 

On July 1, 2020, Fubo dropped the legacy WarnerMedia suite of networks — TNT, TBS, CNN, CNN International, CNN en Español, HLN, Cartoon Network, Adult Swim, Turner Classic Movies, truTV and Boomerang — after the companies were unable to reach a renewal agreement.

According to Fubo, 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.”

In February, Fubo filed a federal lawsuit against Disney, Fox and WBD over the trio’s plans to launch a sports streaming bundle, alleging it violates antitrust laws.

“Warner Bros. Discovery’s refusal to offer Fubo standard market terms and packaging flexibility are more examples of the unfair and anticompetitive practices it and other vertically integrated media companies have imposed on Fubo for many years,” Fubo’s statement continued. “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.”

This post was originally published on Variety

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