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Fox-owned Tubi touts over 200 free streaming channels

Tubi, a streaming service owned by Fox Corporation, offers over 200 linear content streams.
Tubi, a streaming service owned by Fox Corporation, offers over 200 linear content streams. (Graphic by The Desk)

Fox Corporation’s free, ad-supported service Tubi says it is now offering over 200 linear channels of content, with a handful of new channels joining the service within the last few weeks.

In a statement, an executive with Tubi said the company managed to build a roster of dozens of news, sports and general entertainment channels tailored to the broad interests of its app users.

“We’re excited to continue delivering a best-in-class streaming experience that combines our massive on-demand library with a large, ‘lean-back’ curation of linear channels,” Adam Lewinson, the chief content officer at Tubi, said on Tuesday.

For much of Tubi’s existence, the service was focused on offering a wealth of on-demand movies, TV shows and documentaries that were licensed from third parties. Things began to change in early 2020 after Fox acquired Tubi for $440 million, with the broadcast company injecting a heavy dose of its own programming like “The Masked Signer” and “Lego Masters” into the service.

Over time, Tubi has also built up an impressive list of linear streaming channels that allow users to access live national and local news, sports highlights and general entertainment. Only a handful of channels, like Fox Weather, LiveNow from Fox and Fox Sports, originate from Tubi’s parent company; the rest are licensed from other media brands, including NBC News (NBC News Now), the Walt Disney Company (ABC News Live), E.W. Scripps (Ion, Newsy, Grit Xtra, Bounce XL), Hearst Television and TEGNA.

In August, Fox executives said strong consumer interest in Tubi helped the company earn more than $3 billion in revenue. After adding dozens of live streams and over 45,000 TV shows and movies, Fox said Tubi cultivated an active monthly user base of 51 million.

Tubi competes with a handful of other prominent free, ad-supported streaming platforms in the domestic and international markets, including Paramount Global’s Pluto TV, the Roku Channel, Amazon’s Freevee and Comcast’s Xumo and Peacock.  Across these services, there exists some content overlap, with each licensing many of the same TV shows and movies from a handful of third-parties.

But few companies have been as aggressive as Tubi in landing lucrative deals with local broadcasters in order to provide local news streams through its platform. In addition to Fox-owned local news streams, Tubi also provides access to local news from Hearst Television, Cox Media Group, TEGNA and E.W. Scripps stations. By comparison, Pluto TV largely only carries local news from CBS stations that are owned by its parent company, while the Roku Channel and Peacock largely carry feeds from NBC-owned stations.

It is tough to know how these deals are impacting Tubi’s bottom line or its ability to generate new revenue, but it appears some users are still struggling to discover them: The majority of Tubi’s users appear to be watching on-demand content, according to a survey of consumers conducted by Interpret Research and cited by the industry news outlet Fierce Video. Only around 20 percent of streamers are regularly engaged with its linear channels, the research showed.

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About the Author:

Matthew Keys

Matthew Keys is the publisher of The Desk and reports on the business and policy matters involving the broadcast television, streaming video and radio industries. He previously worked for Thomson Reuters, Disney-ABC, Tribune Broadcasting and McNaughton Newspapers. Matthew is based in Northern California, has won numerous awards in the field of journalism, and is a member of IRE (Investigative Reporters and Editors).