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Fubo TV cites cost in decision to drop A&E, History

The log of Fubo TV (Image: Fubo TV/Graphic: The Desk)

Sports-centric streaming service Fubo TV has dropped several pay television channels owned by A+E Networks, with the company saying the channels were too expensive to keep on its lineup.

The removal means Fubo TV’s subscribers will no longer be able to access A&E, FYI, History Channel, Lifetime, Lifetime Movie Network and Vice TV.

“It is always Fubo TV’s mission to offer a leading package of premium sports, news and entertainment programming, while also balancing value and keeping costs as low as possible for consumers,” a Fubo TV spokesperson said in a statement.

Fubo TV currently offers access to around 100 live pay television channels and sports-centric streams for $65 a month, with customers having the option to pay more if they want access to additional channels or features. The company said it has a robust lineup of general entertainment channels to complement its sports offerings, and customers who want to watch documentaries or reality TV can simply tune to another channel.

“With Fubo TV’s base package of [around 100] sports, news and entertainment channels, there is diverse content for everyone in the family to enjoy,” the spokesperson said.

Compared to other streaming services, Fubo TV is a relatively niche offering. The company focuses heavily on sports, and its decision to drop channels offered by A+E Networks comes as no surprise, since the programmer doesn’t offer live sports across any of its channels.

The move could pave the way for Fubo TV to sign a new distribution agreement with AT&T WarnerMedia, which programs CNN, the Cartoon Network, TBS, TNT. Those channels were removed from Fubo TV’s lineup in June 2020 after the streamer signed a wide-ranging distribution agreement with the Walt Disney Company for ESPN and other Disney-owned channels.

Since then, AT&T WarnerMedia has announced plans to begin offering live hockey games and other sports through its pay television channels — deals that may be too compelling for Fubo TV to ignore.

Fubo TV subscribers who want access to the A+E Networks may want to consider switching to Philo, a $25 a month service that offers live access to the channels in high definition. Another alternative is Dish Network-owned Sling TV, which costs $35 a month but includes some live sports.

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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).