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Fubo, Dish, DirecTV, Newsmax And Others Urge Congress To Investigate Sports Streaming JV

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Disney Fox WBS sports venture

Eight co-signers, including Fubo, Dish, DirecTV, and Newsmax, have sent a letter to Congressional leaders urging for an investigation into the impact the Disney-Fox-Warner Bros. Discovery sports streaming joint venture might have on consumers, and the pay-TV market in general.

Fubo, in particular, has repeatedly made its feelings about this joint venture clear, accusing Disney, Fox and Warner Bros. Discovery of running a ‘sports cartel and engaging in anti-competitive behaviors.

The letter, co-signed by Fubo, Dish Networks, DirecTV, Newsmax, Sports Fans Coalition, American Economic Liberties Project, Electronic Frontier Foundation and Open Markets Institute, builds on this suggestion. For example, arguing recent developments in the pay-TV market now “raise serious competition concerns that call for Congress’s immediate oversight.”

The letter also specifically mentions the sports streaming joint venture, “a streaming TV service that would control 80% of national live sports broadcasts” and “approximately 55% of all live sports.”

We cannot think of any scenario in the history of the United States where consumer interests have been served when such an important industry – here, access to live sports – is effectively controlled by three programming giants which decided to combine forces instead of competing against each other,” the letter reads.

The letter also accuses the three companies of engaging in “anticompetitive and inflationary contract restrictions on distributors” to ensure the JV’s streaming service doesn’t face any direct competition. Fubo and Warner Bros. Discovery recently failed to renew their content agreement, resulting in all of Warner Bros. Discovery’s available networks being removed from Fubo’s live TV packages.

With the letter predicting the joint venture will eventually hold “consumers captive,” the co-signers urge Congress and regulators to intervene now in a bid to protect consumers and ensure the future of pay TV remains competitive.

John Finn

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