Fox has held out on launching a direct to consumer subscription streaming service featuring live content from its networks, but that may change in the future.
Speaking during Fox’s earnings call on Tuesday, CEO Lachlan Murdoch said the company is “ready to go” when it comes to launching a service, but only will “when we deem that necessary or prudent.”
Here’s the relevant part of the transcript, via Seeking Alpha.
In terms of the, you know, so the cable universe and what we plan to do with news and sport, you know, going forward in terms of any sort of a direct-to-consumer or alternative kind of distribution strategy. You know, as I think we’ve said before, you know, we are ready to go. We have the technology in place. I think we have the, you know, the teams and the people in place to go D2C when we deem that necessary or prudent. But, you know, for the moment we continue to drive industry leading pricing out of the MVPD and DMVPD universes.
Murdoch also said that a direct-to-consumer service “will come eventually, as just one component of a broader distribution strategy.”
In addition to streaming content with an authenticated login through its various websites and apps, Fox operates the free ad-supported service Tubi and the subscription-based Fox Nation, but neither of those streams content from Fox’s cable networks.
Fox Sports CEO Eric Shanks has been somewhat pessimistic about a direct-to-consumer offering earlier this year, though he did say last year that Fox’s rights deals allowed the company to offer programming on a DTC service.
Murdoch’s comments are similar to those made last week by ESPN’s Jimmy Pitaro, who said the network would go direct-to-consumer “when it makes sense for our business and for our bottom line.”
Ultimately, this seems like a logical viewpoint from Murdoch. When Fox needs to launch a DTC service, it already has the infrastructure there and won’t have to build from the ground up. The company isn’t rushing to get it out the door, but when the time comes, Fox will be ready.