Fubo CEO David Gardner Credit: Fubo

Don’t count Fubo CEO David Gandler among those excited about the arrangement between Disney/ESPN, Fox, and Warner Bros. Discovery to form a joint sports streaming service.

Gandler, who also co-founded the streaming service, said on Friday’s Q4 2023 earnings call that the venture, which is expected to launch in late 2024, is an “attempt to monopolize the sports streaming industry and eliminate competition.”

Those comments aren’t too surprising considering Fubo filed an antitrust lawsuit against the three entities last week. In it, the streamer alleged that the companies have “engaged in a years-long campaign to block Fubo’s innovative sports-first streaming business resulting in significant harm to both Fubo and consumers.”

“Their proposed venture is, we believe, just the latest example of this sports cartel’s attempt to block and steal Fubo’s vision of what a sports-streaming bundle should look like, resulting in billions of dollars in damages to our business,” Gandler said on the call. “We consider the defendants’ pernicious contractual terms and other anticompetitive practices borderline racketeering.”

Garnder racketed up the rhetoric later in the call, saying “I think that this is a duel to the death. It has been when we started this company… We are fighting for the tens of billions of dollars that are wasted annually by consumers paying for the same content multiple times.”

He added a claim that Disney, Fox, and WBD were charging Fubo much higher programming fees than other distributors, and that had they received the same rates as Disney’s Hulu, Comcast, or Charter, they might have performed better financially.

“We are asking for an opportunity to compete fairly as a business, and to offer consumers a streaming option that gives them the channels they want, and at a fair price,” Gandler said.

According to their latest numbers, Fubo ended 2023 with 1.618 million North American paid subscribers, which was up 12 percent from the prior year.

Fubo isn’t the only entity out there upset about the joint venture. The NFL was reportedly “blindsided” by the news that several of their broadcasting partners were teaming up. WBD chief David Zaslav has tried to calm fears by saying they would be chasing cord-cutters and nevers instead of targeting current cable or streaming subscribers.


About Sean Keeley

Along with writing for Awful Announcing and The Comeback, Sean is the Editorial Strategy Director for Comeback Media. Previously, he created the Syracuse blog Troy Nunes Is An Absolute Magician and wrote 'How To Grow An Orange: The Right Way to Brainwash Your Child Into Rooting for Syracuse.' He has also written non-Syracuse-related things for SB Nation, Curbed, and other outlets. He currently lives in Seattle where he is complaining about bagels. Send tips/comments/complaints to sean@thecomeback.com.