Fox Corp. is acquiring Tubi, the free, ad-supported streaming service, for $440 million in cash -- confirming earlier reports of a potential acquisition.
Fox says it will finance the Tubi purchase primarily from a sale of its stake in set-top-box/smart TV app Roku.
Other traditional TV/media companies have been active in buying free, ad-supported streaming platforms recently.
In February, Comcast Corp announced it was buying Xumo, another free, ad-supported streaming service. The deal was valued at $100 million, according to reports. In spring 2019, Xumo said it had 5.5 million monthly active users.
Viacom bought Pluto TV for $340 million in January 2019. Pluto has nearly 20 million subscribers. In December 2019, Tubi claimed to have 25 million users.
Fox says Tubi is available on more than 25 digital platforms in the U.S., with over 20,000 titles and 56,000 hours of film and television programming from 250+ content partners.
“Tubi will immediately expand our direct-to-consumer audience and capabilities and will provide our advertising partners with more opportunities to reach audiences at scale,” said Lachlan Murdoch, executive chairman-CEO of Fox Corp.
Fox says it plans to continue to run Tubi as an independent service offering licensed entertainment content.
What we don't hear much about is the actual ad revenues of Tubi and the other ad-supported, free services. Without that info it's hard to make sense of the purchase prices that are being cited.