Disney, Fox And Warner Bros. Discovery Are A “Sports Cartel” Engaging In “Borderline Racketeering”, Fubo CEO David Gandler Charges: “This Is A Duel To The Death”

Fubo CEO David Gandler blasted away again at a planned sports bundle backed by Disney, Fox and Warner Bros. Discovery, calling the companies a “sports cartel” engaging in “borderline racketeering.”

His comments came during a conference call with Wall Street analysts to discuss fourth-quarter results. Fubo posted strong numbers in the quarter, including 1.62 million paid subscribers (up 12% from a year ago) and a 29% gain in revenue to $402 million. The company is not yet profitable, but narrowed its losses to $71 million from $96 million in the year-ago period. Execs have pledged to be free cash flow positive by 2025, though achieving that objective despite taking on three Goliaths in court was a topic that dominated the earnings call.

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Fubo filed a lawsuit last month after the Disney/Fox/WBD joint venture was announced, so Gandler’s commentary was rooted in the language of the complaint. He said the company would have been able to turn a profit in 2023 if not for “anti-competitive” practices by distributors, who he said had forced Fubo to pay higher rates to carry less-desirable programming in order to gain access to sports.

Asked by one analyst if the legal fight is “to the death” or whether Fubo might relent given the legal costs and competitive pressure, Gandler replied, “This is a duel to the death. It has been when we started this company. We’re fighting for consumers. We’re fighting for our customers. We’re fighting for the tens of billions of dollars that are wasted annually on consumers paying for the same content multiple times. This is a very important process. We are sticking to our principles, to our guns. We are continuing to walk and chew gum at the same time, as you see in our numbers.”

The bundle announcement, Gandler said in prepared remarks at the top of the call, “is just the latest example of the 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 of damages to our business.”

Asked about how the company will continue to reach carriage deals even after suing large suppliers, Gandler said, “We’ve been competing with these very large companies for nine years now. We have an overwhelming amount of evidence from all these years that demonstrates anti-competitive patterns that we’ve been dealing with. … We just want parity.”

Asked what will happen if the courts opt not to hear the case, or antitrust regulators decline to take action, Gandler said, “Things will remain status quo. … As you’ve seen from 11 out of 12 quarters, we’re continuing to fight the good fight.”

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