Murdoch’s Fox plans to launch a free Netflix competitor in the UK

Murdoch’s Fox plans to launch a free Netflix competitor in the UK

Rupert Murdoch’s Fox Corporation is making a strategic entry into the fiercely competitive ad-supported video streaming market in the UK with its platform Tubi. Tubi is set to challenge established players like Netflix, Disney+, ITVX, Channel 4’s streaming service, and BBC iPlayer.

In the United States, Tubi has rapidly gained ground, boasting nearly 80 million monthly active users, according to Fox. Now launching in the UK, Tubi plans to offer a diverse catalog of over 20,000 films and TV series, featuring content from major studios such as Disney, Lionsgate, NBCUniversal, and Sony Pictures Entertainment. The platform will also highlight a selection of British, Indian, and Nigerian content.

UK audiences will access Tubi through its dedicated webpage and a smartphone app. Anjali Sud, Tubi’s CEO, emphasized the platform’s decade-long refinement in providing extensive, free, and engaging streaming experiences in North America, now tailored for UK viewers.

Fox Corporation acquired Tubi for $440 million (£348 million) in 2020, aiming to capture younger demographics amid a dynamic streaming landscape. Competitors like Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, and Disney+ have responded to market pressures by introducing ad-supported models and adjusting subscription fees to bolster revenue and expand content libraries.

In March, Murdoch’s TalkTV network transitioned from a terrestrial television channel to an exclusive online platform after struggling to attract viewers in its linear format since its 2022 launch. Originally envisioned as a disruptive force in broadcasting, TalkTV aimed to provide a distinctive, opinion-led alternative to traditional media outlets, echoing Murdoch’s pioneering role in shaping the UK broadcasting industry with the launch of Sky in 1984.

Observers have drawn parallels between TalkTV and Murdoch’s earlier success with Sky, although 21st Century Fox ultimately sold its 39% stake in Sky to Comcast’s NBCUniversal in 2018, following a competitive bidding process.


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