FOX might have sold its legacy studio assets to Disney and found its way out of Hulu. But that does not mean that it has exited the TV business. It has in fact pivoted to the next frontier of TV. Streaming. More exactly it is growing its presence in free ad-supported streaming. Tubi which started off as an independent streaming service with ad-supported on-demand content was purchased by FOX as interest in free streaming began to grow. And it immediately began to build up the content by placing FOX programming like the Masked Singer on the service and providing users with another option to the FOX apps for other popular programming. But while other companies like ViacomCBS and Comcast were pushing hybrid streaming services that featured on-demand content and curated/live tv options, Tubi stood pat as a strictly on-demand service.
That has been changing over time as Tubi began to integrate local news channels over a year ago. The options allowed people in many major markets to find their local news team broadcasts through Tubi. But recently Tubi has taken it to a whole new level by introducing a “live” TV section to its menu. Like other services that push Live TV as a feature, the channel selections are built on a combination of digital-first services like Chedder News and curated channels built on library content from partner vendors. Tubi recently for instance made waves by introducing multiple sports channels to its growing lineup including a FOX Sports channel where viewers can catch up on popular shows from the network and an NFL channel dedicated to NFL content. Soccer fans should stay tuned as the streamer is slated to be home to multiple live upcoming games. The service promises timely highlights of the league’s regular-season contests which could come in handy for those who want to see the scores and big hits more than sit through full games.
The combination of both true live TV and curated content supported by commercials gives viewers more of a traditional TV viewing experience. At the moment users can not launch directly into a viewing grid to see what channels are available. I would expect to see that change as the lineup evolves. Users have come to expect a traditional programming grid that shows what is on and what is coming up. And considering Tubis TV roots it should understand this implicitly. On top of its new channel options, Tubi still has multiple categories of on-demand movies and TV shows from numerous networks and studios.