Fox In Talks to Acquire Ad-Supported Streamer Tubi (Report)

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Fox Corp. CEO Lachlan Murdoch

The deal would follow Viacom's $340 million purchase of Pluto TV.

Fox Corp. is looking to bolster its streaming bona fides through an acquisition of ad-supported service Tubi, according to a report from The Wall Street Journal

The companies are reportedly in talks for a deal that would value San Francisco-based Tubi at $500 million. 

The deal talks come during a boom in interest around free, ad-supported video streaming options to offset the growing number of subscription video services. In 2019, Viacom acquired Tubi competitor Pluto TV for $340 million and Amazon launched free service IMDb TV (formerly Freedive). Meanwhile, NBCUniversal is plotting its entry into the streaming race with ad-supported Peacock, for which subscribers can pay a premium to watch programming without ads. 

Six-year-old Tubi offers streaming movies and TV shows for free with ads. It boasts a library of thousands of titles — from The Last Samurai to The Bachelor — from partners including Lionsgate, MGM and Starz. The company said earlier in February that it has 25 million monthly users and plans to spend more than $100 million this year to expand its library. 

Tubi has raised more than $30 million from investors including Foundation Capital, Jump Capital, Danhua Capital and Cota Capital. 

Tubi would give Fox a foothold in streaming as its competitors all enter the space with services including Disney+, HBO Max and Peacock. A free, ad-supported offering would align with the company's focus on broadcast, sports and news. 

A spokeswoman for Fox declined to comment. A Tubi spokesman did not respond to a request for comment.