Fox Weather AVOD Service Partners with Company Offering Live Meteorological Updates From Sports Stadiums

Fox Weather, the pending ad-supported weather streaming service launching Oct. 25, has signed a partnership with WeatherSTEM, a company offering weather data and high-resolution video from collegiate and professional sports stadiums.

Utilizing WeatherSTEM’s network of sensors, the Fox streaming platform will have the ability to access live information from a footprint of nearly 600 data points nationwide, including collegiate and NFL stadiums. Key stadium locations include Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ Raymond James Stadium, Pittsburgh Steelers Heinz Field, University of Iowa’s Kinnick Stadium, Louisiana State University’s Tiger Stadium and Texas A&M’s Kyle Field, among others. Fox Television is major broadcaster of NFL football.

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The high-definition camera network will also enable instantaneous access to real-time weather conditions, spanning lightning, wind speed and temperature, for a hyper-local approach to weather coverage.

“In an effort to create the most robust network of cameras across the country, [we have] partnered with the WeatherSTEM to provide a live look into local weather conditions across the country, allowing access to real-time weather conditions and video,” Sharri Berg, president of Fox Weather, said in a statement.

Fox Weather marks Fox’s third standalone streaming platform following the 2018 debut of the Fox Nation subscription streaming video service, and 2020 launch of Fox News International. Fox Corp. has become a big believer in AVOD and free ad-supported streaming television (FAST) following the 2019 acquisition of Tubi.

Indeed, Fox Corp. CEO Lachlan Murdoch has told investors he believes Tubi can generate $1 billion in ad-revenue in the next few years.

“I cannot emphasize enough the importance of total view time as the critical metric for ad supported streaming,” Murdoch said on the last fiscal call. “It is the best measure of burgeoning engagement on Tubi and correlates directly to the monetization of the platform.”

In September, Tubi and Fox Sports announced the launch of “Sports on Tubi” in the U.S., affording viewers access to 10 live streaming channels for different sports, including professional football, baseball, soccer, collegiate sports from the ACC and Pac-12 Conferences, as well as nearly 700 hours of VOD content.

Tubi to Stream Original Adult Animation Series ‘The Freak Brothers’; Lionsgate to Distribute Globally

Tubi Oct. 19 announced its first-ever star-studded original animated series, “The Freak Brothers,” based on the cult underground comic series, and will debut the first two episodes on Nov. 14. The series is produced by WTG Enterprises and distributed globally by Lionsgate.

The eight-episode series chronicles the escapades of a trio of stoner anti-establishment characters and their cat who wake up from a 50-year nap after smoking a magical strain of weed in 1969, and must adjust to life with a new family in present-day San Francisco.

The voice cast includes Woody Harrelson (“The Hunger Games” franchise, “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri”), Emmy Award and Golden Globe winner John Goodman (“The Big Lebowski,” “Monsters, Inc.”), Emmy Award and Grammy Award winner Tiffany Haddish (“Girls Trip,” “The Lego Movie 2”) and Pete Davidson (“Saturday Night Live,” “The King of Staten Island”), among others.

The series is based on comic book legend Gilbert Shelton’s “The Fabulous Furry Freak Brothers.” Critiquing the establishment, while satirizing counterculture at the same time, the comic sold more than 45 million copies in 16 languages and was hailed by The Comics Journal as “One of the 100 Greatest Comics of the Century.” Starburns Industries and Pure Imagination Studios, the studios behind “Rick & Morty” and “The Simpsons: Brick Like Me,” handled the animation.

The series spearheads Tubi’s first foray into adult animation, as the Fox Entertainment AVOD platform expands its adult humor collection. The additional episodes from the first season will drop weekly on Sundays through Dec. 26.

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On Nov. 14, TV viewers will get a series sneak peek during a special 90-second trailer airing during Fox’s “Animation Domination” block in “Family Guy” (9:30-10:00 PM ET/PT).

“As we continue our expansion into original animation, a cornerstone of the FOX brand, we’re thrilled Tubi is joining the party with its first original animated series,” said Michael Thorn, President of Entertainment, Fox Entertainment, said “Freaky Brothers” represents continue expansion into original animation, a cornerstone of the Fox brand.

“With its counterculture roots, anti-establishment comedic POV and, as Adam said, an all-star team of cast and producers, [the series] is the perfect complement to Animation Domination and provides the ideal opportunity to not only grow Tubi’s audience, but take the animation genre to the next level in AVOD. Stay tuned for more original Tubi animated content soon,” Thorn said in a statement.

Jim Packer, president of worldwide television distribution at Lionsgate, said the deal with Fox represents a new “paradigm ” for distributing original animation.

“The timeless humor of ‘The Freak Brothers’ has resonated with audiences for years, and this edgy comedy gives it a fresh and inventive spin for a whole new generation of fans,” Packer said.

Streaming Video Betting Big on Legalized Sports Gambling

Live sports and gambling have a long co-dependent relationship, which is expanding beyond casinos to over-the-top video. The new field of dreams for incremental billions in revenue began in 2018 after the U.S. Supreme Court struck down the federal anti-sports-gambling law. Wagering on pro and college sports became legal in September 2019 with both mobile and in-person betting permitted.

Online video platform FuboTV’s pending gaming unit just launched marketing partnerships with the NFL’s New York Jets and NBA’s Cleveland Cavaliers — a first for an OTT platform.

“Everybody does the NFL draft. Everyone’s got a mock draft. Well, seemingly every content area has their betting expert. So, I think the key is gamification of it,” Aaron Nagler, co-founder of Cheesehead TV, told a Streaming Media panel this summer. “It’s just extending what your visit to Vegas might be to an online experience wrapped inside whatever specific content you’re creating.”

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Fox Sports became the first major media company in the U.S. to acquire a stake in sports gambling after paying $236 million for a 5% ownership of The Stars Group.

“Digital sports wagering represents a growing market opportunity that allows us to diversify our revenue streams, connect directly with consumers and expand the reach of the Fox Sports brand,” said Eric Shanks, CEO of Fox Sports.

Fox Bet Super 6 just added nearly 3 million players during the 2020 NFL season, bringing its user base to more than 4.3 million players. It claims to be the biggest free-to-play online game of its kind in the country. The platform is rolling out in states that have legalized wagering, including most recently Michigan on Jan. 26. Fox also owns a 18.5% stake in FanDuel, the daily fantasy and online sports book.

“A key differentiator for Fox Bet has been across promotional power of all of Fox’s assets (including ad-supported streaming site Tubi) to ignite the Fox Bet brand,” Fox Corp. CEO Lachlan Murdoch said on an investor call earlier this year. The executive said sports gambling factors into ongoing distribution of NFL games.

“The NFL is very aware of the importance of sports wagering,” Murdoch said.

FanDuel in 2019 inked a deal with FuboTV, making it the exclusive sports book, online casino, horse racing and DFS (distributed file system) partner of the TV streaming service. The agreement was FanDuel Group’s first partnership with an online TV service aimed at expanding FuboTV’s sports offering for consumers while integrating betting data on the platform.

“We are always looking for ways to add value for consumers and enhance their premium experience with FuboTV,” said Min Kim, VP of business development at Fubo. “Gaming and sports are natural complements.”

Adam Kaplan, VP of content business and operations at FanDuel, said the company’s data analytics will change how people watch live sports on TV and the Internet.

“We can enhance the live-viewing experience by allowing cord-cutting sports fans to view the content that matters to them the most from their TV, phone, tablet or computer,” Kaplan said.

But FanDuel’s relationship with FuboTV could change as the latter branches out into its own sports gambling. The 6-year-old service last year acquired Balto Sports, a backend developer of fantasy sports gaming software, and Vigtory, an interactive sports gaming company, for its Fubo Gambling unit launching in the fourth quarter.

“The valuations around sports betting operators are so huge, why not take a punt on being one?” Andy Clerkson, a partner at Red Knot Communications, a gambling PR firm, told LegalSportsReport.com. “You could be a super-affiliate worth hundreds of millions. Or you could try and be an operator worth billions.”

The Motley Fool’s Rick Munarriz contends FuboTV can open the “spigot of sports gambling” without raising eyebrows the way Google or Disney might with regulators.

“FuboTV can go places where others can’t,” Munarriz wrote.

Disney-owned ESPN has partnerships with Caesars Entertainment, offering sport-betting-related content on ESPN and ESPN+, the brand’s SVOD platform.

“The sports betting landscape has changed, and fans are coming to us for this kind of information more than ever before,” said Mike Morrison, VP of business development at ESPN. “We are poised to expand our coverage in a big way.”

WarnerMedia Entertainment inked a deal with Caesars Entertainment to build a branded Vegas studio for its online Bleacher Report (B/R) platform.

Disney, which has sought to downplay tacit support for gambling, is changing its tune. ESPN recently launched “The Daily Wager” and “ESPN Bet.” In September, CEO Bob Chapek said the company would get more aggressive with sports wagering, including licensing the ESPN brand name to a third-party sports book for the right price.

“Let’s just say our fans are really interested in sports betting,” Chapek said at the virtual Goldman Sachs Communacopia Conference event. “Let’s say our partners in the leagues are interested in sports betting, so we’re interested in sports betting. Strategically, sports betting gives us the ability to appeal to a much younger sports fan who has a very strong affinity for those sports. So it’s definitely a place we want to be.”

Tubi: Streamers Love Ad-Supported Live Sports

Viewers have consumed commercials for as long as there has been televised sports. In fact, most sports, especially football, run games in accordance with televised commercial breaks.

Not surprisingly, that trend among streamers hasn’t changed, according to new data from Tubi — the free ad-supported streaming TV platform owned and operated by Fox Entertainment.

The FAST platform found that sports content of all kinds, from live events to clips to classic games to documentaries to sports talk, drives the highest levels of interest and audience attention — especially for males ages 25-44.

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More than half of the U.S. adult population displays an active interest in four or more sports, and spend on average 5.4 hours per week consuming sports content, according to the July online survey of 2,000 respondents ages 18-54.

Additionally, sports streaming audiences are rapidly growing, with a large percentage of viewers interested in more than 13 types of sports, including football, baseball, and basketball, among others (1 in 4 adults 18+, 1 in 3 females ages 25-34 and 7 in 10 males ages 25-44).

More importantly, Tubi found that sports ranks as the fastest growing segment within the streaming video ecosystem — including a strong preference for ad-supported streaming for sports. More than half (56%) of respondents said they preferred watching streaming sports with commercial breaks integrated into the event, if they could stream the game for free.

Tubi recently launched “Sports on Tubi,” featuring 10 live streaming sports channels, including professional football, baseball, soccer and collegiate sports. Live and on-demand content includes currently available brands Fox Sports, NFL, MLB, NASCAR, Big Ten, NHRA, PBC boxing, PBA bowling, and Concacaf soccer, among others.

Tubi Kicks Off LatinX Heritage Month With Original Programming

Tubi, Fox Entertainment’s ad-supported FAST streaming platform, announced the premiere original soccer comedy Domingo and dramatic thriller La Dosis as part of its LatinX Heritage Month programming, beginning Sept. 17, as the platform continues to build on the success of Tubi en Español and cater to its Spanish-speaking audiences.

Domingo is Tubi’s first-ever Spanish-language original movie, and Mexican director Raúl López Echeverría’s feature debut with Samuel Goldwyn Films and Picture Tree International. Viewers will also be treated to a curated selection of Spanish and English-language titles, from “El Chicano” and “Desierto” to “¿Quién es la Máscara?,” “Devious Maids” and “La Bamba.”

The movie tells the story of Domingo (Eduardo Covarrubias, “Bajo Tierra”), a man of 55 living in a poor suburb near Guadalajara. When his wife (Imelda Sánchez) abruptly leaves him, he decides to do everything in his power to realize his lifelong dream of becoming a professional soccer commentator. He soon realizes how much his impassioned weekly commentaries on local amateur matches are changing lives throughout his neighborhood.

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Domingo was inspired from observing working-class districts in the suburbs of Guadalajara, where football grounds are a central part of the community and dear to the inhabitants’ hearts. The film will also have a local premiere in competition at the Guadalajara International Film Festival, and will screen as part of the TIFF industry Selects line-up.

La Dosis follows Marcos (Carlos Portaluppi, “Vidas Robadas”), an experienced ICU nurse in a provincial Argentine clinic who begins to suspect that his charismatic coworker is murdering patients. La Dosis is directed by Martin Kraut (“Luisa”) and also stars Ignacio Rogers (“Sabado Uno”), German de Silva (“Wild Tales”) and Arturo Bonin (“Looney Love”).

Tubi Sponsors Fox NFL Postgame Show ‘The OT’

Fox Entertainment continues to aggressively market its ad-supported FAST platform Tubi, incorporating the platform as presenting sponsor of the network’s Sept. 12 postgame “The OT” segment following the “NFL on Fox” first-week televised game between the Denver Broncos and the New York Giants.

Fox Corp., unlike other media companies, has eschewed the subscription VOD business in favor of Tubi, which it acquired for $440 million in 2019. Seeking the platform as a digital extension of its ad-supported TV network, Fox is hoping to generate $350 million in incremental revenue in 2021 — $1 billion annually in the next few years.

To do that, Tubi needs viewer eyeballs. Millions of them.

At the end of the fiscal year (June 30), Tubi surpassed 3 billion hours streamed, up more than 50% over the prior year. During the recent quarter, total view time surpassed 900 million hours, up more than 40% over the prior-year quarter.

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Driving the increased viewership: Primetime TV content, including the first digital access to Fox reality competition series “The Masked Singer” and “Lego Masters,” among others.

“I cannot emphasize enough the importance of total view time as the critical metric for ad supported streaming,” CEO Lachlan Murdoch said on the company’s latest fiscal call. “It is the best measure of burgeoning engagement on Tubi and correlates directly to the monetization of the platform.”

Last month, Tubi and Fox Sports announced the launch of “Sports on Tubi” in the U.S., affording viewers access to 10 live streaming channels for different sports, including professional football, baseball, soccer, collegiate sports from the ACC and Pac-12 Conferences, as well as nearly 700 hours of VOD content.

Tubi Announces Original Movie ‘Corrective Measures’ With Bruce Willis

As part of its original content rollout strategy, Tubi Sept. 8 announced the future original movie release Corrective Measures, a sci-fi action movie starring Bruce Willis and Michael Rooker (Guardians of the Galaxy, The Suicide Squad, “The Walking Dead”) is set for release on the ad-supported VOD platform in spring 2022.

Based on a graphic novel, Corrective Measures is written, directed and produced by Sean Patrick O’Reilly (Howard Lovecraft, The Kingdom of Madness) and is set in San Tiburon, the world’s most dangerous maximum-security penitentiary and home to the world’s most treacherous superpowered criminals.

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Todd Masters of MastersFX (Predator, Child’s Play, Legion) will head the character and creature design. Produced by Arcana Productions and executive-produced by The Exchange. Jas Boparai, Corey Large, Johnny Messner and Steven Eads serve as executive producers. Michelle O’Reilly serves as producer.

“We’re excited to be harnessing the creative talent of Sean Patrick O’Reilly, Bruce Willis, Michael Rooker and Todd Masters to bring this celebrated comic book series to life,” Adam Lewinson, chief content officer at Tubi, said in a statement.

The Ubermax prison, hidden in the Great Northwest, houses monsters, cyborgs, and supervillains, all equipped with 24-hour power inhibitors and shock-collars. Most notorious among them is Julius “The Lobe” Loeb (Willis), a super genius sitting on an untraceable fortune. Warden Devlin (Rooker) is arguably as corrupt as his charges, with his sole interest in The Lobe’s riches, and has been trying to crack The Lobe for years without success.

The fragile peace of the prison is thrown into chaos with the arrival of Payback (Dan Payne, “Watchmen”), a murderous vigilante with red intentions on the entire prison community, and Diego Diaz (Brennan Mejia, “Power Rangers”), a driver on a trumped-up sentence. As tensions among the inmates and staff heighten, anarchy engulfs the prison and order is turned upside down.

Nat McCormick of The Exchange negotiated the deal and will be selling the movie at the Toronto International Film Festival.

Over the coming year, more than 140 hours of all-new content are set to debut on Tubi, including original documentaries from Fox Alternative Entertainment; animated titles from Fox Entertainment’s Emmy Award-winning animation studio, Bento Box Entertainment; and premium independent-minded titles across the black cinema, thriller, horror, sci-fi, romance and Western genres.

Tubi, BBC Ink Deal for 400 Hours of AVOD Content

Tubi Sept. 2 announced a deal with BBC Studios that brings more than 400 hours of programming to Fox Entertainment’s ad-supported VOD service.

New titles are now available and, beginning Sept. 15, Tubi will be the domestic AVOD home to “The First Team,” starring Will Arnett, and “Life,” written by award-winning screenwriter Mike Bartlett (“Doctor Foster”), as well as debut the Baby Cow-produced “High & Dry.”

Also as part of the deal, Tubi users will have access to multiple seasons of long-running BBC series, including “Antiques Roadshow,” as well as “Atlantis,” “Misfits,” “Monarch of the Glen,” “The Musketeers,” “Primeval” and “Robin Hood,” among others.

“We are thrilled to begin our first-ever partnership with BBC Studios,” Adam Lewinson, chief content officer for Tubi, said in a statement.

Dina Vangelisti, EVP of content sales at BBC Studios, said the Tubi deal helps expand the AVOD’s growing footprint in the United States.

“The partnership signifies a dedication to increasing our presence on AVOD platforms, expanding awareness of our content catalog as well as bringing fresh programming to new audiences,” Vangelisti said.

Titles now available on Tubi include “A Young Doctor’s Notebook,” “Atlantis,” “Bedlam,” “Blackout,” “Case Sensitive,” “Class,” “Confessions of a Serial Killer,” “Crime and “Punishment,” “The Fixer,” “The Guilty,” “In the Flesh,” “Inspector Alleyn Mysteries,” “Jack The Ripper: Prime Suspect,” “The Interceptor,” “The Lost Prince,” “Misfits,” “Monarch of the Glen,” “Moses Jones,” “The Musketeers,” “Primeval,” “Robin Hood,” “The Shadow Line,” “The Fades,” “Sarah & Duck,” “The Aliens” and “Yakka Dee.”

Titles available beginning Sept. 15 include “A Foreign Field,” “Black Easter,” “Consuming Passion: 100 Years of Mills and Boon,” “High & Dry,” “The Deep,” “The First Men in the Moon,” “Frankenstein,” “Life,” “Monarch of the Glen: Hogmanay 2003,” “Pride,” “The First Team,” and “The Turn of the Screw.” Select seasons of “Antiques Roadshow” will be available Oct. 15.

Tubi Adds Fox Titles to AVOD Content in Canada

Fox Entertainment’s AVOD/FAST platform Tubi announced it has added more than a dozen Fox TV shows to its streaming library in Canada. Shows include “The Masked Singer,” “The Masked Dancer,” “Mental Samurai,” “Name That Tune” and “Ultimate Tag,” among others.

The titles join recent Tubi movie additions Tales of a Fifth Grade Robin Hood, Goodfellas, Letters From Iwo Jima and Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close, among others. A survey conducted earlier this year by Tubi’s Canadian launch partner, Rogers Sports and Media, found the platform is the most popular AVOD service in Canada, behind YouTube, and saw a 107% year-over-year increase in total view time from January 2020 through January 2021.

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“Fox’s marquee titles launching in Canada comes at an optimal time when our Canadian audience is growing at a rapid pace,” Adam Lewinson, chief content officer of Tubi, said in a statement. “We’ve seen Fox content resonate with our viewers in the U.S., so we’re thrilled for our audience in Canada to now have these premium series at their fingertips.”

In addition to specials, including “TMZ Presents: Harry & Meghan: The Royals in Crisis,” “TMZ Presents: Tiger King — What Really Went Down?,” “After the Mask” and “Nick Cannon’s Hit Viral Videos: Holidays 2019,” among others.

“Making these titles available, a number of which are produced and owned by Fox Alternative Entertainment, illustrates our strategy of combining Fox with the [streaming] reach of Tubi,” added Rob Wade, president of alternative entertainment and specials at Fox Entertainment.

Tubi has more than 35,000 movies and television series from more than 250 content partners, including every major studio. The platform is available on Android and iOS mobile devices, Amazon Echo Show, Google Nest Hub, and on OTT devices such as Amazon Fire TV, Roku, Apple TV, Chromecast, Android TV, Vizio TVs, Sony TVs, Samsung TVs, Hisense TVs, Comcast X1, Cox Contour, PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X/S.

Tubi Embracing Live Sports

Fox Entertainment’s ad-supported free streaming platform Tubi is embracing live sports with the launch of “Sports on Tubi” in the United States.

The AVOD/FAST platform will feature 10 live streaming channels for different sports, including professional football, baseball, soccer, collegiate sports from the ACC and Pac-12 Conferences, as well as nearly 700 hours of VOD content from some of sports’ biggest brands, including the NFL, MLB, NASCAR, Big Ten, Concacaf soccer, PBC boxing and the PBA, among others.

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“Sports on Tubi” is rolling out across Amazon Fire TV, the Roku platform and Android, with other platforms to follow soon. Applebee’s and Uber Eats have signed on as inaugural commercial partners of “Sports on Tubi,” which now features linear content from Fox Sports, Fox Deportes, NFL, MLB, beIN Sports Xtra and beIN Sports Xtra en Español, Fubo Sports Network, Pac-12 Insider, Stadium and USA Today SportsWire, with ACC Digital Network and Real Madrid TV coming soon.

“‘Sports on Tubi’ embraces our viewers’ passion for sports content across our vast library, and we are excited to be launching this offering with world-class brands,” Farhad Massoudi, CEO of Tubi, said in a statement.

In addition to live sports, this fall, Tubi will launch more than 140 hours of all-new content, including Tubi Original Documentaries from Fox Alternative Entertainment; animated titles from Fox Entertainment’s Emmy Award-winning animation studio, Bento Box Entertainment; and premium independent-minded titles across the Black Cinema, thriller, horror, sci-fi, romance and Western genres.

“In our continued effort to broaden and enhance our digital reach, Fox Sports is thrilled to partner with Tubi to launch this dynamic lineup of channels and on-demand content tailor-made for sports fans,” said Mark Silverman, president of National Networks at Fox Sports.