Comcast’s NBCUniversal is reportedly in talks to acquire Walmart’s Vudu service while Fox Corp. is looking at buying ad-supported video-on-demand service Tubi, according to The Wall Street Journal.
Vudu offers transactional digital rentals and purchases, and the move would bring Vudu into the same company fold as the FandangoNow TVOD service.
Vudu also offers an ad-supported free service launched in 2016.
NBCUniversal plans to launch its own video service, Peacock, April 15 with AVOD and SVOD options.
Last fall reports surfaced that Walmart was looking to shed Vudu as it wasn’t part of the retailer’s core business.
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AVOD service Tubi, also reportedly an acquisition target, this time by Fox, saw its monthly active users reach 25 million in December with a total view time (TVT) of more than 163 million hours watched — a year-over-year TVT increase of 160%. The deal to buy Tubi could be valued at more than $500 million, according to the Journal.
Walmart reportedly has shelved plans to launch a branded over-the-top video streaming service.
CNBC, citing sources familiar with the situation, said the world’s largest retailer dropped the idea after negotiations with former Epix CEO Mark Greenberg to spearhead an OTT video platform fell through.
Greenberg has also approached Costco regarding launching a branded OTT video service.
Specifically, Walmart balked at the prospect of spending billions on content in an industry it has no direct experience in. Instead, the retail behemoth will redouble efforts on Vudu.com, the transactional VOD unit it acquired in 2010.
Vudu, which sells and rents digital movies, also enables registered users to upload DVD and Blu-ray Disc titles for access to digital files stored in the cloud. The platform recently upgraded its ad-supported VOD offerings of catalog movies and TV shows.
“Vudu has developed a strong platform, and we aim to continue to bring our customers more content, on more devices, at the best possible price,” Walmart spokeswoman Tara Raddohl-House said in a statement.