Verizon will include free ad-supported streaming TV (FAST) service Tubi in its Fios TV set-top boxes and other platforms as part of a new broader distribution deal with Fox.
The renewed multi-year agreement between Fox and Verizon includes continued distribution of Fox brands including Fox News Media, Fox Sports, and Fox Network on Fios. It also covers Fox TV stations in Fios markets including New York, Washington, D.C., and Philadelphia.
Under the expanded deal Fox Weather has been added to the Fios TV lineup. Fox debuted the free ad-supported streaming service dedicated to weather coverage last year. Since then it’s gained distribution on an increasing number of platforms, such as Fire TV, The Roku Channel, Xumo and virtual MVPDs YouTube TV and FuboTV.
As for Tubi, which Fox acquired in 2020 for around $440 million, the companies said the FAST will now be included in both Fios set-top boxes, “as well as on many other platforms.”
"Fox is pleased to extend and expand our long-standing relationship with Verizon as we add Fox Weather and Tubi to our industry-leading portfolio of news, sports and entertainment available to Verizon's subscribers," said Michael Biard, president of Operations and Distribution at Fox Corporation, in a statement.
In a primer report this week on FAST services by TVREV, titled FASTs Are The New Cable, the analyst and research firm called out distribution as one of the advantage for FASTs that are owned by media companies (such as Fox’s Tubi).
“Because they are not tied to a single device, they are able to place their apps on a wider range of platforms and devices,” wrote the report authors, Alan Wolk and Fabric Media CEO Jason Damata. “That means they have a broader viewership base than FASTs that are tied to a specific device.”
Last month Shaw Communications integrated Tubi into the operator’s set-top box, giving Shaw TV customers in Canada access to live and on-demand content from the FAST service.
For Verizon, it brings additional content into its TV lineup. In Q2 Verizon lost 86,000 video subscribers. In July the pay TV provider was the latest to drop conservative-leaning One America News Network from its Fios service, with a spokesperson indicating a carriage fee increase was the main reason behind the decision. The operator has put stronger emphasis on its wireless business, but as of late has been seen as losing its leading position to competitor T-Mobile. As it looks to attract customers on the wireless side of the business and add value, Verizon last month extended an offer of six free months of streaming service Disney+ to prepaid customers that take on or upgrade to an unlimited wireless plan.