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Fast-growing slate of Tubi originals to feed Fox Entertainment Global catalogue

L-R: Paul Cheesbrough, Fernando Szew and Rob Wade

Fox Entertainment Global (FEG), the nascent international sales arm of US-based Fox Entertainment, revealed Sunday that it will significantly expand its internal collaboration with Fox Corp-owned AVoD giant Tubi as it looks to bolster its suite of series and movies available for license.

FEG, led by CEO Fernando Szew and officially launched ahead of Mipcom in 2022, marks Fox Entertainment’s return to the international TV marketplace after Fox’s entertainment assets were sold to Disney in 2019.

The company has been in build mode ever since, launching and acquiring various in-house studio divisions including Fox Entertainment Alternative, Fox Entertainment Studios, MarVista Entertainment (which is also led by Szew), Bento Box Entertainment, TMZ and Studio Ramsay Global, in addition to its US$440m purchase of Tubi.

Szew appeared alongside Paul Cheesbrough, CEO of the newly formed Tubi Media Group, and Fox Entertainment CEO Rob Wade at FEG’s first ever LA Screenings event, held on the Fox Studios lot, to discuss how the Tubi pipeline will feed FEG’s licensing business.

Over the past 18 months, Tubi has produced 100 titles in a range of genres including horror, docs, thrillers and several other categories. Cheesbrough said the plan is to more than double the size of its original content offering over the next 12 months, with many of the originals being made available for license through FEG.

News that FEG and Tubi will collaborate more closely comes after the recent launch of Tubi Media Group, a new division that will house Tubi Streaming, in addition to tech start-up Credible and Blockchain Creative Labs, plus the platforms and teams for Fox’s wider digital business in sports, news and entertainment. Cheesbrough was tapped to lead Tubi Media Group last month, with Tubi founder and CEO Farhad Massoudi stepping down.

Speaking with C21 after the LA Screenings presentation, Szew said the official list of Tubi titles that will be shopped through FEG will be announced in due course but will encompass many of the Tubi originals released in the future.

“We’re working through the pipeline and understanding the rights that are held, and the teams are collaborating nicely through that. We know it’s going to be a good plethora of different types of genres within movies, documentary series and animated series that Tubi has already in their pipeline and then obviously there’s the future pipeline that’s being built,” he said.

The Tubi originals will land in the FEG catalogue alongside previously unveiled titles such as live-action comedy Animal Control, led by Joel McHale, and animated comedies Krapopolis and Grimsburg, the latter two of which were screened to hundreds of buyers on the Fox lot on Sunday.

The addition of dozens of Tubi originals will be a shot in the arm for FEG’s fledgling catalogue and comes at a time when Tubi is on an impressive growth trajectory.

According to Nielsen data from earlier this year, Tubi accounts for 1% of total streaming viewing in the US, making it the most-watched AVoD platform (excluding YouTube) in America. For context, Pluto TV has 0.7%, Peacock 1%, HBO Max 1.3%, Disney+ 1.8%, Prime Video 3%, Hulu 3.3%, Netflix 7.3% and YouTube 7.9%.

Cheesbrough touted the streamer’s capabilities and original production pipeline, saying: “We have massive scale and reach but we also have vast amounts of detailed data. We merge all of that together to target what we’re producing.”

Fox’s return to the international marketplace also comes at an interesting moment in the licensing marketplace. After years of pulling back on their international licensing activities, US studio groups and streamers are making a fully-fledged return to international sales as they adjust their strategies in the midst of various economic challenges.

Despite the fact that more American content is being made available to global buyers, Szew said he believes FEG is well positioned to become a formidable international player.

“We’re still unique within that competitive landscape, given the fact we have a very strong network presence in the US and also an AVoD streaming platform. This is different than a lot of the others that are now starting to come back into the trading marketplace, versus keeping most of the content or at least wanting to try to keep most of the content for themselves,” said Szew.

While the competition is only getting more intense, Szew said this is a market where multiple players are positioned to prosper.

“We don’t believe it’s one winner takes all. The fact that there’s content trading from everywhere actually puts us in a good place, because we are able to also trade across and play nice with some of the other content studios that have platforms, have different needs and different appetites for things that they need to monetise.

“We’re in a world with quite a lot of collaboration, and we’re happy to be in that world. We feel like our chances are really good to be competitive, and at the same time to be friendly.”


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