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Fox could buy Tubi while NBCUniversal eyes Vudu

Reports last year said Walmart was thinking of selling its on-demand video service Vudu.

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Fox is reportedly eyeing Tubi.

Tubi

Fox is looking to potentially acquire free video-streaming service Tubi, according to a Friday report by The Wall Street Journal. Meanwhile, NBCUniversal is reportedly "in advanced talks" to acquire streaming service Vudu from Walmart, The Journal also reported.

Tubi is an ad-supported video streaming site with more than 20,000 movies and TV shows. It works with more than 250 content partners including Warner Bros. and Lionsgate. Earlier this month, the service said it saw its monthly active users hit 25 million in December. Its total view time also increased 160% year over year, reaching more than 163 million hours watched. The deal with Fox could be worth more than $500 million, people familiar with the matter told The Journal.

Tubi is available in the US, Canada and Australia on Android and iOS, as well as on devices such as Amazon Echo ShowGoogle Nest Hub MaxRoku and Apple TV. Content is also viewable at www.tubi.tv. The company plans to launch in more areas including the UK and Mexico in the coming year.

Fox didn't immediately respond to a request for comment. Tubi declined to comment.

As more streaming services such as Disney Plus and Apple TV Plus launch to compete with the likes of Netflix, several companies are also looking to free, ad-supported platforms aimed at customers who might not be willing to dish out more money for an ever-growing list of paid offerings.

An eye on Vudu

Last year, it was reported that Walmart could be thinking of selling Vudu, a service that lets customers rent or purchase individual shows or movies. Vudu also launched a free, ad-supported service in 2016. 

Walmart reportedly purchased Vudu for around $100 million in 2010, and says the service is installed on more than 100 million devices in the US. It's not clear if there will be a deal between NBCUniversal and Vudu, people familiar with the matter told The Journal. A Walmart representative declined to comment, but said the company is "constantly having conversations with partners."

NBCUniversal will also be launching Peacock, its new streaming service, starting in April. It'll have three tiers: one that's free, one that's $5 a month and another that's $10 a month. Vudu's ad-supported offering would reportedly complement Peacock, while its movie rental service would support Fandango Media, NBCUniversal's ticketing company. 

NBCUniversal didn't immediately respond to a request for comment.

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Originally published Feb. 21 at 2:33 p.m. PT.
Update, 2:51 p.m.: Adds background details and information on Peacock; 2:59 p.m.: Adds Tubi declined to comment; 3:13 p.m.: Adds Walmart declined to comment; Feb. 24 at 3:55 p.m.: Adds more background on Tubi and streaming services.