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Fox is buying free video-streaming service Tubi

The deal is worth around $440 million.

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Tubi

Fox will acquire Tubi, a free video-streaming service, for around $440 million, the companies said Tuesday. Reports of a possible acquisition began circling last moth

Tubi is an ad-supported video-streaming site with over 20,000 movies and TV shows. It works with more than 250 content partners, including Warner Bros. and Lionsgate. Last month, the service said 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, Tubi said. 

"Tubi will immediately expand our direct-to-consumer audience and capabilities and will provide our advertising partners with more opportunities to reach audiences at scale," Fox Corporation Executive Chairman and CEO Lachlan Murdoch said in a statement. "Coupled with the combined power of Fox's existing networks, Tubi provides a substantial base from which we will drive long-term growth in the direct-to-consumer arena."

Fox plans to keep running Tubi as an independent service, according to the release. The company will look at opportunities to expand Tubi "in a cost-effective manner by leveraging our expertise in national and local news and sports programming."

Tubi founder and CEO Farhad Massoudi will continue to lead the streaming service. 

"Fox Corporation's relationships with advertisers and distribution partners, combined with the company's dominance in news and sports programming, will help Tubi continue to grow and differentiate itself in the high-growth ad-supported streaming marketplace," Massoudi said in the statement. 

The deal, which requires regulatory approval, is expected to close before June 30, the companies said.