NBCUniversal signs licensing deal with AVOD Tubi

Tubi TV
Tubi is planning to spend more than $100 million on content deals this year. (Tubi)

NBCUniversal has signed a new licensing deal with ad-supported streaming service Tubi which will add nearly 400 TV episodes and movies to its library.

New titles include “Xena: Warrior Princess,” “Hercules: The Legendary Journeys,” “The A-Team,” “Punky Brewster,” “The Incredible Hulk,” “Quantum Leap,” “Magnum, P.I.,” “Battlestar Galactica,” “Bionic Woman” and “She-Ra: Princess of Power.” Tubi said it now has twice as much content as Netflix, approximately 40,000 hours.

“We’re excited to be a home to this robust library of world-class, iconic content from NBCUniversal that appeals across generations,” said Adam Lewinson, chief content officer at Tubi, in a statement. “We are aggressively working to expand our library, and this is one of many deals to come for Tubi."

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Tubi declined to share any further details about its agreement with NBCU.

RELATED: Tubi touts big growth in 2018, commits $100M to 2019 content licensing

The expanded library for Tubi comes as the company is touting its 2018 growth and plans to spend big on content acquisitions in 2019. Last month, the company announced that its total hours viewed more than quadrupled year over year, growing 4.3x from 2017 to 2018. Tubi’s total hours viewed for December 2018 nearly equaled total viewing for all of 2017.

Tubi is planning to spend more than $100 million on content deals this year.

Tubi is one of several companies jockeying for a piece of the growing digital linear and VOD space. Early pioneer Hulu said its ad sales for 2018 approached $1.5 billion. Roku said its platform growth, driven by accelerating ad revenue, will help the company surpass $1 billion in total revenues for 2019. And Viacom, which is buying Pluto TV for $340 million, said the ad-supported streamer could be a $1 billion ad revenue opportunity.

Even Comcast/NBCUniversal is planning to launch an ad-supported streaming service in 2020, which makes it somewhat curious that the company is licensing its content to a future rival AVOD. But NBCU said that it will continue to license content even after it launches its own streaming product—which will get a few exclusive NBCU titles.

In addition to the deal with NBCU, Tubi also recently reached an agreement with Comcast to integrate its service on the provider’s Xfinity X1 TV platform.

Tubi is backed by Foundation Capital, Cota Capital, Jump Capital, and Danhua Capital, as well as strategic investors MGM, Lionsgate, and TEGNA Ventures.

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