Tegna Buys A Piece Of Mobi TV

The Tubi TV home screen on Android

The Tubi TV home screen on Android

Tegna, which I still think of as the old Gannett TV, today announced a strategic investment in Tubi TV. The press release said that Premion, Tegna’s local ad network for OTT content, will expand its existing relationship with Tubi. Therefore Tubi, which picked up $20 million in funding last May, probably has a better chance of staying around awhile.

I must confess that when I’ve done roundups of free, ad-supported streaming services, I haven’t given Tubi full credit. The press releases it sends out call it “the industry’s leading free streaming and TV movie network,” and its library covers a lot of genres. Tubi also has apps for most of the usual streaming suspects, though I wish it would roll out an Android TV app to go with its app for other Android devices.

That press release had a lot more, including the kind of quotes you’d never hear in conversation. “Tubi and Tegna share a vision of the future of digital advertising, based on superior technology, targeting and premium content,” said Farhad Massoudi, founder and CEO of Tubi, Inc. “Together, we provide innovative ad solutions within an unparalleled mix of premium content. I look forward to our broader collaboration with Tegna.”

It all reminds me of two recurring themes I’ve been reading lately from the some know-a-little pundits. One is that streaming services are losing money because they can’t possibly afford to pay for the content they’re using. In fact, the kind of precisely targeted ads they can offer make that revenue stream a lot larger than for typical network ads. The second is that cord-cutters don’t account for internet service provider fees when considering TV subscription costs. Well yeah, and they aren’t accounting for the price of electricity or heat for their viewing room either. For the vast majority of US households, broadband internet is an automatic purchase like running water. For all of these viewers, Tubi TV is a pretty decent free service.