FuboTV, the live sports streaming service, has filed a lawsuit against US media giants Disney, Warner Bros. Discovery (WBD), and Fox Corporation in an attempt to block the trio’s plans to launch a joint sports streaming package.

New York-based Fubo filed the suit yesterday alleging Disney, Fox, and WBD, as well as Disney-owned ESPN and Hulu, have “engaged in a years-long campaign to block Fubo’s sports-first streaming business resulting in significant harm to both Fubo and consumers.”

The complaint also alleges the launch of their streaming joint venture, to be rolled out later this year, “steals Fubo’s playbook” and violates antitrust laws.

Filed in the US District Court for the Southern District of New York, Fubo’s suit said it is seeking to block the joint venture or ensure restrictions on the defendants in launching the streaming service, such as “economic parity of licensing terms.”

Fubo said is also seeking “substantial” monetary damages.

The complaints center around the announcement made by Disney, WBD, and Fox Corp earlier this month that they will create a combined streaming platform that will offer content from linear channels such as Disney’s ESPN and ABC, WBD’s TNT, TBS, and truTV, Fox’s main network, FS1 and FS2, as well as ESPN+.

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Once active, the service will broadcast content from all of the US’ major properties, namely American football’s NFL, baseball’s MLB, basketball’s NBA and WNBA, ice hockey’s NHL, soccer’s MLS, and motor racing's NASCAR.

Golf’s PGA Tour, mixed martial arts promotion UFC, and soccer’s FIFA World Cup competition will all also be included, among other high-profile sports offerings.

The price of the bundle has not been unveiled yet.

The trio said the streaming bundle will be available directly to consumers via the new unnamed streaming platform, as well as an add-on via streaming services Disney+, Hulu, and Max.

The FuboTV suit has accused the media giants of leveraging their “iron grip on sports content to extract billions of dollars in supra-competitive profits,” leading consumers to pay more for popular sports content.

Fubo also cited the media companies charging Fubo content licensing rates that are as much as 50% higher than rates they charge other distributors as behavior that may violate antitrust laws.

Fubo said: “Defendants also impose non-market penetration requirements (the percentage of total subscribers to which a content package must be sold to or cannot exceed) on Fubo.

“These actions individually and collectively increase the costs Fubo must pass onto customers. Fubo believes it has incurred billions of dollars in damages as a result of the Defendants’ actions.”

In a statement, Fubo co-founder and chief executive David Gandler said: “By joining together to exclusively reserve the rights to distribute a specialized live sports package, we believe these corporations are erecting insurmountable barriers that will effectively block any new competitors from entering the market.

“This strategy ensures that consumers desiring a dedicated sports channel line-up are left with no alternative but to subscribe to the defendants’ joint venture.”

The suit comes as the US Department of Justice reportedly prepares to investigate the planned streamer to ascertain whether the joint streaming platform breaches antitrust regulations.

Specifically, the department is looking at whether collecting the rights of such a wide range of major sports properties could potentially harm fans, the leagues themselves, and rival broadcast organizations.