FuboTV Balloons Fiscal Loss, Revenue Without Live Sports

Sports-themed online TV service FuboTV Aug. 14 said it generated a net loss of $99.7 million on revenue of $44.2 million for the second quarter, ended June 30. Launched in 2015 as a soccer subscription streaming service, the platform rebooted as an all-sports service in 2017 and then to an online TV platform — with plans to become publicly traded.

Revenue increased 53% driven by subscriber growth; subscription revenue increased 51% year-over-year to $39.5 million. Advertising revenue increased 71% year-over-year to $4.3 million. FuboTV ended the period with 286,126 subs paying $55 monthly, up 47% year-over-year.

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Total content hours streamed by fuboTV users (paid and free trial) increased 83% year-over-year to 98.6 million hours. Monthly active users watched 140 hours per month on average in the quarter, an increase of 54% year-over-year.

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“We delivered strong second-quarter results,” co-founder/CEO David Gandler said in a statement. “Consumer engagement continued to be strong in Q2, despite a shutdown of most major league sports both in the U.S. and internationally, and we successfully ramped up advertising revenue.”

Gandler said he expects paid subscribers to reach upwards of 350,000, which would be an increase of 20% year-over-year.

“The growth of streaming is one of the most significant changes to television, and television advertising, in the last several decades,” Gandler said. “fuboTV is at the forefront of the streaming revolution and we are excited for existing and new investors to join us on this journey.”

FuboTV Seeks $100 Million via Initial Public Offering

FuboTV, the sports-themed online TV streaming platform offering access to live sports events as well as news and entertainment content, is looking to become a publicly held company through a $100 million initial public offering (IPO).

An IPO or stock market launch is a type of public offering in which shares of a company are sold to institutional investors and usually also retail (individual) investors.

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New York-based FaceBank Co., which owns and operates fuboTV, Aug. 11 filed a registration statement with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) relating to a proposed follow-on public offering of its common stock.

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FuboTV merged with FaceBank Group in April combining fuboTV’s direct-to-consumer live-TV streaming platform for cord-cutters with FaceBank’s technology-driven IP in sports, movies and live performances. Launched in 2015, fuboTV delivers content through streaming devices, including connected TVs, mobile phones, tablets and computers. The company generated $169 million in revenue for the 12 months ended March 31.

Streaming Service fuboTV Q1 Revenue Jumps 78%

Streaming service fuboTV posted revenue for the first quarter of $51 million, a 78% increase compared with the first quarter of the prior year, driven by growth in subscribers, subscription average revenue per user and advertising sales, according to unaudited results from owner FaceBank.

Facebank completed its merger with fubuTV April 1.

Subscription revenue in the first quarter ended March 31 increased 74% year over year to $46.4 million. Advertising revenue in the first quarter increased 120% year over year to $4.1 million. Total streaming hours by fuboTV users (paid and free trial) in the first quarter increased 120% year over year to 107.2 million hours.

Monthly active users watched 120 hours per month on average in the quarter, an increase of 52% year over year.

Paid subscribers at quarter’s end totaled 287,316, an increase of 37% year over year. Average revenue per user per month was $54.16, an increase of 25% year over year.

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“We believe fuboTV is at the forefront of the streaming revolution and has a significant advantage not only over peers in the vMVPD space but also over traditional cable television,” wrote fuboTV CEO David Gandler in a letter to shareholders. “We offer cord-cutters a total cable TV replacement with top Nielsen-ranked sports, news and entertainment channels. What sets fuboTV apart is our internally built tech stack that keeps us innovating ahead of the industry. With premium features like 4K streaming, personalized live TV recommendations and recent app updates that integrate live video into the product experience, we believe a fuboTV subscription offers consumers the best value of any other live TV streaming platform. We believe consumers will continue to choose streaming over traditional pay television because of this more personalized, premium viewing experience that is also less expensive.”

The company has added $46 million in equity funding from institutional and private investors since closing the merger, including $20 million on July 2 from Credit Suisse Capital through a common stock issuance at $9.25 per share.

FuboTV Drops WarnerMedia Content, Raises Subscription Prices

Online television service FuboTV has joined other digital TV platforms raising prices while at the same time restricting access to select third-party content. The service is bumping up the monthly fee $5 across its bundles: Base ($59.99), Family Bundle ($64.99), and Ultra ($84.99) — emulating a recent 30% price hike by Google-owned YouTube TV.

Online TV pioneer Sling TV remains the only platform that has not raised prices.

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“Sometimes to help us bring you new channels at the best value, and to deliver premium features like live sports in 4K, we need to remove other channels and adjust subscription prices,” Fubo said in a media statement. “Turner networks will be leaving as of July 1, and subscription prices will be changing.”

Indeed, 11 channels from WarnerMedia and Turner have been dropped, including TNT, TBS, CNN, CNN International, CNN en Español, HLN, Cartoon Network, Adult Swim, Turner Classic Movies, truTV and Boomerang, when a carriage agreement couldn’t be reached.

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“We are disappointed that our deal with fuboTV is not being renewed, as we have been working with them and were open to a potential renewal,” WarnerMedia said in a statement.

Meanwhile, FuboTV has added Disney content, including ESPN, ESPN2, ESPN3, ABC, ABC News Live, Disney Channel, Disney Junior, Disney XD, Freeform, SEC Network and ACC Network, FX, FXX and National Geographic, among others.

FuboTV Getting ESPN, Disney Television Content

Disney Media Networks has inked a distribution agreement with FaceBank Group to deliver news, sports and entertainment content from ESPN and Walt Disney Television to streaming platform fuboTV.

Beginning this summer, customers who subscribe to fuboTV’s fubo standard base package will have access to ABC, ABC News Live, Disney Channel, Disney Junior, Disney XD, Freeform, ESPN, ESPN2, ESPN3, in-market for SEC Network and ACC Network, FX, FXX and National Geographic. Additional networks will also be available on fuboTV’s other packages, including out-of-market for SEC Network and ACC Network, ESPNU, ESPNEWS, ESPN Deportes, FXM, Fox Life, Nat Geo Wild, Nat Geo Mundo and BabyTV.

The deal includes both live television and VOD.

“With the addition to our lineup of the ESPN suite of channels, we continue to make good on our promise to sports fans to be the undisputed home of professional and college sports,” David Gandler, co-founder and CEO of fuboTV, said in a statement.  “Fubo is equally delighted to add the storied Disney, ABC, FX and Nat Geo networks to round out a robust programming portfolio for the whole family to enjoy.”

“Launching Disney’s networks strengthens our sports-focused live TV platform and brings a diverse range of content for the entire family,” Ben Grad, head of content strategy and acquisition for fuboTV, said in a statement. “Our base package offers consumers significant value, while consumers who want even more great sports and entertainment content can access it with our premium packages. As live sports return but without spectators, streaming games at home will be even more important than ever. We’re thrilled to bring more sports, as well as entertainment and news, to our consumers this summer.”

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“Adding Disney’s array of networks across news, sports and entertainment content with ABC, Disney Channel, ESPN, FX, and Nat Geo delivers a more comprehensive channel lineup and tremendous value to customers’ subscriptions,” Sean Breen, EVP of platform distribution for Disney Media Networks, said in a statement. “With fuboTV’s multiple access points across all major streaming platforms and a competitive price point, we continue to serve a growing audience that consumes video on multiple screens and attract new customers into the pay TV ecosystem.”

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In April, fuboTV merged with FaceBank, combining fuboTV’s direct-to-consumer live TV streaming platform for cord-cutters with FaceBank’s IP in sports, movies and live performances.

FuboTV Names Simone Nardi CFO

Live streaming platform fuboTV has named Simone Nardi CFO.

Nardi is based in New York City and reports directly to CEO David Gandler.

As CFO, Nardi leads all financial operations and strategy for fuboTV. He joins the streaming platform as it prepares to uplist to a major stock exchange following its merger in April with FaceBank Group.

“Simone has already been instrumental in guiding fuboTV through our recent merger,” Gandler said in a statement. “With his deep experience managing finance and strategy for companies undergoing transformations in their business, Simone is an integral new member of fuboTV’s executive team.”

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“I’m extremely honored to join the outstanding team at fuboTV,” Nardi said in a statement. “It’s an exciting time to be joining a proven leader in the media industry at the forefront of the streaming revolution. I look forward to playing a key role as the company continues to expand, drive cost efficiencies and growth and focus on delivering shareholder value.”

Prior to joining fuboTV, Nardi served as SVP and CFO, international for lifestyle content producer Scripps Networks Interactive. In this role, Nardi was responsible for all finance and strategic planning for the company’s international business across Canada, Europe, the Middle East, Africa, Asia Pacific and Latin America. In this role, Nardi was also responsible for leading the company’s international program licensing business and coordinating branding, marketing, technical operations and digital outside of the United States. He was also a member of the board of directors of Scripps’ joint ventures with the BBC in the United Kingdom and with Corus Entertainment in Canada.

Previously, Nardi served as SVP and CFO for NBC Universal’s international channels and television production businesses where he helped build and grow the international TV production operation for NBC Universal, green-lighting and monetizing key franchises such as “Downton Abbey.” Previously, he served as CFO of NBC Universal’s business development division in New York, where he assumed a lead role in launching Hulu.

Nardi began his career with General Electric in Italy and the United States.

FuboTV merged with FaceBank Group in April 2020, combining fuboTV’s direct-to-consumer live TV streaming platform for cord-cutters with FaceBank’s technology-driven IP in sports, movies and live performances.

FuboTV Merging With AI Company, Plans IPO

Online live-TV streaming platform fuboTV and FaceBank Group, a sports-themed virtual entertainment company, March 23 announced a definitive merger agreement. Financials details of the agreement were not disclosed. The boards of directors of both companies and the major stockholders of fuboTV have approved the transaction, which is anticipated to close during the first quarter of 2020, subject to the satisfaction of certain closing conditions.

Following the closing, fuboTV will become a subsidiary of FaceBank, and FaceBank will be renamed fuboTV Inc. The combined company is expected to be headquartered in New York and led by fuboTV CEO David Gandler. Additional announcements regarding the combined company’s management structure and the board of directors will be forthcoming.

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The merger would combine fuboTV’s live TV streaming platform with FaceBank’s technology-driven IP in sports, movies and live performances. This combination will create a content delivery platform for traditional and future-form IP.

“As a tech-driven IP company, FaceBank was looking to find the perfect delivery platform for its celebrity and consumer driven content,” founders John Textor and Alex Bafer said in a statement.

fuboTV said it plans to leverage FaceBank’s IP sharing relationships with celebrities and other digital technologies to enhance its sports and entertainment offerings.

The companies also believe the merger will position fuboTV to continue its global expansion with FaceBank’s Nexway AG, an ecommerce and payment platform with a business presence in 180 countries, accepting payments in roughly 140 currencies. fuboTV was the first virtual MVPD to commit to global expansion and in 2018 entered Europe with its launch in Spain.

“The business combination of FaceBank Group and fuboTV accelerates our ability to build a category-defining company and supports our goal to provide consumers with a technology-driven cable TV replacement service for the whole family,” Gandler said in a statement.

Gandler said that in the current COVID-19 environment, stay-at-home stocks make perfect sense.

“We plan to accelerate our timing to up-list to a major exchange as soon as practicable,” Gandler said.

Since its founding in 2015 as a soccer streaming service, fuboTV has evolved into a live TV streaming platform with sports, news and entertainment channels.

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YouTube TV Extends Free Trial Period

Google-owned online television service YouTube TV is extending its free trial period to 14 days through Jan. 15. The service with more than 1 million subscribers had offered new members a free seven-day trial period.

Launched in 2016, YouTube TV costs $49.99 monthly featuring 70 channels, including most major sports networks. The channel has been a presenting sponsor of the MLB World Series.

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YouTube TV is less expensive than Hulu with Live TV and fuboTV ($54.99) and AT&T Now ($64.99), but costs more than Sling TV ($30) and Philo TV ($20).

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Online TV Confronts Rising Carriage Fees

When launched in 2015, online TV services such as Sling TV, PlayStation Vue and DirecTV Now were championed as pay-TV saviors in the face of Netflix, Amazon Prime Video and Hulu.

Now Vue is history, DirecTV Now has been rebranded AT&T TV and Sling remains stagnant with about 2.6 million subscribers. All the while, the carriage fees paid by distributors to content holders continue to rise, leading to programming blackouts for subscribers.

A carriage dispute is a disagreement over the right to “carry”, that is, retransmit, a broadcaster’s signal. Carriage disputes first occurred between broadcasters and cable companies and now include satellite and other multichannel video programming distributors such as online TV.

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Sports-themed fuboTV just announced it was dropping Disney-owned FX, FXX, FXM and National Geographic due to increased costs to carry the channels.

Disney reportedly is demanding $16 monthly in retransmission fees per subscriber to carry the combined channels, including ESPN — an amount deemed too expensive by fuboTV.

A fuboTV staffer recently went on Reddit to address the issue: “As many of you know, neither fuboTV nor any other distributor is able to license just ESPN from Disney; instead, distributors are required to license the ‘Disney bundle.’ There is no way around this. As such, we [opted] to make the difficult decision of building a channel lineup that is both differentiated and affordable to consumers.”

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The staffer contends the Disney bundle price would require fuboTV to revisit bundle pricing, i.e. raise prices.

“Additionally, it’d come with high penetration (user) requirements, which would limit our ability to offer a differentiated offer for different consumer cohorts,” the staffer wrote.

In a media statement, fuboTV said it has added dozens of entertainment networks to its base package, including channels from AMC Networks, WarnerMedia, Viacom and Discovery.

“fuboTV remains a leading platform for the best movies and TV shows across every genre — from comedy and drama to nature and reality — both live and on demand,” read the statement.

Last month, Sling TV raised its monthly subscription fees by $5 to $30 each for Sling Orange and Sling Blue to offset program distribution costs. A combined bundle fee costs $45 monthly.

“Sling doesn’t own the networks you watch — we have to pay programmers for their channels so that we can provide them to you, and the price of programming has been going up,” Warren Schlichting, president of the online service, wrote in a blog post. “Unfortunately, we have to share those rising prices with you, so we can continue to provide you with the same great experience you’ve come to expect from Sling.”

 

Discovery Joins FuboTV

Online TV service FuboTV continues to transition from its original soccer roots.

The service June 18 announced a new, multiyear carriage agreement with Discovery, bringing 13 networks to the live-TV streaming service in the coming weeks.

The deal extends the previous pact between the companies that began with the former Scripps Networks Interactive (acquired by Discovery) and included carriage of their five networks, including HGTV and Food Network.

“This agreement further exemplifies the viewer affinity for our beloved brands and talent, and fuboTV’s commitment to offering high-quality, world-class content to customers,” Eric Phillips, president of affiliate distribution at Discovery, said in a statement.

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Discovery Channel, TLC, Investigation Discovery, Animal Planet, OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network and MotorTrend will be available on the streaming service’s base package, fubo Standard, joining HGTV, Food Network and Travel Channel, which are already available on the service.

At the same time, an expanded suite of Discovery networks, including Science Channel, Destination America, Discovery Family, American Heroes Channel, and Discovery Life, will be added to fuboTV’s add-on package, fubo Extra ($5.99/month for 30+ channels) joining DIY Network and Cooking Channel.

Additionally, Discovery en Español and Discovery Familia will be available on fuboTV’s Spanish-language package, fubo Latino ($24.99/month for 20 channels), and the Latino Plus add-on package ($7.99/month for 15 channels).

In addition to bringing subscribers each network’s live linear feed, the agreement also includes a library of on-demand Discovery content, bringing fuboTV’s VOD library to over 60,000 movies and TV episodes per month.

“We are excited to be adding more Discovery brands alongside their lifestyle networks, which we already carry,” said Joel Armijo, CFO, fuboTV. “These brands, including HGTV and Food Network, are among our top performing entertainment networks, and this agreement allows us to extend our partnership for years to come. We expect to be similarly successful with our new Discovery networks.”