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.”

FuboTV to Stream AT&T Regional Sports Network

In a first, FuboTV, the sports-themed online TV service, has inked a distribution deal for regional TV sports network AT&T SportsNet — broadcast home of the Houston Rockets and Houston Astros franchises.

Under the agreement, FuboTV ($44.99 per month) will live-stream more than 250 live sports events — the first virtual MVPD to carry AT&T SportsNet in the states of Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Louisiana and portions of New Mexico.

FuboTV carries about 75 broadcast and pay-TV channels, including local CBS, Fox and NBC affiliates in the region. In addition to sports, fuboTV also features more than 10,000 TV shows and movies on-demand.

“Both [the Rockets and Astros] have had enormous success in the last few years with the Rockets making it to the Western Conference finals and the Astros winning the World Series [in 2017],” Nina Kinch, VP of affiliate relations for AT&T Sports Networks, said in a statement.“We have had a lot of demand to bring these teams to an OTT provider and we are happy that fuboTV will help us do just that.”

FuboTV subs can watch on the web via https://fubo.tv and on Amazon Fire TV, Android TV, Apple TV, Chromecast, Roku and Android and iOS mobile devices.

 

FuboTV Approaching 250,000 Paid Subscribers

Live TV streaming service FuboTV approached 250,000 paid subscribers in September, more than double the 100,000 subscribers it had a year ago, according to the company.

FuboTV users on average spent 51 hours per month in the app last month, up from 11 hours in September 2017, the company reported. Also, the average revenue per user hit $40 in September 2018 versus $22 in the same month last year.

“What our team of less than 150 employees has built — from the ground, up, despite our competition having access to tens of thousands of engineers alone — impresses me every day, and it should put the streaming TV industry on notice,” said David Gandler, FuboTV co-founder and CEO in a statement. “Our September results and year-over-year growth are proof of our success. We have and will continue to deliver the most optimal quality experience for our customers and strong value to our investors, as we take the company to the next level.”

Sling TV Subscriber Growth Slowing

Dish Network Aug.3 reported that its pioneering online TV service, Sling TV, ended the second quarter (ended June 30) with 2.344 million subscribers – marginally more than the 2.3 million subs reported at the end of Q1.

The satellite TV operator launched Sling TV in 2015 as the first standalone online TV service, and first platform offering access to premium TV channels outside of the traditional linear bundle, including ESPN.

The market now includes Sony PlayStation Vue, DirecTV Now, YouTube TV, Philo TV, Spectrum TV Plus, Hulu Live TV, Fubo TV and AT&T’s WatchTV.

Dish said it added 41,000 Sling TV subs in the Q2, down from about 91,000 sub additions in Q1. The company closed Q2 with 10.653 million Dish TV subs. When combined with Sling TV, Dish ended the period with 12.997 million total pay-TV subs compared to 13.332 million pay-TV subs in the previous-year period.

Indeed, Dish lost 335,000 net subscribers in the period compared to 196,000 subs in the last year’s period. Lone improvement: annual monthly churn rate dropped to 1.46% versus 1.83% for second quarter 2017.

 

FuboTV Hires New Chief Technology Officer

FuboTV, the upstart online TV service co-funded by 21st Century Fox, has hired Geir Magnusson Jr. as its new chief technology officer.

Magnusson, who is the co-founder and former CTO of Sourcepoint Technologies, replaces Jason Solinsky, the ex-Google engineer FuboTV hired two years ago to its sports-centric platform.

“Geir has a strong track record of scaling complex global platforms and a proven ability to guide transformation at leading tech companies,” David Gandler, co-founder and CEO of FuboTV said in a statement. “We believe Geir’s expertise and passion for innovation will ensure we maintain our leadership position as we deliver to consumers a next-generation live OTT experience.”

The platform earlier this month launched 4K HDR10 support in beta, claiming to be the first virtual multichannel video programming distributor to offer content in ultra-high-definition and high dynamic range.

Starting July 2, broadcasts of Russia 2018 World Cup soccer on Fox and FS1 were available in 4K HDR10 with FuboTV on all Chromecast and Fire TV devices that support the format. FuboTV will also launch 4K HDR10 on Roku and Apple TV in the coming weeks.

FuboTV Bows 4K HDR Beta Service

Online TV service FuboTV has launched 4K HDR10 support in beta, claiming to be the first virtual multichannel video programming distributor to offer content in ultra-high-definition and high dynamic range.

Starting July 2, broadcasts of Russia 2018 World Cup soccer on Fox and FS1 are available in 4K HDR10 with FuboTV on all Chromecast and Fire TV devices that support the format. FuboTV will also launch 4K HDR10 on Roku and Apple TV in the coming weeks.

FuboTV investors include 21st Century Fox, which owns Fox Sports and FS1.

“Launching 4K HDR is a testament to our dedication and relentless pursuit to developing for consumers the world’s premier live video streaming service for live sports and entertainment,” David Gandler, co-founder and CEO of FuboTV, said in a statement.

To view ultra-high definition and HDR content, subscribers must have a 4K HDR-enabled television, HDMI 2.0/HDCP 2.2 compatible cable and run the FuboTV app on a streaming device that supports the formats. Bandwidth speeds of 30Mbps-40Mbps or higher are recommended. 4K HDR-capable TVs may also need calibration to present the content correctly.

The platform was among the first streaming services to launch Cloud DVR, 60FPS picture quality and in-app billing, and was the first to fully implement SCTE 224 blackout technology standards. Also, after several months of testing, fuboTV officially launched dynamic ad insertion in January – ahead of Hulu with Live TV and YouTube TV.

Sling TV Tops 2.2 Million Subscribers

Dish Network Feb. 21 announced that its Sling TV unit ended 2017 with more than 2.21 million subscribers – up 47% from 1.5 million subs at the end of 2016.

Launched in early 2015, Sling TV was the first standalone online TV service, offering access to 20 pay-TV channels priced from $20 monthly without a contract.

The service was the first to offer ESPN outside the pay-TV ecosystem. The concept was so new (Disney licensed ESPN as an experiment) that a blank screen aired during commercial breaks – underscoring marketers’ unfamiliarity with the distribution channel.

Today, online TV represents an alternative to cord-cutters and ongoing erosion of pay-TV households in the Netflix-fueled, over-the-top video era.

Other online TV platforms include PlayStation Vue ($40-$75), DirecTV Now ($35-$70), Spectrum TV Plus ($30), YouTube TV ($40), Hulu With Live TV ($40), FuboTV ($45) and Philo TV ($16).

 

FuboTV Streaming Pyeongchang Winter Olympics

FuboTV has inked a streaming deal with NBC Universal for access to 2,400 hours of the network’s multiplatform coverage of the Olympic Winter Games Feb. 8-25 from Pyeongchang, South Korea. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Sports-themed fuboTV, whose investors include 21st Century Fox, Sky and Scripps Networks Interactive, costs $34.99 monthly for 42 channels following an introductory two-month $19.99 monthly fee.

Live streaming of the Games is available only in markets where fuboTV carries the NBC network – about 70% of U.S. households.

“The Winter Olympics is a great example of the breadth and depth of live sports that our subscribers can stream … thanks to our partnership with NBC Universal,” Ben Grad, head of content strategy and acquisition at fuboTV, said in a statement.

In addition to coverage on NBC, NBCSN, CNBC, USA Network and Olympic Channel, viewers can access competition and ceremonies online at NBCOlympics.com, the NBC Sports app, Hulu With Live TV, YouTube TV, Sling TV Blue, DirecTV Now, PlayStation Vue and CenturyLink Stream.

FuboTV Adds Showtime

Online sports television service FuboTV Jan. 11 announced the addition of Showtime, the premium pay-TV channel owned by CBS.

Showtime is available for the standard $10.99 monthly fee, and includes access to nine premium channels: Showtime East, Showtime West, Showtime 2, Showtime Showcase, Showtime Extreme, Showtime Beyond, Showtime Next, Showtime Women and Showtime Family.

Showtime series include “Billions,” “The Chi,” “Homeland” and “Shameless,” among others.

Priced at $19.99 (for two months; $39.99 monthly thereafter), FuboTV offers streaming access to more than 65 channels – 37 of which are sports-themed.

Others include HGTV, A&E Network, SYFY, The Weather Channel, Fox News, Fox, CNBC and FX, among others.