Digital TV Research: Global Online TV Subs to Pass Cable in 2024

Online TV continues to gain traction worldwide despite remaining relatively stagnant in the United States. New data from Digital TV Research found that online TV will add 36 million subscribers between 2023 and 2029, to take its total to 412 million. IPTV overtook satellite TV subscribers in 2018 and is expected to overtake cable in 2024, according to the research group.

 

 

 

 

 

 

YouTube TV is the largest online TV  service in the United States with more than 6.3 million subscribers, followed by Hulu + Live TV  with more than 4 million subs.

“[Online TV] is the pay-TV winner,” analyst Simon Murray said in a statement.

The number of pay-TV subscribers across 138 countries will remain at just under 1 billion, with a slight annual decline until 2025, followed by a recovery thereafter.

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Global pay-TV penetration will reach 56% of all TV households by the end of 2023, falling slightly to 54% by the end of 2029. Through 2029, 82 countries will add pay-TV subs and 56 countries will lose subscribers. The United States will be the biggest loser — down by 10 million subscribers.

Fubo Ups Q1 Online TV Subs 22% to 1.28 Million, Eyes 2025 Profitability

Sports-themed online TV platform Fubo topped 1.28 million paid subscribers in the first quarter (ended March 31), up 22% from 1.05 million subs in the previous-year quarter.

The company, which includes French-based SVOD streaming service Molotov TV, and 100+ free ad-supported streaming TV (FAST) channels, said the latter produced 13 million viewership hours, representing an
ongoing driver of continued margin expansion.

Molotov added 74,000 subs to end the period with 379,000 subs, up 24% from 305,000 subs in the prior-year period.

“Our subscriber growth came in ahead of guidance and was accompanied by lower-than-expected churn, which we believe reaffirms the pricing power and strong appeal of our sports-first offering,” co-founder/CEO David Gandler wrote in a the shareholder letter.

Revenue increased more than 34% to $344.4 million, from $242.3 million in the prior-year period. Net loss narrowed 35% to $83.4 million, from $128.4 million a year ago.

“We are pleased with Fubo’s execution to start 2023 and our increased North America guidance for the year reflects our confidence in our continued leadership in streaming,” Gandler said. “In addition, we remain confident in our path to generate positive cash flow in 2025. While the macro uncertainty continues, the second quarter has started well, with customer engagement ongoing and advertising accelerating sequentially.”

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Frndly TV App Now Available on Vizio Smart TVs

Online television service Frndly TV, which reports having 700,000 paid subscribers, April 18 announced that its app is now available on Vizio Smart TVs. The platform is available for plans starting at $6.99 monthly.

“This is a seminal moment in the history of Frndly TV,” co-founder and chief programming officer Michael McKenna said in a statement.

Vizio Smart TV come equipped with a proprietary operating system, affording users access to over-the-top video acontent and ad-supported channels. Other services include Apple TV+, Discovery+, HBO Max, Hulu, Netflix, Peacock and Prime Video.

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“The addition of the Frndly TV app to the Vizio lineup provides affordable and accessible family-friendly entertainment for all to enjoy without a costly cable subscription,” added Chris Tanquary, senior director of business development at Vizio.

Cinedigm Adds 10,000 Movies, TV Shows to Vidgo Online TV Service

Cinedigm March 2 announced a new distribution deal with online TV platform Vidgo, adding more than 10,000 films and television series to the streamer’s on-demand content library.

Founded in 2018, Vidgo’s platform (priced from $39.95 monthly) includes more than 40,000 shows, movies and documentaries accessible through the app available on Roku, Amazon Fire TV, Apple TV, Android and iOS mobile devices, and the Web.

The new programming spans animation, Westerns and documentaries, and includes Yu-Gi-Oh! The Movie based on the Japanese manga and anime in which the heroic Yugi squares off against archrival Kaiba, and the drama New York, New York, about lovers divided by desires, by choices, and by dreams of the West.

Other titles include Elvis: A Generous Heart, showcasing the musician’s generosity, as he helped family, friends and many charities throughout his life, and Daniel Boone, Trailblazer, in which Boone battles Shawnee warriors as he leads a band of settlers into Kentucky.

“This partnership represents increased accessibility of the entertainment we love most,” Chris McGurk, CEO of Cinedigm, said in a statement. “We look forward to continuing to grow this mutually beneficial relationship.”

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FuboTV Ups 2022 Revenue, Subscribers and Fiscal Loss

Sports-themed online television platform FuboTV on Feb. 27 announced that in its fiscal-year 2022 (ended Dec. 31), it generated revenue of more than $1 billion, up 58% from revenue of $638.4 million in fiscal 2021. The platform ended last year with 1.45 million subscribers, an increase of almost 29% from 1.122 million subscribers at the end of 2021.

Subscription data includes French-based live sports streaming platform subsidiary Molotov, which ended the year with 420,000 subscribers. With the platform’s key competitor ceasing operations, Fubo has high hopes for Molotov’s 2023 prospects.

“We believe this new media landscape in France will bring us significant opportunities to further enhance our unit economics and efficiently scale our subscriber base,” Fubo co-founder/CEO David Gandler said in a statement.

With increased revenue, unfortunately, also came increased costs, upping FuboTV’s fiscal year net loss past $411 million, compared with a net loss of $328 million at the end of 2021.

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Bright spots included Fubo’s North American advertising revenue, which increased 37% to more than $100 million, from $73 million in 2021. In the fourth quarter, ad revenue spiked 30% to $33.6 million, from $25.8 million in the previous-year quarter.

“In 2023, we are focused on increasing our ad inventory with the continued launch of new free ad-supported television (FAST) channels,” Gandler said. “Our product teams are also working on improving consumer discovery of our FAST channels to give our customers a greater diversity of content, while also expanding our ad inventory.”

Fubo Sports Network Now Streaming on Amazon Freevee

Fubo Sports Network, the ad-supported free-to-consumer TV network from FuboTV, has launched on Amazon Freevee (formerly IMDb TV). The deal now makes the channel available on more than 155 million devices across multiple streaming platforms. 

Fubo Sports Network, which closed September 2022 with its highest viewership to date, is now available on LG Channels, Samsung TV Plus, The Roku Channel, Vizio WatchFree+, Tubi, Plex and Xumo, in addition to social media platforms Instagram, TikTok, Twitch, Twitter and YouTube. Fubo Sports Network is also available as part of FuboTV’s subscription packages featuring 125-plus sports, news and entertainment channels.

Fubo Sports Network recently expanded its original programming with the addition of two new series, “Airing It Out” with Housh and Scandrick, and “The Young Person Basketball Podcast” with R.J. Hampton, and new seasons of returning favorites “No Chill” with Gilbert Arenas and “Getcha Popcorn Ready” with T.O. and Hatch

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“With the launch on Amazon Freevee, we’re bringing our athlete-driven programming and original series to more eyeballs,” Pamela Duckworth, head of Fubo Networks and originals, FuboTV, said in a statement.

Duckworth contends there is a growing appetite among viewers for to see and hear the voice of the athlete in TV programming.

“Platforms like Freevee allow us to do just that at no extra cost for our audiences,” she said.

Online TV Platform Vidgo Reboots With Cinedigm Content

Online TV platform Vidgo Nov. 29 announced it is launching a new look and new logo across all platforms, including partnerships with connected TVs and newly launched Cinedigm bundle.

The latter partnership includes subscriber access to Fandor, Screambox, RetroCrush, The Bob Ross Channel, Dove, AsianCrush, El Rey Network, Bloody Disgusting and Comedy Dynamics — all showcased via an integrated program guide that offers genres from anime to sci-fi/fantasy to horror to independent movies.

Vidgo’s new red, white and blue logo pays homage to the U.S., while offering a diverse channel lineup, which includes 35 sports networks, the NFL, NHL, and international soccer priced from $59.95 ($39.95 for Spanish language VidgoMás).

“With Vidgo’s app available on connected TV and streaming devices, including Roku, Vizio, Amazon Fire TV, Apple TV, as well as Android and iOS mobile devices, our subscribers now have unlimited access to their favorite shows, sports and news at home and on the go,” CEO Derek Mattsson said in a statement.

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FuboTV Increases North American Subs 31% to 1.23 Million

Online sports-themed streaming platform FuboTV  Nov. 4 reported it ended the third quarter (ended Sept. 30) with more than 1.23 million North American subscribers, up 31% from 939,000 subs in the previous-year period. The service closed the quarter with $219.2 million in North American revenue, an increase of 40% year-over-year from $156.6 million, while ad revenue was $22.5 million, up 21% year-over year from $18.6 million.

The company said the quarter’s net loss increased 44% to $152.7 million from a net loss of $105.9 million in the prior-year period. The increase was due in part to a non-cash impairment charge of $35.5 million pertaining to management’s decision to close the Fubo Gaming business and cease operation of its owned-and-operated Fubo Sportsbook.

Outside North America, the company generated $5.8 million in revenue and 358,000 total paid subscribers. European streaming operations include Molotov, the French live TV streaming service acquired in December 2021.

“Fubo remains committed to profitably scaling a global live TV streaming platform differentiated by the breadth of premium content and interactivity,” CEO David Gandler and executive chairman Edgar Bronfman Jr. wrote in the shareholder letter.

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Streamer DAZN Buys Eleven Sports, Expanding Live Soccer Rights Within Boxing Content Portfolio

Online sports streaming platform DAZN Sept. 27 announced it has acquired fellow London-based online TV broadcaster Eleven Sports for an undisclosed amount. The transaction affords DAZN exclusive professional soccer league rights in Portugal and Belgium. The transaction complements the streamer’s existing live-sports streaming market positions in Italy, Germany, Austria, Switzerland and Spain.

The deal also includes control of Eleven’s Team Whistle sports social media platform, ranked within the top 10 U.S. media sports properties on Comscore with more than 700 million followers across its channels, and a growing distribution network that generates around 5 billion views per month.

Kevin Mayer

Soccer continues to drive live-sports streaming among U.S. and international over-the-top video platforms. NBCUniversal’s Peacock, Paramount+, Apple TV+, Prime Video and ESPN+ all have streaming rights to various professional leagues around the world.

“This deal marks an acceleration of our strategy to diversify our offerings and leverage our fantastic sports properties and our platform into new markets and business models,” Kevin Mayer, chairman of DAZN, said in a statement.

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Mayer, who helped create the Disney+ SVOD platform before moving to TikTok for a brief stint as CEO, said Team Whistle has a proven track record in monetizing short form video content.

“It will be hugely valuable … as we look to generate the maximum value from our enviable rights portfolio, creating new formats of content to reach new audiences and generate powerful incremental revenue streams,” he said.

Upon completion of the deal, Andrea Radrizzani, Eleven founder, will join DAZN’s board as an executive director supporting the DAZN’s business development.

Established in 2015, Eleven streams more than 65,000 hours of live content annually. The deal is subject to anti-trust review; as such, the completion date remains unknown. Guggenheim Partners has advised Eleven Group on this transaction.

Cinedigm Partners With Vidgo to Expand Branded Streaming Service Reach

Cinedigm Sept. 14 announced a new deal with upstart online TV platform Vidgo to distribute Cinedigm’s flagship streaming service, Cineverse, which features a lineup of free ad-supported streaming television (FAST) channels plus a library of VOD and TV series. Vidgo plans to launch Cineverse this fall.

At launch, Cineverse will include Fandor, Screambox, RetroCrush, The Bob Ross Channel, The Dove Channel, AsianCrush, El Rey Network, Bloody Disgusting and Comedy Dynamics, among other channels.

“We believe in the freedom to be entertained, and Cinedigm’s channels are just that — freedom to select from a broad range of titles, themes and fun,” Derek Mattsson, CEO of Vidgo, said in a statement.

Through the partnership, Vidgo subscribers will gain full access to Cineverse’s entire video-on-demand content library of more than 10,000 titles and growing portfolio of FAST channels. Cineverse will be integrated directly into Vidgo’s mobile apps, connected TV apps and website. It will also be available to all Vidgo subscribers at no additional cost. The Matchpoint platform, which fully powers the company’s flagship Cineverse service, will serve as the white-label platform that powers the full AVOD experience for Vidgo’s subscribers.

“Cinedigm remains focused on reaching new audiences and expanding distribution of our branded enthusiast channels and broad catalog of content across all genres,” Daniel Schneider, SVP of revenue at Cinedigm, said in a statement.

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The pact comes a day after Vidgo announced it would launch a weekly series, “Shock and Awe,” featuring former Fox News pundit Bill O’Reilly, who abruptly left the network in 2017 after it was disclosed the media company had paid millions of dollars to different women to settle sexual harassment claims against him.

“Bill is an American icon,” Mattsson said. “We believe this is exactly the kind of programming that will resonate with our base and substantially grow our subscribers.”