FuboTV Adds ‘FanView’ Statistics to Apple TV

Online television platform FuboTV Jan. 19 announced it has expanded its “Multiview” mode on Apple TV to support elements of its “FanView” feature, as the company continues to integrate interactivity into its live TV streaming service.

The updates come as FuboTV continues rolling out real-money wagering with Fubo Sportsbook, an app that syncs with the live TV streaming on fuboTV. Fubo Sportsbook is currently available in Iowa and Arizona with additional states to follow pending regulatory approvals.

Subscribers can now create their own custom sports viewing dashboard on Apple TV combining multiple streams (Multiview) with live stats and scores (FanView), configured on screen just as they like. With this latest technology, subs can watch up to two live sporting events simultaneously while also placing different FanView widgets right alongside each video player. FanView widget options include statistics of each live game being viewed as well as scores from games across all of the top leagues. While in FanView’s scoreboard widget, subs can also navigate through live scores and, with one click, go directly into a selected game, no channel change required.

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Subscribers who do not want to enable FanView can continue to stream up to four sports, news and entertainment channels simultaneously while in Multiview mode on Apple TV. The updated Multiview feature is currently available for select subs and will be rolled out nationwide in the coming days.

“Live sports in particular perfectly lends itself to enhanced viewing experiences,” Mike Berkley, chief product officer, fuboTV, said in a statement. “We know our subscribers want to keep track of multiple games and leagues, and they want to engage with what they’re watching. We believe this is the most personalized and customized TV viewing experience available on the market.”

FuboTV Says It Ended 2021 With 1.1 Million Subscribers

Sports-themed online TV service FuboTV Jan. 10 announced preliminary fourth-quarter (ended Dec. 31, 2021) financial results, including revenue and subscriber growth, ahead of its participation at this week’s 24th Annual Needham Virtual Growth Conference investor event.

Both revenue and subscriber metrics are projected to exceed previously issued guidance resulting in a record quarter and year for FuboTV.

Total Q4 revenue is expected to be between $215 million — $220 million, an increase of more than 100% year-over-year. Prior guidance was from $205 million to 210 million for the quarter.

Full-year 2021 total revenue is expected to be between $622 million and 627 million, an increase of more than 138%. Prior guidance was from $612 million to $617 million.

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Advertising revenue topped $25 million, an increase in excess of 90%, crossing an annual run rate of $100 million. Paid subscribers at year’s end are expected to exceed 1.1 million, an increase of more than 100% year-over-year. Prior guidance was around 1 million. FuboTV expects to end the quarter with more than $375 million of cash, cash equivalents and restricted cash.

“[Our] strong preliminary fourth-quarter results close out a pivotal year where we made meaningful advancements against our mission to define a new category of interactive sports and entertainment television,” co-founder/CEO David Gandler said in a statement.

Gandler cited improvements in subscriber churn for generating “triple-digit” revenue growth, increased operating leverage and efficiencies.

“This wraps up a phenomenal year,” he said.

Gandler added that the company remains “very pleased” with the ongoing integration of Molotov, the Paris-based live TV streaming platform acquired in December.

“While still early, our progress to date continues to reinforce our belief that the synergies of the combined companies will give us operating leverage to build a scalable global platform with minimal incremental spend,” he said.

Parks: Online TV Household Adoption Nears 20%

Launched in 2015, online television was created in an effort to combat subscription streaming VOD as well as the eroding pay-TV market.

New data from Parks Associates finds that 19% of U.S. broadband households now have an online TV service, which typically offer bundles of live channels via third-party connected devices such as Roku, Amazon Fire TV and Google Chromecast.

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“Many households who cut the traditional pay-TV cord or never subscribed in the first place, are looking for a live and more linear video viewing experience via online options, which is driving [online TV] service uptake,” Paul Erickson, senior analyst at Parks, said in a statement. “These services also promise less-costly investment and more content flexibility, which increases the appeal among today’s video viewers, who are accustomed to the benefits of OTT solutions.”

Frndly TV Taps Magnite to Monetize Streaming Content

Frndly TV, a low-cost online TV service, Nov. 16 announced it has inked a deal with Magnite to be its ad server and primary “supply-side platform” in a bid to grow its advertising revenue. 

Launched in October 2019, Frndly TV aims to differentiate itself from Hulu + Live TV, YouTube TV, Sling TV and others, by offering more than 30 live channels for less than $10 per month. With ad-supported streaming on the rise, the streamer contends that working with Magnite opens up new opportunities for ad buyers, including targeting the platform’s 60% female subscribers, with 55% between the ages 18-54, and more than 75% owning their own home.

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“Magnite’s ability to deliver seamless ad experiences, combined with the expertise of its teams, has already added meaningful value to our bottom line, and is helping us maximize our platform’s capabilities,” Steve Sklar, head of advertising sales for Frndly TV, said in a statement.

Earlier this month, Frndly TV inked a distribution deal with A&E Networks, which included A&E, the History channel, Lifetime, Lifetime Movie Network, FYI, Military History and ViceTV, and begin streaming Nov. 18.

A&E Networks Inks Distribution Deal With Frndly TV

A&E Networks Nov. 10 announced a content distribution deal with Frndly TV, a low-cost online TV streaming platform that charges subscribers less than $10 monthly. Included in the deal: A&E, the History channel, Lifetime, Lifetime Movie Network, FYI, Military History and ViceTV, which begin streaming on Nov. 18.

The announcement was made by Michael McKenna, chief programming officer of Frndly TV, and David Zagin, president of distribution for A+E Networks.

“The addition of the seven A+E Networks’ channels is a seminal event in Frndly TV’s growth,” McKenna said in a statement. “We are now able to add outstanding quality to our programming lineup with some of the most desired and loved channels in all TV.”

Frndly TV subscribers will be able to watch the whole range of A+E Networks’ original programming including A&E’s “The First 48,” “Storage Wars,” “City Confidential” and “Court Cam”; and the History channel’s “The Curse of Oak Island,” “Pawn Stars,” “Forged in Fire” and “Great Escapes with Morgan Freeman.” At Lifetime series include “Married at First Sight,” premiering in 2022, along with “Leave it to Geege,” and “My Killer Body with K. Michelle.”

Online TV Platform Philo Cites ‘Yellowstone’ Season Four Premiere for Subscriber Surge

Online budget TV platform Philo Nov. 9 disclosed that the season four debut of “Yellowstone” on Nov. 7 contributed to a huge day for single-day subscriber sign-ups.

According to media reports, the “Yellowstone” debut, featuring Kevin Costner headlining an ensemble cast, was watched by 8.38 million viewers — the second-largest audience behind the season premiere of “NCIS,” with 8.45 million viewers. The first episode also drew the biggest same-day audience for any cable scripted since an episode of “The Walking Dead” in 2017.

Not surprisingly, Philo said “Yellowstone” was the most-popular show streamed in Montana, including the cities Billings, Butte, Bozeman, Helena and Great Falls; Casper and Cheyenne in Wyoming; and Idaho Falls (Jackson) and Twin Falls in Idaho.

The show also did well mid-sized cities, including Denver, Salt Lake City, Oklahoma City, Portland, Ore., and Tulsa, Okla., in addition to Abilene, Amarillo, Boise, Idaho, Cedar Rapids, Des Moines, IA; Evansville, Laredo, Lexington, Louisville, Colo.; Lubbock, Tex.; Topeka and Wichita, Kan.

Philo said Tyler Perry’s “Sistas” and “The Oval” also generated significant viewership, however, the majority of those respondents watched the show later, via DVR and on-demand.

The $25 monthly service eschews all regional sports networks and major broadcast channels in an effort to reduce cost. Primary channels include AMC Networks, A&E, MTV, BET, Discovery, VH1, Food Network, History, Nickelodeon, OWN, TLC, Lifetime, Hallmark, Paramount, TV One, in addition to premium channel add-ons Starz and Epix — available for $9 and $6 monthly, respectively.

Philo ended the most-recent fiscal period with 800,000 subscribers — well behind online TV market leaders Hulu + Live TV (4 million), YouTube TV (2 million) and Sling TV (2.4 million).

Fox Nation SVOD Joining YouTube TV as Add-On Service

Fox News Media Oct. 26 announced that the subscription streaming service Fox Nation is launching on YouTube TV as an optional $5.99 monthly add-on starting today.

Launched in 2018, the platform includes original series (“Tucker Carlson Today,” “Tucker Carlson Originals,” “COPS,” “Lara Logan Has No Agenda,” “Crime Stories With Nancy Grace” and “What Made America Great with Brian Kilmeade”), curated programming events featuring original and acquired content (“Grateful Nation,” “Keep The Faith,” “Clint Eastwood: American Outlaw,” “Fox Justice,” “All American Christmas”), and coverage of live events, such as the Conservative Political Action Committee conference.

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YouTube TV ended 2020 with a reported two million subscribers paying $64.99 monthly for the online TV platform.

Additionally, YouTube TV subs to Fox Nation will have access to the streamer’s signature opinion programming such as “The Dan Bongino Show,” as well as Fox News Channel’s primetime shows — on-demand the next day — with Fox News Primetime All the Time.

 “We’re thrilled to partner with YouTube TV to bring Fox Nation to their platform and provide our [subscribers] with more ways to [access] the original content,” Jason Klarman, president of Fox Nation, said in a statement.

Fox Nation is also available on Cox Contour, Comcast Xfinity and The Roku Channel, as well as FoxNation.com and the Fox Nation app for all major mobile and connected TV platforms.

Online TV Subs Projected to Surpass Cable in 2026

Online TV market penetration in the U.S. may have stagnated, with Disney-owned Hulu + Live TV leading the domestic market with more than 4 million subscribers.

Globally, however, online TV (IPTV) subscribers are projected to exceed cable TV in 2026, according to new data from Digital TV Research. IPTV is projected to add 63 million subs between 2021 and 2026 to total 398 million.

“The main reason for this is China where the huge shift from cable TV to IPTV continues,” principal analyst Simon Murray said in a statement.

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China is projected to have 226 million IPTV subs by 2026, leaving about 172 million for the rest of the world. China will add 19 million IPTV subs between 2021 and 2026. However, China is projected to lose 39 million cable TV subs during the same period to end 2026 with 89 million.

Digital TV Research forecasts 13 million more pay-TV subs between 2021 and 2026, to take the global total past 1 billion. China will continue to account for nearly one-third of the world’s pay-TV subs, with 315 million expected by the end of 2026. India will bring in another 178 million. China and India will together provide half the world’s pay-TV subs by 2026.

FuboTV Adds NASCAR to Pending Sportsbook

Fubo Sportsbook, the pending mobile sportsbook from online streaming platform FuboTV, has signed a partnership agreement with NASCAR to become an “authorized gaming operator” for the stockcar governing body. Fubo Sportsbook and NASCAR will collaborate to provide racing fans with a unique wagering experience.

The launch of Fubo Sportsbook (in Q4 2021) is an industry-first integration of sports wagering and live TV streaming, and is subject to requisite regulatory approvals as the line between professional sports and betting becomes even fuzzier.

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The deal marks Fubo’s first partnership in auto racing and marks its third major marketing deal in the professional sports industry following pacts with the New York Jets (NFL) and Cleveland Cavaliers (NBA).

“We’re eager to partner with NASCAR, a league with a rich history and passionate followers,” Sam Rattner, chief operating officer of Fubo Gaming, said in a statement. “Fubo Sportsbook is continuing to expand its marketing footprint, propelling us toward our goal of reaching sports enthusiasts across the country.”

Fubo Sportsbook will be promoted by NASCAR through a multi-channel marketing campaign bolstered by at-track assets, in-app use of NASCAR-owned track, series and event marks and logos, in addition to the distribution of assets across NASCAR’s digital and social platforms and events.

“Fubo Sportsbook provides us with an opportunity to further expand NASCAR’s reach through a unique sports betting experience,” said Joseph Solosky, managing director of sports betting, NASCAR. “Whether it’s the casual viewer or die-hard race fan, Fubo Sportsbook’s innovative approach to sports wagering brings a more exciting experience for our audience as they’re able to interact with the sport in new ways.”

Legally Challenged Locast Streaming Service Shutters

Locast, the controversial online platform that attempted to stream third-party over-the-air TV network channels free to more than 3 million U.S. users across 13 cities, including Chicago, Los Angeles, New York, San Francisco and Washington, D.C., has ceased operations.

The decision came after a New York judge sided with major media companies Disney, Fox and NBCUniversal, ruling that unauthorized use of their broadcast channels was illegal. Locast argued that as a nonprofit it was immune to copyright laws and merely acting as a “signal booster.”

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The judge disagreed, contending that donation requests from Locast to expand into additional markets voided the company’s nonprofit status.

“Locast was designed from the very beginning to operate in accordance with the strict letter of the law, but in response to the court’s recent rulings, with which we respectfully disagree, we are hereby suspending operations, effective immediately,” the nonprofit said in a statement.

Unique to Locast was that it had received funding from major media companies such as AT&T ($500,000), which owns WarnerMedia, and Google’s YouTube. When AT&T’s DirecTV satellite distributor and U-verse pay-TV channel had a retransmissions fee dispute with ViacomCBS in 2019, it directed its 6.5 million subscribers blacked out from CBS content to use Locast.

Separately, Dish Network offered the Locast app to its satellite and Sling TV subs as an alternative on its AirTV devices.