Less than 10 months after announcing its gaming division, fuboTV’s Fubo Sportsbook officially launched this week, in Iowa. In an interview, fuboTV CEO David Gandler said the launch represented a milestone for the streaming TV platform as it expands its interactive entertainment ambitions. But he was also quick to caution that the company’s move into betting would look more like a marathon than a sprint.
“We have two revenue streams today—one is our advertising revenue steam, the second is our subscription revenue stream,” Gandler said. “We believe that betting could be a strong third revenue stream. Whether it’s greater than advertising or not is to be determined.”
Gandler added that Fubo expects its gaming products, which include free-to-play options, will bolster existing lines of business. Put simply: Bettors watch more sports on TV, which could benefit Fubo’s subscriber and advertising hauls. At the same time, Gandler said the company could see a higher betting volume per player because of its ability to offer targeted betting opportunities based on viewership data. Fubo also hopes to use its existing funnel to lower customer acquisition costs at a time when bookmakers can spend well over $300 for each new user they attract.
“Streamers will not be able to do what we’re doing around betting, and other betting companies just don’t have the amount of engagement we have or access to the number of sporting events we have,” Gandler said. “So we feel very comfortable with our ability to expand ARPU [average revenue per user].”
While sports betting companies continue to expand, TV streamers have had a tougher time. Hulu saw its live TV offering’s subscriber base shrink in Q2 as Disney emphasizes its SVOD bundle, and YouTube TV remains locked in a distribution battle with Roku. Meanwhile fuboTV has added subscribers, even if it remains roughly 2.5 million subs behind those two category leaders. The company will announce third quarter earnings on Nov. 9 with its stock up close to 40% on the year.
Sports-connected carriage battles have marked the industry this year, and fuboTV has been no exception. The service, which starts at $65/month, doesn’t currently offer TNT or a number of Bally Sports stations. Even as its sportsbook operations expand, Gandler said the economic decisions behind which channels fuboTV carries are unlikely to drastically change. “We look at our video product as we’ve always looked at it,” Gandler said. “As you know, more of the population watches TV than bets…. We want to make sure that we’re continuing to drive subscribers onto the platform and then isolating those that we feel would be interested in gamifying their video experience.”
Fubo Gaming launched earlier this year as a subsidiary of fuboTV Inc. following the acquisition of sports betting startup Vigtory. Former Vigtory co-CEO Scott Butera now runs Fubo Gaming as president.
Fubo has said it will be expanding sportsbook access in additional markets in 2021 and 2022. It has obtained market access agreements in Arizona, Indiana, New Jersey and Pennsylvania.