fuboTV plans channel expansion with $55M in venture capital


fuboTV plans channel expansion with $55M in venture capital

Sports-streaming service fuboTV announced plans to expand its basic channel line-up with new programming offerings thanks to a $55 million fundraising effort.

The company announced the new influx of cash on Monday, saying it will also build additional features focusing on sports fan enthusiasts.

No specific channels were announced. But Scripps Networks Interactive was among the new round of investors. Scripps has HGTV, Food Network and Travel Channel among its sizable lifestyle media portfolio.

Northzone, a venture capital company and early investor in Spotify, led the fundraising effort.

Sky and 21st Century Fox, both prior investors in fuboTV, contributed to this latest round of funding, the company said. The total investment raised to date by fuboTV is now more than $75 million.

fuboTV funding aims to scale business

Pär-Jörgen Pärson, partner at Northzone, who is joining the fuboTV board, said in a statement: “Fubo is at the apex of capturing a fundamental shift in consumer behavior. Just like we saw as early investors in Spotify within the music business, this will be potentially an even bigger game changer as television consumption moves online to mobile devices, computers and TV apps.”

Pärson noted that sports represents prime real estate in the television market, with a massive and engaged audience. He said Fubo has already achieved market-leading coverage of the best live sports content.

fuboTV completed what’s known as “Series C” funding. It signals that investors believe that they can scale the most successful parts of the business with the aim of reaping more than double their investment.

Plans for the money include growing fubo’s engineering and product teams, improving its back-end technology and expand marketing efforts.

fuboTV, a favorite of soccer fans

Launched in January 2015 as a streaming soccer service, fuboTV has focused carrying dozens of sports, entertainment, and news channels. Notably, the live streaming service lacks ESPN, which is still seen as a key channel despite a severe drop in viewership.

The company launched its expanded “Fubo Premier” entry-level bundle in April 2017 with a line-up of 55-plus channels, including 31 that feature sports content.

It has gained most traction with international soccer fans who follow tournaments and leagues that play across the globe. fuboTV recently became the only live streaming service besides Sling TV to carry beIN Sports after Sony decided to drop the network over an apparent pricing dispute.

fuboTV responded to Sony’s decision by offering a sale to disenfranchised beIN fans.

fuboTV has also been expanding professional and collegiate local teams via regional sports networks (RSNs) from Fox Networks Group and NBCUniversal.

Larger competitors have been focusing on expansion of its sports offerings as well. Sony added the MLB Network in March to PlayStation Vue and rolled out a multi-screen viewing feature on PlayStation 4 earlier this year. Sling TV has been advertising its World Sports and World Cricket channel packages in recent weeks.

Other investors in fuboTV are DCM Ventures, i2bf, Luminari Capital, LionTree Partners, Univision Communications Inc., Edgar Bronfman, Jr. (former Chairman and CEO of Warner Music Group), Chris Silbermann (founding partner, ICM Partners) and former NBA Commissioner David Stern.

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