fuboTV, PlayStation Vue deal to tap into rural customer base
Sony and fuboTV have struck deals with more than 850 small cable companies sprinkled across the U.S. to package their live streaming TV bundles with broadband subscriptions.
The deal with the National Cable Television Cooperative was made by the two companies as part of an effort to grow their subscription base.
About 9 million broadband and cable subscribers, largely living in rural areas, will now be offered bundled packages of broadband with either PlayStation Vue or fuboTV.
It comes at a time when customers across the U.S. are complaining about unexpected price hikes by Spectrum, and other larger cable operators.
At the same time, small cable operators are grappling with the changing demands of consumers, who are leaning toward over-the-top (OTT) streaming options. The National Cable Television Cooperative, Inc. (NCTC) is a Kansas not-for-profit corporation that operates as a programming and hardware purchasing organization for its member companies who own and operate cable systems throughout the U.S. and its territories.
“This partnership gives our members the ability to provide added value to their broadband customers, while also providing more content options for our members,” said John Childress, NCTC’s Vice President of Product Management. “There is growing demand from certain consumer groups towards live streaming video services, and we feel these partnerships help provide members options to reach these different types of consumers.”
Partnership focuses on indie cable operators
fuboTV and PlayStation Vue are competitors, but both are trying to grow and compete against similar services like Sling TV, Hulu Live TV, DirecTV Now. YouTube TV is among companies seeking a stake in streaming cable channels over the Internet as well, but is currently offered in only about 20 cities across the U.S.
Sling TV, owned by Dish Network, is believed to have the largest subscriber base among its rivals with roughly 2 million subscribers nationwide.
Sony prompted some backlash by PlayStation Vue customers earlier this month when it unexpectedly issued a $10 per month price hike to most of its subscribers across the U.S.
As part of fuboTV’s agreement, small cable operators will have the ability to offer extended free 30-day trials of Fubo Premier twice per year on a company-by-company basis. A Vue deal will likely be offered as well, but no details have been disclosed yet.
Fubo Premier is currently available at an introductory price of $34.99 per month, with a seven-day free trial.
Financial terms of deal were not announced, according to multichannel.com.
The new partnerships were announced ahead of The Independent Show – NCTC’s annual industry conference, taking place July 23-26 in Indianapolis, IN.
fuboTV’s entry-level “Fubo Premier” bundle includes 60-plus live channels – including 34 that carry sports and 80 percent of the country’s regional sports networks. Sony has four channel bundles starting at $39.99 per month. Subscribers to PlayStation Vue and fuboTV will also be able to use their subscriber IDs to log into dozens of network-authenticated TV Everywhere apps and websites.
Founder and Editor of The Cord Cutting Report. Before launching the site in 2016, he worked for more than two decades as a staff writer or correspondent for a number of daily newspapers, including The Boston Globe. His enthusiasm for tech began with the Atari 2600. Follow @james_kimble