Fubo TV could grab five million subscribers in five years

The top executive at Fubo TV says he believes his linear streaming television service could grab anywhere from three million to five million subscribers within the next five years.

The statement came in an interview with a CNBC reporter published on Friday shortly after Fubo TV raised its year-end subscriber guidance to around 900,000 after grabbing more than 700,000 paying customers at the end of its most-recent financial quarter.

Fubo TV offers dozens of pay television channels with a heavy emphasis on programming packages that includes live sports. The service starts at $65 a month and goes up from there as subscribers add on more channels and features.

At a time when many streaming services are looking to break away from traditional cable television channels, Fubo TV thinks there’s a market for people who want to free themselves from the cable box without losing access to linear pay television channels — and Fubo TV’s chief executive David Gandler believes many of those customers are sports enthusiasts.

“I am extremely confident of the future of television,” Gandler said during the CNBC interview. “We’re averaging about seven hours of viewership per day versus the gold standard of Netflix, which we believe is roughly around three hours per day.”

Gandler said the majority of Fubo TV’s subscribers are watching live television — he claimed data showed 89 percent of subscribers were — and that “live channels are doing a great deal of work and heavy lifting for all of the big network brands.”

“There’s a whole problem of discoverability on a lot of these platforms because you just don’t know which thumbnail to click on,” he said.

Some tech companies, including Google and Amazon, are starting to solve this problem with updates to their streaming platforms that focus on content aggregation and discovery across a wide variety of ad-supported and subscription streaming services.

Fubo TV’s strength is offering an added layer of interactivity that allows viewers to engage with the programming they’re watching. Nowhere is that more true than with sports, with Fubo TV committing time and resources toward building out an interactive sports betting feature that is expected to launch very soon.

“It’s becoming very clear that we’re looking to develop a new category of television, which is tied to interactivity,” Gandler said.

Sports betting is not the end of the road, either: The CEO predicted a future for Fubo TV where the service could sell apparel and other merchandise tied to the programming its subscribers watch.

“It’s really the amount of timeshare that we own and the data that we have that allows us to continue to sell more and more products, and I think that’s where this can go long term,” he said.