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Fubo debuts AI-powered “Instant Headlines” feature

Fubo's new "Instant Headlines" feature uses AI to create news clips from programming aired on channels like NewsNation and MSNBC. (Courtesy image)
Fubo’s new “Instant Headlines” feature uses AI to create news clips from programming aired on channels like NewsNation and MSNBC. (Courtesy image)

Streaming television service Fubo has unveiled a new instant headlines feature that incorporates machine learning tools to monitor and promote coverage of topics that are airing across certain national news channels.

The feature, which was unveiled on Thursday and is still in a beta phase, uses artificial intelligence (AI) to monitor channels like Nexstar Media Group’s NewsNation and Comcast’s MSNBC, promoting coverage currently airing on those channels and refreshing content titles in the home carousel of a user’s dashboard in real-time.

“The page constantly refreshes each channel tile in the carousel, updating the user on the current topic being discussed on that channel,” a Fubo spokesperson said in a press release on Thursday. “From there, the user can click on the channel tile to watch the live segment.”

The feature is debuting to users of Android TV (Google TV) and Amazon’s Fire TV devices first. It mainly covers national news channels, but is also integrated into certain local news channels, depending on a user’s home location, the company said.

Fubo said the feature “may be expanded to other devices in the future,” but offered no specifics. In addition to Fire TV and Android TV, Fubo is available on Apple TV, Roku and a few other smart TV platforms.

The feature makes good on a promise made by Fubo CEO David Gandler last year, in which he affirmed the company was working to develop new features that were powered by machine learning tools, including the delivery of some sports highlights.

“If you were to ask Fubo, ‘can you show me every soccer goal that was scored from the left-side of the field?’, it will go in and — because it’s accumulating its own data on a frame-by-frame basis — it’s able to [show] you that,” Gandler said. “You can ask it [to] “show me a 20-minute clip of every goal touchdown pass that I missed over the last two days,’ things like that.”

Fubo began experimenting with AI integrations in France, where it acquired the streaming service Molotov three years ago. The experiments were promoted as an opportunity for Fubo to refine its approach to machine learning tools before bringing similar solutions stateside.

Last November, Fubo debuted “Fubo Radio,” a collection of 10 music streams that were powered by AI solutions offered by a company called Super Hi-Fi. The debut of Fubo Radio marked the first time a standalone streaming television service offered its own music channels, with the streams available to subscribers of the Fubo Pro package.

On Thursday, Fubo said the debut of Instant Headlines was the “first step” toward offering a new “suite of news-focused product features with the goal of ensuring fans never miss a moment of their favorite content,” with the goal of making similar products available for its sports and entertainment content in the future.

“We believe tech advancements will continue to demarcate Fubo from other live TV streaming services – appealing to both consumers and advertisers alike – and will contribute strongly to our profitability goals,” Gandler said in a statement this week.

“Today’s launch of our first-of-its-kind news feature is aimed to improve live content discovery on Fubo, in real time,” Gandler continued. “Innovating around our news programming is a focus this year, particularly as we head into an election cycle. We’re excited to further evolve Instant Headlines and offer additional news-based product features during such a critical time in world news. Instant Headlines is just the first product we’re rolling out this year aimed to ensure our users never miss a moment of the most meaningful content.”

Fubo starts at $80 per month before taxes and fees, and is available on most smart TV platforms, phones, tablets and through the Fubo website. It offers live channels from a handful of major content providers, including Fox Corporation (Fox, Fox News Channel, FS1), the Walt Disney Company (ABC, Disney Channel, FX, FXX, Freeform, National Geographic, ESPN), Paramount Global (CBS, Comedy Central, BET, MTV, Nickelodeon, TV Land), Comcast’s NBC Universal (NBC, MSNBC, USA Network, Bravo, E!) and sports-specific networks like NFL Network, MLB Network, NHL Network, Big 10 Network, Bleav Sports, TUDN, ACC Network and SEC Network.

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About the Author:

Matthew Keys

Matthew Keys is the publisher of The Desk and reports on the business and policy matters involving the broadcast television, streaming video and radio industries. He previously worked for Thomson Reuters, Disney-ABC, Tribune Broadcasting and McNaughton Newspapers. Matthew is based in Northern California, has won numerous awards in the field of journalism, and is a member of IRE (Investigative Reporters and Editors).