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Fubo sees subscriber, revenue gains during Q3

Sports-centric streaming service eyes more FAST channel agreements and launching new AI-driven features to grab and retain subscribers.

Sports-centric streaming service eyes more FAST channel agreements and launching new AI-driven features to grab and retain subscribers.

A Fubo TV guide listing shows an event for the 2022 FIFA World Cup.
A Fubo TV guide listing shows an event for the 2022 FIFA World Cup. (Graphic by The Desk)

The dawn of a new football season helped push streaming service Fubo’s subscriber count to more than 1.477 million during its third financial quarter of the year, the company revealed last week.

The figure marks a 20 percent increase when compared to Q3 2022 and was more than 26 percent higher from the 1.167 million subscribers Fubo reported last quarter.

Total revenue increased 43 percent on a year-over basis to $313 million, up slightly higher from the $305 million Fubo reported last quarter.

“Fubo’s strong third quarter exceeded guidance in North America, highlighted by an all-time high in paid subscribers as well as double-digit, year-over-year revenue growth,” David Gandler, the company’s CEO, said in a statement. “As we progress toward our 2025 positive cash flow goal, we are confident that a return to content aggregation and bundling – which we long predicted – is now a reality. Fubo’s aim is to be a super aggregator, offering consumers premium content delivered through an intuitive and personalized streaming experience, at multiple price points, all in a single app.”

Fubo focuses on curating live sports programming from a number of top-tier providers, including the Walt Disney Company (ESPN, ABC), Fox Corporation (Fox, Fox Sports 1, Fox Sports 2, Big 10 Network), Paramount Global (CBS, CBS Sports Network) and Comcast’s NBC Universal (NBC, NBC Sports), along with various regional sports networks like Root Sports, Bally Sports and Marquee and national channels like NFL Network, NHL Network, NBA TV and MLB Network.

Its various programming deals allow it to carry most in-market National Football League (NBA) and National Hockey League (NHL) games as well as select National Basketball Association (NBA) games, NASCAR events and Major League Baseball. Fubo doesn’t have an agreement to offer sports programming from Warner Bros Discovery, whose hockey and baseball games recently started streaming on cornerstone entertainment service Max.

On a conference call with reporters, Gandler said Fubo was looking toward becoming a “super aggregator” service that offers streaming access to top-tier cable sports, news and entertainment channels alongside multiplex movie networks and free, ad-supported streaming television channels. To some degree, Fubo already does this — it operates its own ad-supported channels like Fubo Sports Network and Maximum Effort Channel, which are also offered to other free streaming platforms — and Gandler’s comments strongly indicate subscribers and investors should expect more of the same.

From a business standpoint, adding free streaming channels allows Fubo to do a number of things: It gives Fubo the ability to market its service as offering access to channels that number in the hundreds, while giving subscribers a way to watch free and premium programming through a single app.

Free streaming channels also open up additional sources of income for Fubo by creating revenue-sharing agreements with the programmers of those channels that allows Fubo to insert its own advertisements during breaks. The upside for programmers is reach: Putting their channels on Fubo allows them to target well over 1 million streamers, which can be a marketable point when convincing advertisers to buy time on their channels.

Gandler also reaffirmed that Fubo would harness the power of artificial intelligence (AI) solutions to bring more features to its live-streaming service. As reported by The Desk in January, the company has already started testing some new AI features on a version of its streaming service that is sold in France, and some of those perks are expected to make their way stateside soon.

One feature that could debut soon is a tool that allows streamers to record games from their favorite teams, then catch up on an in-progress game by watching key plays. A similar feature is already offered on Fubo competitor YouTube TV, but Gandler said Fubo’s “proprietary technology” bundled with AI tools will make for a superior experience to anything already on the market.

“We believe it’s this compelling value proposition, aggregated content delivered through a personalized streaming experience, that will make Fubo the gateway to television,” Gandler affirmed.

Its various strategies should help Fubo reduce its financial losses within the next few quarters. During Q3, Fubo said its operating loss was $84.4 million, or around $21 million less when compared to the same time period last year.

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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).