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Sports-centric Fubo TV adds subscribers, loses cash

More people are signing up for Fubo TV, a sports-centric streaming television service that seeks to replace traditional cable and satellite TV services with a flexible, online-only offering.

But to add those subscribers, the company admitted it had to part with some cash first — to the tune of over $570 million.

On Tuesday, the company released its quarterly financial earnings report — Fubo TV is a publicly-traded company — that showed the service has more than 547,000 paying subscribers, a jump of 237 percent compared to this time last year.

But that growth came with a substantial trade off: The company bled $570 million in cash compared to a loss of just $35 million last year.

Though the number is shocking, it’s not surprising, given Fubo TV’s recent investment in a forthcoming sports betting platform that it hopes will tie nicely with its offering of sports events provided through partnerships with the Walt Disney Company (ESPN, ABC Sports), Univision, Fox Sports (FS1, FS2), Al Jazeera Media Network (BeIN Sports) and others. Those partnerships are deepened through arrangements with major sports leagues, including Major League Baseball (MLB) and the National Basketball Association (NBA).

Fubo TV executives said the company should start to turn a profit by the end of this year as its sports betting platform comes online and its advertising technology improves.

“We believe our sports-focused differentiated position will allow us to continue to grow our business across KPIs, including advertising,” David Gandler, the chief executive of Fubo TV, said in a statement.

To do this, it will eventually integrate some of its sports-betting products right into the live Fubo TV service “for a seamless viewing and wagering experience,” Gandler said.

In addition to the sports networks, Fubo TV offers dozens of general entertainment, lifestyle, knowledge and movie networks starting at $65 a month for access to over 100 channels. Major local broadcast network affiliates are also included in most markets, and subscribers can take on premium movie networks Showtime, Starz and Epix for additional fees.

The service is available to stream on Apple TV, Android TV, Roku and Amazon Fire TV, with apps also available for smartphones, tablets and the XBox gaming console.

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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).