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fuboTV CEO on Dropping Turner, Adding ESPN, and Likelihood of Future Price Hikes

Stephanie Sengwe

Earlier this year, fuboTV added Disney-owned channels like ESPN, Disney Channel, and ABC.

The new addition catalyzed other changes to the platform.

Because fuboTV was adding Disney channels, the streamer decided let go of Turner Networks and hiked their prices to $59.99 a month.

The changes proved to be beneficial to the platform nonetheless - especially in light of other streaming services like YouTube TV (and now Hulu) raising prices to $64.99 a month.

During the BMO Gross and ESG Conference, CEO David Gandler stated, “It was game changing. There were two things that were always stopping fubo from growing. The first was from a price perspective, we were always $10-$15 more expensive than out peers in the online space. The other piece that really pulled us back was the fact that we didn’t have Disney and were building the brand as being a sports-centric service,” he explained.

“As we added ESPN in…we were very concerned with our initial approach because we have never had ESPN, there was no data behind it. We knew what the opportunity was when we made that switch but we didn’t understand at the time how important it would be. We found was that the reactivation rates—those people that had churned out and of that cohort how many had returned for the start of the sports season—we saw a very significant increase year-over-year and a number of people reactivate.”

The changes appear to have paid off. In November, the company hit 455K subscribers, the most in their history. They expect to surpass 500K by the end of the year.

As far as future price hikes go, Gandler stated that the company has the flexibility to increase, depending on the market. “We can amortize over a larger audience where as cable can have 35 percent or 40 percent of its audience that really cares about sports and it’s forcing the price on everybody. So, from a pricing standpoint, I think we have more elasticity,” he stated.

“We also have some opportunity because we priced our product at $59.99, base tier… and we have been testing bundling. Third quarter bundling was great for us…On the pricing front, I think we have the optionality to make that decision given some room relative to our peers on the base pack and I just think we have more elasticity.”

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