FuboTV CEO Discusses Subscription Experimentation, Goals for More Market Access Deals, Acquisition
During today’s Deutsche Bank Media, Internet & Telecom Conference with co-founder and CEO David Gandler of fuboTV, there was a lot of discussion around pricing, subscription testing, as well as market access deals, acquisition, and overall improvement plans and goals for the platform.
Gandler first pointed out how different fuboTV is from other services, being that it is a “sports first cable replacement service.” Gandler also mentioned that the streamer has “a base that is 96% of our users watch sports. And 90% watch live.” Additionally, growth is “about three times the virtual MVPD space.”
“We’ve spent a lot of time developing a product which by the way for the first time, in fourth quarter, we had the highest NPS score of any of the virtual MVPDs,” Gandler said. “Again, that’s not easy when you’re competing with a company like Google. And so from a product perspective, we built out features like sports calendar views, and one of our top features is like a multi-view where you can watch multiple games concurrently, and then we’ve built out predictive games and we’re the first to launch 4k for sporting events.”
The CEO also pointed out that their user experience innovations were only able to make a difference because of the types of content that they are able to provide to their subscribers. Gandler said that users will see a lot more personalization when it comes to fuboTV’s overall product.
“We have also have been doubling down on more expensive sports content, as some of the audience may know. We have the largest portfolio of regional sports networks,” he said. “You know, when we personalize highlights and do all these things, we’re going to know so much about you. That if we know your favorite soccer players Messi or your favorite basketball players, the LeBron James will be able to tell you things about what’s happening on the platform and really create discrete experiences that nobody else can do. And so as long as we’re continuing to grow our sub-base, then we’ll be able to take advantage of the gaming opportunity.”
FuboTV reported in its 2021 Q4 earnings release that it added approximately 185,000 subscribers in the final quarter of last year, totaling over 1.1 million. The live TV streaming service saw an increase of subscribers by 106% compared to the prior year, however, added about 77,000 fewer subscribers than it did in the third quarter.
In terms of engagement, Gandler said, “[At peak COVID] we were seeing something like 146 hours per customer. If you think about Netflix as being the gold standard, I think Netflix is in the 45 to 50 hours a month range. So that just goes to show you how important live TV is. And again, this is not on a base of 50,000 customers. We’re talking you know, a million but, you know, obviously with the war people watching more news, you know, we’re seeing some the trend to be around 130. So, relative to 2019, even 2020 hours are certainly up.”
The CEO also mentioned that subscriber churn and retention have both improved for the streamer.
Moving onto pricing, Gandler doesn’t envision the company changing how it handles prices in the future.
“We started this business recently in 2015, where the service was only $6.99. Fast forward, you know, six, six and a half years later, and it’s at the base at $65,” he said. “So I think we have done a good job understanding our customer base raising prices, at the same time lowering churn, increasing subscribers. This year, we did not raise we usually do an annual price increase I think this September.”
Gandler stressed that fuboTV will continue to experience price increases annually to keep up with growing technological advancements and carriage fees.
In February, fuboTV experimented with moving their plans from monthly to quarterly subscriptions. As they did in 2021, the company quickly reversed course only a few days later. However, as Gandler has mentioned in the past, “You should anticipate that we’ll continue to experiment.”
This testing of subscriptions is nothing new for fuboTV, however, testing the multi-month subscription contract during a game like the Super Bowl is something it normally doesn’t do, since a high level of churn is to be expected. “We don’t market things like the Olympics or March Madness because those are high churn events. So we just wanted to see what the math looks like,” Gandler said.
On the topic of acquisition and interactive gaming events, fuboTV has done it all. The company has 10 market access deals for its Fubo Sportsbook and it plans to continue to expand. Gandler said that their ultimate goal for Fubo Gaming is to create a “national platform.”
“All of this is really about creating flywheel because as you add gaming, what’s really happening is one acquisition costs are down because you’re leveraging your TV subscriber base the second thing is you have more engagement,” the CEO stated. “When you have more engagement that means people are watching more ads and you can drive more ad revenue and number three, you retain customers better because you have a very unique product. There is nobody in TV today that is attempting to do and we’re already making strides and to do what we’re doing and the gaming companies cannot become media companies. And if you’re sitting there saying well how could that be? Very simple, NFL deals are up in 2034, you know, the Olympics, the World Cup, March Madness. All of this, all the major sporting events are up in 2030. So we’re in a very unique position.”
Gandler then added, “There’s really no acquisition costs for us. So, you know, we think that there’s a good opportunity for us to really sort of develop this business.”
While the company is still focused on its live sports betting features, it has also been slowly grabbing up broadcasting rights for its Fubo Sports Network across all regions. In Canada, fuboTV owns the broadcast rights to the English Premier League, Serie A, and Coppa Italia. The company also has rights for UEFA. As of recently, Probellum has announced broadcast deals with fuboTV and ESPN KO. FuboTV will broadcast the Dubai cards in the US and Canada on Fubo Sports Network.
Fubo is a live TV streaming service with about 90 channels for $74.99/month. This plan includes local channels, 25 of the top 35 cable channels, and regional sports networks (RSNs). In total, you should expect to pay about $85.98/month, after adding in their RSN Fee. Fubo was previously known as “fuboTV.”
The streaming service does not carry channels from WarnerMedia-owned (CNN, TBS, and TNT), A+E (A&E, History Channel, and Lifetime), and AMC Networks (AMC, BBC America, and WE tv).
Fubo is a great option for sports fans, especially those who want to stream local sports. They recently announced added Bally Sports RSNs to their channel lineup.
It is the least expensive option to get RSNs in many markets like Altitude, AT&T SportsNet Pittsburgh, AT&T SportsNet Rocky Mountain, AT&T SportsNet Southwest, Bally Sports Arizona, Bally Sports Carolinas, Bally Sports Detroit, Bally Sports Florida, Bally Sports Great Lakes, Bally Sports Indiana, Bally Sports Kansas City, Bally Sports Midwest, Bally Sports New Orleans, Bally Sports North, Bally Sports Ohio, Bally Sports Oklahoma, Bally Sports San Diego, Bally Sports SoCal, Bally Sports South, Bally Sports Southeast, Bally Sports Southwest, Bally Sports Sun, Bally Sports Tennessee, Bally Sports West, Bally Sports Wisconsin, Fox Sports Arizona, Fox Sports Carolinas, Fox Sports Detroit, Fox Sports Florida, Fox Sports Indiana, Fox Sports Kansas City, Fox Sports Midwest, Fox Sports New Orleans, Fox Sports North, Fox Sports Ohio, Fox Sports Oklahoma, Fox Sports Prime Ticket, Fox Sports San Diego, Fox Sports South, Fox Sports Southeast, Fox Sports Southwest, Fox Sports Sun, Fox Sports Tennessee, Fox Sports West, Fox Sports Wisconsin, Marquee Sports Network, MSG, MSG Sportsnet, NBC Sports Bay Area, NBC Sports Boston, NBC Sports California, NBC Sports Chicago, NBC Sports Northwest, NBC Sports Philadelphia, NBC Sports Philadelphia+, NBC Sports Washington, NBC Sports Washington+, NESN, Root Sports Northwest, and SportsNet NY.
Fubo also includes MLB Network, NBA TV, NFL Network, NFL RedZone , NHL Network, and beIN Sports (which is not available on most services). You can add Fox Soccer Plus as part of the International Sports Plus add-on for $6/month.
You can add the fubo Extra ($8) to add ~39 channels including Baby TV, Cooking Channel, DIY, and GSN.