fuboTV Adopting ‘Conservative Approach to Growth’ Ahead of Thursday Quarterly Reporting
The larger economy is in a perilous position currently as businesses, analysts, and consumers alike weigh oddly disparate economic indicators that seem to both say that we are finally coming out of the COVID-created malaise and heading for a recession all at the same time. These conflicting factors and general uncertainty are also becoming increasingly confusing inside the streaming space as, thus far, quarterly reporting has been a bit all over the place.
According to a report from Business Insider's Colin Salao and Ashley Rodriguez, sports-focused live TV streaming service fuboTV has been the latest streamer to be dealt a difficult hand by current economic factors. Insider is reporting that the company laid off an unconfirmed number of staff members on Tuesday due to an anticipated economic downturn.
In a statement to Insider, Fubo said, “The quickly deteriorating macroeconomic environment, coupled with the increasing level of uncertainty, is impacting all companies. FuboTV continues to focus on cost savings and taking a conservative approach to growth. As part of this, the company made a small workforce reduction across its U.S. business today. While not welcome, this reduction is an opportunity for Fubo to re-examine key initiatives and focus on profitable growth in support of its long-term vision.”
Fubo is scheduled to release its latest quarterly earnings report after the markets close on Thursday, and the carefully statement seems to indicate trouble ahead for the streamer. Many streamers are bracing for what they feel will be an inevitable pullback in household discretionary spending that could see streaming churn increase as consumers prioritize other, more important things on their budgets.
When Fubo last reported earnings, it revealed that it had lost over 74,000 subscribers during the first quarter of the year. However, since fuboTV does market itself to sports fans, there is always a seasonal churn following football season.
At the time — despite 81% year-over-year subscriber growth in North America — Fubo anticipated dropping below 1 million subscribers during Q2. After ending 2021 with 1.13 million customers, that total dropped to 1.056 as of the end of March. When you combine this uncomfortable downward subscriber trend and cloudy corporate guidance with the reports that the company bracing for difficult economic headwinds, the future is becoming a bit gloomy for the streamer.
While the statement doesn’t indicate exactly what a “conservative approach to growth” means in the short term, more than likely it has to do with content acquisition and new carriage deals. In efforts to keep pace with YouTube TV, Hulu Live TV, and other live streamers, fuboTV has been steadily increasing its content offerings.
After avoiding a carriage disruption with TelevisaUnivision on July 1, Fubo has continued to add channels over the past month, including multiple free, ad-supported TV (FAST) channels from Crackle Plus, a new premium plan for Canadian subscribers, and FOX Nation as an add-on option.
Whether or not this trend slows down for Fubo is yet to be seen, but on Thursday when the company’s executives release their latest report and take questions from analysts, there will almost certainly be some very difficult questions that need to be answered.
fuboTV is a live TV streaming service with about 90 channels for $69.99/month. This plan includes local channels, 27 of the top 35 cable channels, and regional sports networks (RSNs).
The streaming service does not carry channels from WarnerMedia-owned (CNN, TBS, and TNT) and those from A+E (A&E, History Channel, and Lifetime).