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FuboTV to Launch Sports-Focused Skinny Internet TV Bundle, Inks Pacts With Fox Networks, NBCU, A+E, Others

Variety logo Variety 12/14/2016 Todd Spangler
© Provided by Variety

FuboTV, a startup that launched two years ago as a streaming subscription TV service for soccer, is gearing up to launch a “skinny bundle” of 70-plus broadcast and cable channels after securing deals with several programmers.

The company — continuing to emphasize live sports programming — will more than double its channel lineup following affiliate agreements it signed recently with Fox Networks Group, NBCUniversal, A+E Networks, Crown Media Family Networks, Fuse Media, NBA TV and the Weather Channel. The deals will bring to FuboTV a selection of games from the NFL, NBA and Major League Baseball.

FuboTV in the next few weeks plans to launch a new service, at an introductory rate of $34.99 per month, with more than 70 channels, including national broadcast and cable networks, regional sports networks, and local broadcast stations owned and operated by the new partners.

The offering will put FuboTV more squarely in competition with other Internet pay-TV players, including DirecTV Now, Dish Network’s Sling TV and Sony’s PlayStation Vue—as well as traditional cable and satellite TV providers. Disney also has said it’s planning to roll out an ESPN-branded sports service, on the heels of its investment in Major League Baseball’s BAMTech streaming-video unit.

The programming agreements come after FuboTV landed $15 million in funding in February 2016 led by 21st Century Fox and Sky. The company has raised $20.6 million to date. Other investors include DCM Ventures, Luminari Capital, LionTree Partners, former Warner Music Group CEO Edgar Bronfman, Jr., ICM Partners founding partner Chris Silbermann and former NBA Commissioner David Stern.

With the expanded lineup, FuboTV’s users in the U.S. will have the ability to watch live events from all of the major American professional and college sports, as well as international leagues and tournaments – including live baseball, basketball, boxing, cricket, cycling, football, golf, hockey, horse racing, mixed martial arts, motorsports, professional wrestling, rugby and tennis. Additionally, an array of live and video on demand entertainment programming from the new networks will also be available to subscribers.

Channels with sports programming being added for FuboTV beta subscribers in the coming weeks will include local stations owned by Fox, NBC and Telemundo; RSNs from Fox Sports and NBC Sports; plus national networks Fox Soccer Plus, BTN, FS1, FS2, Fox College Sports, Fox Deportes, Golf Channel, NBA TV, NBCSN, NBC Universo and Universal HD.

In addition, FuboTV is adding a range of entertainment and news channels under the agreements. Those include networks from A+E Networks (A&E Network, FYI, History, Lifetime, LMN, Viceland); Crown Media Family Networks (Hallmark Channel, Hallmark Movies & Mysteries); Fox Networks Group (Fox News Channel, Fox Business Network, FX, FXM, FXX, National Geographic, Nat Geo Mundo, Nat Geo Wild); Fuse Media (Fuse, FM); NBCU (Bravo, Chiller, Cloo, CNBC, CNBC World, E!, Esquire, MSNBC, Oxygen, Sprout, Syfy, USA Network); and the Weather Channel (Local Now, The Weather Channel).

The new FuboTV service will include features such as DVR, VOD, in-browser streaming and digital TV guide navigation. Additional features to be added in the future include a “catch up” function, personalization and user profiles, and access to more than 25 TV Everywhere authenticated apps.

FuboTV, which officially launched in January 2015, is available on the web at fubo.tv; on Amazon Fire TV and Fire TV Stick; Android and iOS devices; Apple TV; Chromecast; Kindle Fire; and Roku.

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