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fuboTV Signals Intention to Enter Legal Sports Betting Space

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fuboTV Signals Intention to Enter Legal Sports Betting Space
Bettors place wagers. Mark Makela/Getty Images/AFP

fuboTV, a leading sports-first live TV streaming platform is apparently ready to make a move into the legal sports betting space to complement its strong media brand. fuboTV announced Tuesday that it has acquired California-based technology startup Balto Sports, a platform founded in 2018 that allows users to set up fantasy sports contests. Terms were not disclosed.

The launching of a sportsbook is seen as a “natural progression” for fuboTV and will not only act to maximize their users’ experience, but also act to generate a little more revenue for the company during this time of rapid growth in the US legal sports betting space. The online sports wagering market is expected to reach $155 billion by 2024 according to Zion Market Research.

David Gandler, co-founder and CEO, fuboTV, commented, “As we said in our third quarter earnings announcement last month, FuboTV sees the online wagering space as complementary to our sports-first live TV streaming platform. We believe there are significant synergies between consumers who enjoy wagering and our subscribers who enjoy streaming live sports, creating a flywheel opportunity.”

Evolution of fuboTV Arrival in the Sports Betting Space

fuboTV has had success in their own space. The company currently boasts in excess of 455,000 subscribers and is home of “tens of thousands of live sporting events” each year. Their client-base are obvious and avid sports fans coughing up $65-a-month for the premium, global sports broadcasting service. Despite the cost, the company is expected to have between 500,000 and 510,000 paid subscribers by the end of this year.

fuboTV need not look further than the two Fantasy behemoths that have successfully moved into the legal sports betting space. Fantasy for those giant companies was a terrific stepping stool into the legal sports betting realm – one that has paid off in a big way for those companies. fuboTV is hoping the same rings true for them.

fuboTV has already quietly been aligning themselves with sports betting. Last year, they started carry betting data from one of the two big DFS giants and they have also been linked to VSiN which produces sports betting content for their stations.

Taking Their Own Path

fuboTV, with its latest move, is showing that they are not interested in aligning with an established sports betting brand. Unlike many other media Heavyweights, partnering with a top-notch brand didn’t ever seem to be in the cards.

“We believe there are significant synergies between consumers who enjoy wagering and our subscribers who enjoy streaming live sports, creating a flywheel opportunity,” said David Gandler, FuboTV’s chief executive and co-founder.

“The acquisition of Balto Sports will enable us to build a first class, free to play experience that brings consumers the best games around live sports. From there, we see a natural progression to layer on real money wagering in regulated markets complementing FuboTV’s live streaming video for a highly engaging user experience within our platform.”

What It All Means

fuboTV will now be able to leverage Balto’s contest automation software with its own proprietary technology to introduce a free-to-play gaming offering. It essentially puts another big name into the legal betting space.

The belief among executives at fuboTV is that “people come to fubo for the sports,” and that the company could work to increase profits off of that very fact. David Gandler mentioned during an earning call last week that increased revenue was a goal of the company going forward and that betting would eventually “an important contributor to our business.”

fuboTV will use Balto Sports to develop and launch free-to-play games with an eye on becoming a full-blown sportsbook in the very near future.

fuboTV Joins…

Sinclair Broadcast Group just last week was thrust into the legal sports betting industry when they were acquired by Bally’s. CBS/William Hill, Barstool Sports/Penn National, NBC/PointsBet, ESPN/Caesars and VSiN/BetMGM have recently forged relationships that will bring together TV and sports betting brands.

Maximizing a bettors’ sports experience is always the goal of a legal gambling operator and having a strong media side is one of the ways to do just that. “We will be strategic in our approach to wagering as we consider and evaluate different opportunities and will adjust our plans accordingly. We’re excited to launch sports wagering, integrate it into our core offerings and deliver what we believe will be a truly groundbreaking live TV streaming platform to consumers.” said CEO David Gandler.