FuboTV gambles its future on interactive sports betting app
September is known for many things — back to school, the stock market’s worst month, plus being TV streaming providers’ strongest month.
Streaming service sales spike during September — along with the start of the NFL season — with one platform capturing the majority of that growth…
Sports slowly move towards streaming
Founded in 2015, FuboTV is a live TV streaming service that bundles different channels — with a focus on sports.
- Rapid growth to 700K subscribers, expecting 900K by the end of 2021.
- Stock is up 22% in 2021 — with analysts concerned about competition and its habit of burning cash.
Why so unprofitable? Licensing content is expensive, even more so when it comes to sports — and to make its model work, Fubo charges a subscription fee and displays ads.
Fubo is still a fraction of the size of other live TV streaming services — Youtube TV (3M+ subs) and Sling TV (2.4M subs) — and worse news, Youtube TV’s growth is already flattening. Don’t forget Fubo’s other problems…
- The market for live TV is much smaller than non-live streaming services like Netflix/Disney+.
- At $65 per month, Fubo’s streaming service isn’t cheap — with sports as its main appeal.
But here’s where Fubo gets interesting…
Fubo’s best shot at becoming profitable and differentiating itself from competitors is its interactive sports betting service — which is expected to launch by the end of 2021:
- Partnered with sports organizations including NASCAR, NFL’s New York Jets and NBA’s Cleveland Cavaliers.
- Received licenses to operate its sportsbook in several states including Arizona and Iowa.
The upside remains in its sports betting product — which is an important revenue source and without it, analysts are skeptical it can become profitable.
The Joe’s speculation: If Fubo’s sports betting platform becomes a success, the company could be a great acquisition for DraftKings or Penn — who are both in an acquisitive mode.
Investors: All bets on sports betting
Fubo’s CEO is betting live TV streaming services can hit 40-50M subscribers in the next 5 years — and that Fubo will capture 10% of it — getting it to 5M subscribers. But even at those numbers, profitability likely won’t come without making its sports betting product work.
This week, research firm, Bernstein, released a bullish call on several sports betting names including Penn National Gaming (NASDAQ:PENN) and Fubo — as sports betting continues to move online in several states.