Despite what executives from sports-centered live TV streaming service fuboTV said following the release of the company’s latest quarterly earnings report earlier in the week, the streaming service is not done doubling down on gambling. The company announced this week that it has agreed with SportsGrid to provide an OTT (over-the-top) platform dedicated to sports wagering on fuboTV, as part of their Sports Plus Add-on.
SportsGrid is the first 24 hour sports wagering channel in the US It provides real-time coverage of pre and in-game odds, data, stats and more for all major sports, including the NFL, MLB, NBA, NHL, college sports, golf Old tennis and soccer. The channel also features sports analysis and news, and its line-up will be anchored by “The Pat McAfee show”, which currently has nearly 2 million subscribers. McAfee will also be part of the rebranded FanDuel TV starting next month.
“We are extremely pleased to join FuboTV,” SportsGrid’s Jason Sukhraj said, “the timing is perfect with the excitement with the upcoming NFL season and FIFA World Cup Soccer Championship.”
The move comes amidst uncertainty for fuboTV after the streamer lost 109,000 subscribers in Q2 2022, dropping below 1 million total subscribers. Co-founder and CEO David Gandler called the sports betting market “100% saturated” in January, so the about-face is clearly intended to lure back those lost subscribers.
fuboTV originally intended to develop its own sports betting platform, but those plans were apparently shelved following the latest earnings report. The company added free-to-play wagering games in June, preparing the ground for the SportsGrid announcement.
It will be intriguing to monitor the development of the SportsGrid-fuboTV partnership. SportsGrid is already offered on Sling TV’s FAST (free ad-supported streaming TV) service Sling Free, so it’s doubtful that addition alone will bring a dramatic number of subscribers to fuboTV.
fuboTV has been making efforts to add more FAST channels as well, but major sports leagues have been hesitant to embrace the FAST format. That’s another problem for fuboTV, as their channel options are so heavily skewed toward live sports.
On top of these woes, fuboTV is about to have major competition in live sports betting. This week, Disney announced that it was searching for a sportsbook partner to bring betting interaction to ESPN. When Disney launches its planned standalone ESPN streaming service, the company’s reach and already strong streaming numbers ensure that it will be a powerhouse. fuboTV’s deal with SportsGrid had better take off quickly, or they may be left behind.