➤ The channel is accessible on Roku, Xumo and Samsung devices.
➤ Lineup features original programming, licensed fare, news and sports documentaries.
➤ Ad strategy incorporates traditional buys, talent integrations.
Following a soft launch in June, fuboTV Inc. has officially taken the wraps off a free-to-view, ad-supported TV channel. Fubo Sports Network is positioned not only as part of the streaming service’s 95-channel base subscription package, but is also accessible through third-party connected platforms from Xumo LLC, which also powers LG Channels, Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd.'s Samsung TV Plus and Roku Inc.'s The Roku Channel. After serving as a consultant, Pamela Duckworth, founder of creative marketing production company Duckworth Entertainment, is now head of Fubo Sports Network and original programming for fuboTV. S&P Global Market Intelligence recently caught up with Duckworth and fuboTV co-founder and CEO David Gandler to discuss the debut. An edited transcript follows.
S&P Global Market Intelligence: Fubo Sports Network’s lineup features original programming, licensed content, some live sports content and news. The originals make up what percent of the lineup? What's the plan for news programming?
Duckworth: We are launching with six hours of original content and we’ve also licensed sports content from partners like The Players' Tribune, FanDuel, USA Today, and many more. Moving forward, we will diversify the original lineup further and branch into other sports, including football. What every original production on fubo Sports Network will have in common is a unique angle that fans will appreciate. As for news, we are still developing our news offerings. We currently have a highlights show, but we plan on expanding in the very near future.
How long has fubo been working on the channel?
David Gandler: The idea for fubo Sports Network was developed about six months ago. We decided to build the network as a complement to fuboTV, our cable replacement product, and make it available off of fuboTV on platforms like The Roku Channel and Xumo. We’ve essentially built a new startup company within fuboTV.
fuboTV CEO David Gandler
After the initial idea, I brought in Pam to head up the network and develop our original programming. Fubo has been in the sports media business for years, but this is the first time we’re producing our own content.
Pamela Duckworth: My career has focused on sports and entertainment, but the challenge to manage a new network and build the original slate from scratch was an opportunity I just could not pass up.
The movie lineup: Theatricals and/or documentaries?
Pamela Duckworth, head of Fubo Sports Network and original programming for fuboTV
Duckworth: We are looking at a combination of independent docs like Gravitas Ventures' 'Manny' and 'Fastball.'
The game coverage comes via sublicensing deals, or part of the affiliate pacts you’ve have established with the rights-holders?
Duckworth: Fubo Sports Network will air simulcasts of Division 1 NCAA football and basketball through our partner Stadium, and soccer from Univision.
Who are some of the biggest sponsors of the new channel?
Gandler: Our ad sales team is just now taking fubo Sports Network to market. There are a lot of advertising opportunities on fubo Sports Network -- from traditional media buys to integrations with our talent. We’re already seeing interest from advertisers and hope to share news soon.