Viacom reached a distribution deal with FuboTV, which will soon add an array of the conglomerate’s networks — including Comedy Central, BET, MTV and Nickelodeon — to its live TV internet streaming service.
Viacom is now on four “virtual pay-TV” platforms: Dish Network’s Sling TV, AT&T’s DirecTV Now, Philo and FuboTV. Viacom remains absent from Google’s YouTube TV, Hulu’s live TV bundle and Sony’s PlayStation Vue (which dropped the conglomerate’s lineup more than two years ago).
For Viacom, there’s some urgency in getting on OTT platforms as traditional cable and TV satellite distributors have seen their subscriber losses accelerate. In 2018, the five biggest U.S. pay-TV operators collectively lost 3.2 million subs, a 4.2% decline.
“FuboTV is quickly evolving as a major force in the streaming television space, and the addition of Viacom’s media networks as a cornerstone of FuboTV’s entertainment offering demonstrates the power and popularity of our global brands and programming,” Tom Gorke, Viacom’s EVP and head of distribution and business development, said in a statement.
Viacom is expanding its digital footprint on other fronts. Last month it spent $340 million to buy PlutoTV, a free TV-like streaming service, and its Viacom Digital Studios division now owns VidCon and digital network and studio Awesomeness.
For now, FuboTV is relatively small in the grand scheme of things. Launched in 2015 as a sports-centric OTT TV service, the New York-based company said it had just shy of 250,000 paid subscribers at the end of September 2018. It has raised $150 million from investors including AMC Networks, 21st Century Fox and Sky (now owned by Comcast).
Viacom shows that will be available to FuboTV customers include Comedy Central’s “The Daily Show With Trevor Noah” (pictured above), MTV’s “Jersey Shore: Family Vacation” and Nickelodeon’s “Rise of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.”
Under the deal with FuboTV, Viacom’s nine core media networks – BET, CMT, Comedy Central, MTV, Nickelodeon, Nick Jr., Paramount Network, TV Land and VH1 – will soon be included in FuboTV’s base package, priced at $45 per month.
In addition, an expanded suite of Viacom channels will be available in the Fubo Extra premier package ($50 monthly). Those include BET Her, BET Jams, BET Soul, Logo, MTV2, MTV Classic, MTV Live, mtvU, Nick Music, Nicktoons and TeenNick. The deal also will bring Viacom’s Telefe and MTV Tr3s networks to FuboTV’s Spanish-language Fubo Latino package (an additional $8 per month).
“We’re very excited to enter into this strategic partnership with Viacom, which continues to make prescient and aggressive moves in the digital media space,” said Joel Armijo, FuboTV’s CFO. “Fubo remains singularly focused on offering sports fans a compelling pay-TV alternative with a robust content offering able to serve the viewing needs of the entire household.”