FuboTV first launched in 2015 as a soccer-streaming service, before expanding to add more general entertainment and news channels to the virtual pay-TV service. But until now it has lacked ESPN, one of the most requested channels by the OTT service’s customers.
Beginning this summer, customers who subscribe to FuboTV’s Standard base package will have access to ESPN, as well as ESPN2, ESPN3, and a range of other Disney-owned networks including ABC, ABC News Live, Disney Channel, Disney Junior, Disney XD, Freeform, in-market for SEC Network and ACC Network, FX, FXX and National Geographic.
Under the pact between Disney Media Networks and FaceBank Group (FuboTV’s parent company), additional networks will also be available on FuboTV’s other packages including out-of-market access to SEC Network and ACC Network, ESPNU, ESPNews, ESPN Deportes, FXM, Fox Life, Nat Geo Wild, Nat Geo Mundo, and BabyTV. The deal includes both live television feeds and VOD.
Asked if FuboTV’s prices will increase with the addition of ESPN and the other networks, a company rep said “we don’t have anything to announce” right now. It last raised rates in March 2019. FuboTV’s base package is $54.99 per month, which currently includes 111 channels.
FuboTV didn’t say when ESPN and the other Disney networks will be added. The carriage agreement will kick in as Major League Baseball is set to return with a truncated, 60-game season starting in late July.
FuboTV remains much smaller than other internet competitors like YouTube TV, Hulu + Live TV and Sling TV. According to FuboTV, it had 315,789 paid subscribers as of the end of 2019, a 37% year-over-year increase.
“With the addition to our lineup of the ESPN suite of channels, we continue to make good on our promise to sports fans to be the undisputed home of professional and college sports,” David Gandler, co-founder and CEO of FuboTV, said in a statement.
Sean Breen, Disney Media Networks’ EVP of platform distribution, said that with FuboTV’s “multiple access points across all major streaming platforms and a competitive price point, we continue to serve a growing audience that consumes video on multiple screens and attract new customers into the pay-TV ecosystem.”
Earlier this year FuboTV merged with FaceBank Group, a tech company that creates digital likenesses of celebrities and sports stars. The combined company’s 2019 revenue increased 96% year-over-year to $146.5 million, with the FuboTV service representing $133.3 million of that.