Sports streaming service fuboTV and Viacom this morning announced a new carriage deal that will see fuboTV carry Viacom’s entertainment networks as a part of its TV packages. The deal includes channels like MTV, Nickelodeon, Nick Jr., BET, CMT, Comedy Central, VH1, Paramount Network, TeenNick and many others. A selection of these will be added to fuboTV’s base package, while an expanded group of channels will be made available to fuboTV’s premier package, “fubo Extra.”
FuboTV originally began as a soccer-focused streaming service, but the company has been steadily expanding its lineup beyond sports channels in recent months. Today, it’s carrying networks like CBS, AMC, NBC and FX, for example, and now describes itself as a “sports-first streaming service.”
That is to say, fuboTV is positioning itself to cord cutters as the service to choose if you’re ditching traditional pay TV, but mostly care about access to sports — with a little entertainment mixed in for variety.
As of last fall, fuboTV had grown to nearly 250,000 subscribers.
The new deal with Viacom will make fuboTV even more of a competitor to rival live TV streaming services like Sling TV, DirecTV Now and Philo — all of which also carry Viacom’s channels.
Viacom says it’s making its nine core media networks — BET, CMT, Comedy Central, MTV, Nickelodeon, Nick Jr., Paramount Network, TV Land and VH1 — available to fuboTV’s base package, “fubo.” Those included in the “fubo Extra” package will include BET Her, BET Jams, BET Soul, Logo, MTV2, MTV Classic, MTV Live, mtvU, Nick Music, Nicktoons and TeenNick.
Meanwhile, fuboTV’s Spanish-language package, “fubo Latino,” will receive Viacom’s Telefe and MTV Tr3s networks.
The deal will bring some of Viacom’s top shows to the sports streaming service, like Comedy Central’s “The Daily Show,” MTV’s “Jersey Shore: Family Vacation,” Nickelodeon’s “Rise of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles” and others.
“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,” said Tom Gorke, EVP, head of Distribution and Business Development, for Viacom, in a statement. “This is a great opportunity to continue to grow our reach and audiences across the OTT landscape and connect with our fans wherever they consume content,” he added.
The move to offer further entertainment comes at a time when fuboTV’s rivals — like Dish’s Sling TV and AT&T’s DirecTV Now — are seeing declining growth, as the streaming TV space becomes more competitive. Customers now have several choices in this market — and with the rising prices of over-the-top live TV, they expect to get a well-designed, stable and expansive selection of channels on whichever service to which they choose to subscribe.
FuboTV has been able to capitalize on this demand by targeting cord cutters with a service that has had to work well from day one in order to keep up with the demands of streaming live sports, while also rolling out more advanced features like recommendations and support for 4K HDR, for example.
With this significant expansion into entertainment programming through the Viacom deal, fuboTV may be able to pick up more subscribers who are frustrated with the more basic streaming services offered by Dish and AT&T. These customers may not have previously considered fuboTV because it didn’t have as many entertainment options as others.
The Viacom channels have not yet gone live on fuboTV, but will be available “soon,” the companies said, without providing an exact launch date.