In the United States, fuboTV has seemingly come out of nowhere to offer a solid platform of online soccer streaming services that rivals or exceeds those offered by competing companies.
But where did fuboTV come from? What are their future plans, and what does their name mean? While in Miami recently at the Sportel America conference, I sat down with David Gandler, co-founder and CEO of fuboTV, to learn more.
The founders of fuboTV worked together at a company named Drama Fever, which was recently acquired by SoftBank. The online subscription was geared to TV series out of Asia and sub-titled in English for the US audience. The DNA for fuboTV comes from there.
After learning that the name “fubo” is short for football, Gandler filled in more details regarding the company and its vision.
“The platform was built for soccer fans,” said Gandler.
“We use the latest technology that many of our media partners have agreed that is best in class. We’re not trying to displace TV networks. The service is geared to cord cutters. We try to fit in the right way to an eco system that is complicated.”
fuboTV offers a wide variety of live and legal soccer matches from beIN SPORTS, GolTV, beIN SPORTS en Espańol and GolTV en Espanol as well as club TV channels including Benfica TV, Ajax TV, BVB World, Everton TV and more. That translates into La Liga, Serie A, Bundesliga, Portuguese games, Copa America, Ligue Un and more.
fuboTV is not stopping there.
“fubo TV is currently producing its own [soccer] series in the fall which is tied to soccer in a real way, looking at football from a cultural lens,” he said. “Our goal is to create a service that is so vertically integrated that it’ll not only allow you to watch games each weekend but to provide an opportunity to get through the week with valuable content.
“There aren’t many companies that are around today that are producing shows about football. Almost like a Vice Sports, we’re entering that gap and producing series. The first series is a ten episode series that is based in Latin America with a host from the UK.
“We also have The Football Report, which comes out 7 days a week. We’ve done over 1,000 episodes. People tend to watch episodes from other months, so it’s interesting to see how people engage with the content.
“When you come to fubo TV, you’re getting a real soccer experience not just a pay TV service. We only care about one thing. We cater to football enthusiasts.”
Gandler was asked whether any deals may be announced soon.
“We’re working with other networks, and there are other companies in the UK that will be producing hours and hours of content to us in respect to EPL clubs,” he said. “We’ve decided to make a significant investment in content.”
For anyone who has dealt with online streaming services, one of the chief complaints is the poor customer service experience. Gandler explained how fuboTV is different in this regard.
“We are one of few companies in the space that have a customer service phone line. For us, customer service is critical. It’s really the whole package — providing people with a service that they love, and that comes from great picture quality, to speed, to great support and social aspects of the game.
“We’ll even come to your house to set it up for you. We’re set up for that in several different states now.”
fuboTV is available on computers, tablets, smartphones, Amazon Fire TV, Roku and now Chromecast for $6.99 per month. Gandler noted that the apps are optimized differently to ensure quality streams.
“It’s all about user experience,” he said. “For iOS and Android, it’s very different app experiences based on phone and tablet. The tablet experience is more robust. The phone experience is very light; it’s quick to cache the live games.”
Lastly, Gandler discussed the topic of illegal streams.
“We’ve been dealing with piracy for 6 years,” he said. “For the user, there’s no value in trying to find pirated streams. It’s the quality of the stream. No malware. Email support. Curating the games for you. Personalization. So there’s so much value in paying a low monthly fee with 35 games across each week. If you’re a serious soccer fan and you care about the game, make sure you watch it the right way.”
Sign up for a free 14-day trial to fuboTV today (US only).