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FuboTV — a U.S.-based video streaming service offering a premium, over-the-top bundle of sports TV channels — has inked a deal to merge with Facebank Group, a developer of technology IP.
Terms of the deal were not disclosed, but the proposed merger aims to create a sports-first digital entertainment alternative online for cord-cutters and cord-nevers. The combined company will be led by David Gandler, CEO of FuboTV, which received earlier investment stakes from 21st Century Fox, European pay TV giant Sky, ICM Partners’ Chris Silbermann, Luminari Capital and LionTree Partners.
“The business combination of FaceBank Group and FuboTV accelerates our ability to build a category defining company and supports our goal to provide consumers with a technology-driven cable TV replacement service for the whole family,” Gandler said in a statement.
Facebank Group is led by founders John Textor and Alex Bafer and develops and markets technology-driven IP for sports, movies and live performances. The merger is also looking to bolster FuboTV with a possible market listing as the coronavirus outbreak — as more people become ill with COVID-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus — likely gives a lift to in-home online TV viewership in an era of self-isolating and social distancing.
“In the current COVID-19 environment, stay-at-home stocks make perfect sense — we plan to accelerate our timing to uplist to a major exchange as soon as practicable. We look forward to working with John and his team of creative visionaries,” Gandler added.
Having launched in the U.S. market in January 2015, FuboTV did recent beta launches in Canada and Europe and has added entertainment content to get it beyond being just an aggregator and distributor of OTT sports content. FuboTV has a customer base dominated by millennial males who are not traditional pay TV customers, with 30 percent of its users being Latin American.
The company provides access to video content in English, Spanish and Portuguese via www.fubo.tv, as well as Roku, Chromecast, Apple TV and iOS and Android devices. The company offers that content via U.S. distribution deals with TV channels that hold rights to major sporting events, including live soccer matches from more than half of the top international leagues and tournaments.
Content partners include Univision, beIN Sports and GolTV.
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