FuboTV, shortly after completing its merger with FaceBank, has revealed a new joint venture that will put the virtual MVPD in the virtual Floyd Mayweather boxing match business.
FuboTV, FaceBank, Floyd Mayweather and ONE Entertainment Group will work together to create and manage Mayweather’s digital likeness. One of the JV’s initial plans is to develop “virtual boxing matchups pitting Mayweather’s digital likeness against other boxing legends and icons.” The companies said these real-time simulations will use a modeling computer to track and adjust for actual performance, velocity of punches, speed of reaction, strategy and stamina. The virtual boxing matches will be exclusive to fuboTV and pay-per-view partners to be announced later.
With social distancing and stay-at-home orders in place because of the coronavirus outbreak, virtual boxing matches could fit well with the new normal. FaceBank suggested possible matchups including Mayweather versus Sugar Ray Leonard and Mayweather versus Bruce Lee.
FaceBank said it will work with Mayweather to research, capture and analyze photographic, filmed and mathematical representations of his face and body to develop a “realistic, computer-generated ‘digital likeness’ for global and commercial applications.” The company expects to announce similar agreements with other sports icons in the coming weeks.
“My team has always been the past, present and future of sports and entertainment," said Mayweather in a statement. "Now, together with FaceBank, fuboTV and ONE Entertainment, I am continuing that trend.”
“Just last week, fuboTV and FaceBank closed our merger. With FaceBank’s tech-driven IP in sports, movies and live performances, and fuboTV’s direct-to-consumer live TV streaming platform for cord-cutters, we're already making strides towards building the kind of digital entertainment company we envisioned,” said fuboTV CEO David Gandler in a statement. “Our joint venture with Floyd Mayweather and ONE Entertainment makes possible a few of the greatest fights of all time that never happened, that could have never happened...until now. Undefeated in the ring after so many years, Mayweather can now step up to compete in the hyper-realistic world of virtual competition, challenging the legends of boxing in hyper-real simulated boxing matches with outcomes that will be as surprising to the fighters as to a live global audience.”