FuboTV takes to the skies with Viasat in-flight distribution and technology deal

Fubo and Viasat said they are the first to implement the Streaming Video Alliance’s open caching specifications for in-flight entertainment. (fuboTV)

Virtual MVPD FuboTV has set a new distribution and technology deal with Viasat that will make its streaming TV service and ad-supported channel available on airplanes.

Participating airlines – the companies didn’t yet announce any partners – will be able to offer passengers access to FuboTV’s service without needing to buy an in-flight Wi-Fi pass. The good news is that Fubo Sports Network, the company’s free streaming channel, will be available to everyone. The bad news is that the full FuboTV live streaming TV service will only be available to existing Fubo subscribers or passengers who sign up for a free seven-day trial.

The companies are promising more reliable live and VOD streaming by using video delivery standards developed by the Streaming Video Alliance.

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Fubo and Viasat said they are the first to implement the Alliance’s open caching specifications for in-flight entertainment and that they are also using multicast techniques to deliver live OTT and VOD content at scale.

“Streaming live television is complex, and FuboTV prides itself on our internally-built tech stack that allows us to bring a stable experience to our subscribers. That’s why it was critical for us to work with a proven technology partner like Viasat to enable FuboTV to be one of the first live streaming services to expand distribution to the U.S. aviation market. We are excited to offer both FuboTV and Fubo Sports Network without the need to purchase an in-flight Wi-Fi package, to millions of passengers every month—which is an untapped environment for us,” said Cristina Arango, director of strategic partnerships at FuboTV, in a statement.

“We aim to lead the way in creating differentiated in-flight, online entertainment experiences and digital OTT provides the features, convenience and choice that passengers love when they’re on the ground,” said Don Buchman, vice president and general manager of commercial aviation at Viasat, in a statement. “We’re working with airlines to explore and develop new and innovative technology tools and business models that align with their brand and their interest in engaging more passengers with in-flight Wi-Fi at the lowest cost. Our partnership with fuboTV uses state-of-the-art technology to leverage our bandwidth advantage even further to offer reliable, high quality OTT, live or on-demand, as efficiently as possible.”