FuboTV snags $20M in funding as vMVPD price war heats up

FuboTV
Late last month, fuboTV added ESPN and other channels through a carriage deal with Disney Media Networks. (FuboTV)

Virtual MVPD FuboTV has raised another $20 million in funding as the service and its competitors like YouTube TV and Sling TV engage in an escalating price war.

FaceBank Group, which merged with fuboTV earlier this year, has entered into an agreement with Credit Suisse, to which fuboTV sold 2,162,163 shares of common stock priced at $9.25 per share for an aggregate purchase price of approximately $20 million. To date in 2020, fuboTV has raised more than $46 million in funding from institutional and private investors. The company said intends to continue to raise capital to support growth strategies and fund its operations.

In May, fuboTV said it ended 2019 with 315,789 paid subscribers, up 37% year over year. The company also said its 2019 revenue increased 96% year over year to $146.5 million, thanks to growth in fuboTV’s paid subscriber base, ad sales and user engagement. Subscription revenue rose 90% to $133.3 million and advertising revenue rose 201% to $12.4 million.

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RELATED: An updated timeline of price hikes at YouTube TV and other vMVPDs

Looking ahead, fuboTV said its key priorities for 2020 are growing the content portfolio (including 4K and fuboTV-produced original programming), further innovating and personalizing its product offering, and expanding the business internationally (fuboTV launched in Spain in 2018).

Right now, though, fuboTV is in the middle of a recent round of price increases and responses among its competitors. Late last month, fuboTV added ESPN and other channels through a carriage deal with Disney Media Networks. The next week the service raised its prices despite not being able to reach a new carriage agreement with WarnerMedia for channels including TBS, CNN and TNT.

FuboTV is increasing the price of its Family bundle from $60/month to $65/month. Existing Standard plan subscribers (which currently pay $55/month) will be automatically moved over to the Family plan. They can opt out but if they do, they will begin paying $60/month for their Standard plan.

RELATED: Sports-focused fuboTV finally gets ESPN

At the same time, YouTube TV is raising its monthly price from $50 to $65 and adding eight Viacom channels including Comedy Central, Nickelodeon, BET and MTV. The new price took effect last week for new members and existing subscribers will see the changes reflected in their subsequent billing cycle on or after July 30.

While YouTube TV and fuboTV raised their prices, Dish Network’s Sling TV pledged to guarantee current prices on any Sling TV service through August 1, 2021 for new and existing customers who have accounts by August 1, 2020.

Philo recently added two additional channels, getTV and INSP, and brought its lineup to 60 channels but said it’s keeping its $20/month price.

“As we continue to gain momentum and subscribers, we believe we offer something different than our competitors who are increasingly upping their prices to attempt to break even. We believe our ‘skinny bundle’ is really the only solution for cord-cutters looking for value,” said a Philo spokesperson.

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