fubo TV strong Q1, but crisis headwinds

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fubo TV, the US OTT service, is expecting to follow up a blockbuster 2019 with a strong first quarter as consumers flock to streaming video.

In its first financial report since the merger with FaceBank Group, fubo TV said that its revenue increased 96 per cent to $146.5 million (€135m) in 2019, powered by growth in its paid subscriber base, ad sales and user engagement. For the first quarter, the company expects total revenue to be up more than 75 per cent compared to the prior year.

Subscription revenue was up 90 per cent to 133.3 million in 2019 and the company sees that rising by 70 per cent in the first quarter. Ad revenues were up 201 per cent to 12.4 million in 2019 and the company said it expects the first quarter to finish with a 120 per cent increase.

But going forward, those numbers will be hard to maintain, especially without live sports.

“Sports programming lends itself to advertising, and we also insert ads into other content” said fubo TV co-founder David Gandler, now CEO of the combined company. “Although Covid-19 is significantly impacting advertising spend, we believe that advertisers will continue to shift budget allocations towards streaming and away from legacy TV as streaming provides higher ROI, better targeting and a more desirable, younger demographic than legacy TV.”

fubo TV said its user base was up 37 per cent last year to 315,789 paid subscribers. Those users streamed 298.7 million hours of content in 2019, up 210 per cent. Average revenue per user increased 42 per cent to $53.80 in 2019.


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