In a deal it says marks a significant milestone towards global expansion, sports-first live TV streaming platform fuboTV has and entered into a binding agreement to acquire French live TV streaming company, Molotov.
The transaction fuels fuboTV’s global expansion strategy by leveraging Molotov’s direct-to-consumer live TV streaming service and its advertising video-on-demand (AVoD) platform, Mango, which combined total nearly four million monthly active users in France (September 2021).
The Molotov streaming platform was designed to be easily localised for new markets and languages, facilitating quick and efficient launches in additional countries. The technology capabilities between the two companies are expected to enable fuboTV to launch its interactive sports and entertainment streaming platform on a global scale.
Molotov brings to fuboTV’s international business a freemium model which leverages a free tier to drive user growth and upsell customers to premium add-on channel packages. fuboTV plans to leverage Molotov’s strategy and low-cost marketing funnel for international growth while implementing fuboTV’s marketing technology to accelerate Molotov subscriptions.
fuboTV will look to provide Molotov with sports content and sports-first product features. The newly-combined streaming platform has the potential to offer a robust and personalised product experience for everyone in the household. This well-rounded offering will also enable fuboTV to customise local content offerings as it enters new markets.
Under the terms of the agreement, fuboTV has submitted a binding offer to acquire Molotov SAS for €164.3 million in a combination of cash and equity consideration, of which at least 85 per cent is expected in equity. The acquisition is subject to customary requisite approvals and closing conditions. It is estimated to close sometime during the first quarter of 2022 at which point the Company expects to provide guidance on how the transaction will impact fuboTV’s financials.
Molotov will continue to be based in Paris and led by JeanDavid Blanc, its co-founder. Blanc has also been named president, Molotov. Molotov’s some 100 employees will remain with the company and fuboTV plans to further expand the product and engineering team in Paris. Molotov was founded in 2015 by Blanc (founder of AlloCiné) and Pierre Lescure (co-founder of Canal+).
“Molotov has set the benchmark for ad-supported and subscription streaming platforms in Europe,” said David Gandler, co-founder and CEO, fuboTV. “We believe this strategic asset will help accelerate our goal of achieving global scale and operating leverage as we continue to improve and innovate on our live, interactive streaming TV experience for sports fans and their families.”
“In August, we launched an At-The-Market (ATM) stock offering programme to provide the flexibility to raise capital to accelerate our growth plans, including global expansion,” he added. “The opportunity offered by Molotov is a perfect example of how we can do this. We look forward to delivering a truly category-defining live TV streaming platform to consumers around the world.”
“We’re thrilled to scale Molotov with fuboTV with whom we share the same ambition and vision for a live TV streaming platform,” declared Blanc. “Our goal is to provide consumers with a best-in-class streaming experience with premium television content on a global scale.”
fuboTV currently operates in the US and Canada and was the first US virtual MVPD to enter Europe with its 2018 launch in Spain. Molotov operates in France, Burkina Faso, Ivory Coast, Senegal and Cameroon and expects to launch soon in the Democratic Republic of Congo. The company also operates in Morocco through a partnership with Maroc telecom.
News of the deal came as the company announced its financial results for the third quarter ended September 30th, 2021, revealing that, since the quarter ended, fuboTV reached the significant milestone of one million total paid subscribers.
The company delivered triple-digit year-over-year growth during the third quarter in total paid subscribers (up 108 per cent to 944,605), total revenue (up 156 per cent to $156.7 million) and advertising revenue (up 147 per cent to $18.6 million). Viewership hours reached record highs with fuboTV customers streaming 284 million hours of content during the quarter, a 113 per cent increase year-over-year. fuboTV also added 262,884 net subscribers during the quarter.
“fuboTV’s record third quarter 2021 results again showcase consistent strong execution in support of our company mission and continued traction towards our long-term growth and margin targets,” said Gandler.
“fuboTV’s achievement of hitting the one million subscriber mark since the third quarter ended is an extraordinary milestone by any measure but particularly remarkable given the momentum of our business over six short years. To put this in perspective, as of the end of the second quarter 2020, we had approximately 286,000 subscribers. And, even at the one million subscriber mark, we believe we are still just scratching the surface of the massive opportunity ahead of us with 72.6 million subscribers still active on traditional pay television.”
“The one million subscriber milestone represents an exciting inflection point in our business, with tremendous implications for revenue growth and profitability, particularly given the continued strength of our advertising business,” said Edgar Bronfman Jr., executive chairman, fuboTV. “I am thrilled about the evolution of fuboTV in such a short period of time. There is so much more to come as we track towards defining a new category of interactive sports and entertainment television.”