More than a betting platform, Fubo Sportsbook is purpose-built to meet the growing demand from US sports fans for interactivity through an industry first integration of a owned and operated sports betting platform with a live TV streaming experience. By integrating with fuboTV, the mobile app delivers a personalized omniscreen experience that turns passive viewers into active and engaged participants. Fubo Sportsbook launches with a unique feature, Watch Now, that leverages fuboTV’s first-party user data, allowing users to instantly watch betting content based on what they’re streaming, even if they switch channels. Fubo Gaming plans to continue to iterate on the app and launch additional features, subject to regulatory approval, which will further integrate betting into the fuboTV platform, to create an even more immersive and personalized experience.
At the time, FuboTV still said it plans to launch live odds this year. Last December, FuboTV’s chief product officer said: The edge that betting “is kind of at the core of being a fan, casual betting with friends and family, and it’s something we thought would make our product even more compelling than it is today.”
With those things gone, and according to co-founder and CEO David Gandler, the reason is simply that “Following our previously announced strategic review, we concluded that continuing Fubo Gaming and Fubo Sportsbook in this challenging macroeconomic environment will enhance our ability to achieve our longer-term profitability goals.”
Apparently, the company sought partners to shoulder the cost of launching gambling features widely, but found no deal that worked. Another notable development in recent months is a production deal between FuboTV and Ryan Reynolds-backed production company Maximum Effort, with Maximum Effort buying an ownership stake in the streamer.
FuboTV will release more detailed results and make an earnings call in November that may shed more light on the decision, but for now I wonder what this indicates for other companies, such as Disney/ESPN, Fox and DAZN that have either launched gambling features already or said they will. If the economic environment makes people a little more cautious about their wallets, or if regulatory approval isn’t as easy to get as they expected, others could follow FuboTV’s decision to turn off the light on betting before they actually get started. .
An indicator could be coming very soon. ESPN’s Second Annual Edge Conference is scheduled for two days on Wednesday, October 19, with a session titled “ESPN Bet – we like our hand”.