DraftKings, Dish deal seen as bet against FuboTV as streamer's stock tumbles

FuboTV getting into sports betting can improve engagement and retention, CEO says

FuboTV CEO David Gandler on his company’s quarterly report and entering the sports betting world.

FuboTV CEO David Gandler defended his streaming brand’s business outlook on Wednesday as shares plunged 18% following lukewarm earnings results and news that rival Dish Network has partnered with DraftKings on an in-app betting partnership.

Dish Network subscribers will be able to access the DraftKings app, view betting odds and place wagers in real-time through the Dish TV Hopper, Dish's Sling TV and Dish-owned Boost mobile. The partnership was announced one day after a mixed fourth-quarter earnings report for FuboTV, which reported a net loss of $570.5 million or $2.47 per share, far exceeding the 85 cents per share loss expected on Wall Street. Dish's Sling internet-delivered TV programming package competes with FuboTV.

Gandler downplayed concerns about the wider-than-expected loss, noting that FuboTV nearly doubled its quarterly revenue compared to the same period one year ago. The company’s paid subscriber base increased by 73% for the quarter.

“We had a very strong year. We exceeded $100 million in the fourth quarter. We’ve raised guidance now three times. It’s a new business. We’re growing, we’re growing quickly. We’ve over-delivered on all of our KPIs.”

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Because of Sling TV,  the Dish-DraftKings deal presents a direct challenge for FuboTV. But the six-year-old service is plotting its own sports betting feature in the coming months. In a press release, Dish noted that DraftKings integrations could be added to Sling in the future.

FuboTV has been a Wall Street darling in recent months, with shares up nearly 300% compared to last March. But competition is fierce in the streaming industry and rival services such as Hulu and YouTube offer bundles at an identical $64.99 per month price point. Dish’s Sling TV has packages starting at $34.99.

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“Competition is very heavy, but if you look at the fourth quarter, we added 92,800 net additions,” Gandler added. “When you look at the slate of traditional MVPDs [multichannel video programming distributor] as well as our virtual peers, I think we outperformed all of the companies that actually report it out.”

FuboTV is one of several brands aiming to secure market share in the sports betting industry. A growing number of states have legalized sports betting since the Supreme Court struck down a federal ban in 2018.

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Gandler said he expects FuboTV’s sportsbook integration to launch sometime in the fiscal fourth quarter.

“We have a unique opportunity to combine a video product that has over 50,000 sporting events on it with a wagering product that we believe could create a nice flywheel and that can improve engagement and retention,” Gandler said.

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