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FuboTV strikes long-awaited distribution deal with Disney Media Networks

FuboTV has reached a multiyear distribution deal with Disney Media Networks that will place a wide range of channels on the US sports-focused streaming service.

Beginning this summer, fuboTV’s base package will include ESPN, ESPN2, ESPN3, and in-market access to the college-focused ACC Network and SEC Network. Higher-tier fuboTV subscribers will gain out-of-market access to the ACC Network and SEC Network, along with ESPNU, ESPNews, and ESPN Deportes.

The deal represents a key programming acquisition for fuboTV following its merger earlier this year with virtual entertainment company FaceBank Group.

“With the addition to our lineup of the ESPN suite of channels, we continue to make good on our promise to sports fans to be the undisputed home of professional and college sports,” said David Gandler, fuboTV co-founder and chief executive, who had long acknowledged the previous lack of ESPN programming on his service was a crucial missing piece.

The deal arrives as many of the US-based sports properties have either recently returned to action, or plan to do so in the coming weeks.

“As live sports return but without spectators, streaming games at home will be even more important than ever,” said Ben Grad, fuboTV head of content strategy and acquisition.

FuboTV last month reported it had 315,789 subscribers as of the end of 2019, far less than rival streaming services from YouTube, AT&T, and Dish Network. But the company said it nearly doubled revenue last year compared to 2018, reaching $146.5m (€130.8m), and that streaming hours consumed among its users more than tripled. 

The company has not detailed what, if anything, will happen to consumer pricing with the arrival of the Disney-owned channels. The standard fuboTV plan costs $54.99 per month. A series of various add-on options containing sports programming begin at $5.99 per month.