The Live Sports Advertising Opportunity, With fuboTV
February 7, 2022 | 6 min read
We recently announced our collaboration with fuboTV with a focus on live sports and addressable CTV, and sat down with Diana Horowitz, SVP, advertising sales at fuboTV to chat about the state of the current marketplace as well as hear more about where their focus lies.
For those who may not be familiar, can you give us a bit of background on fuboTV?
fuboTV is the leading sports-first live TV streaming platform offering subscribers access to tens of thousands of live sporting events annually as well as leading news and entertainment content for the entire household. Subscribers can stream more than 100 live sports, news and entertainment networks. fuboTV is the only live TV streaming platform with every Nielsen-rated sports channel*. We also have a robust local offering with over a dozen regional sports networks and over 700 local TV channels.
Following the close of Q3 2021, we reached the significant milestone of one million paid subscribers and expanded our global footprint with the completion of two acquisitions. The first being Edisn.ai, an AI-powered computer vision technology based in Bangalore, India that will help drive fuboTV’s mission to create a more interactive and immersive live TV experience. The second was the acquisition of live TV streaming company Molotov SAS in France, reaching nearly four million monthly active users in Europe. This is in addition to existing operations in Canada and Spain.
With more options to view live content than ever before, what are some best practices advertisers should be familiar with in order to reach engaged sports fans wherever and however they’re watching?
It’s important for advertisers to reach audiences where they are most engaged and in a premium environment that is addressable, transparent and measurable. The nature of CTV makes it a highly valuable medium for advertisers to reach engaged audiences while they are watching live long-form content on a large screen. For example, 94% of fuboTV content is viewed on a connected TV and 90% of viewing that took place in Q3 2021 was live content.
Advertisers should also take advantage of live marquee sporting events where audiences are highly engaged. On fuboTV, in addition to providing access and advanced targeting to national tentpole events, we offer exclusive streaming access to events such as the South American Qatar World Cup 2022 Qualifiers (CONMEBOL), select matches from Union of European Football Associations (UEFA), and the Premier League in Canada, along with MMA events like Lights Out Xtreme Fighting with Shawne Merriman and the Professional Fighters League Challenger Series.
We believe the future of sports viewership is intertwined with interactivity. At fuboTV this means creating differentiated product experiences to engage fans, like fuboTV’s predictive free-to-play games, FanView live stats, Fubo Sportsbook, and multiview, which allows subscribers to watch up to four live channels at one time. In fact, viewers who participated in our gaming contests during CONMEBOL in September spent 57% more time watching the games than non-participants, demonstrating that interactivity brings stickiness to our video product. These provide even more opportunities for advertisers to connect with sports fans.
How has working with Magnite opened up new opportunities for fuboTV, particularly as you work with brands to reach the entire household with addressable TV across sports and entertainment content?
Magnite’s platform delivers ad experiences fit for CTV and their commitment to creating a streamlined programmatic experience for CTV has made them highly valuable to us. The platform facilitates access to our sought-after CTV inventory, including 50,000 live sports events per year, while their OTT video tech stack and programmatic expertise allow us to deliver consistent results for advertisers.
This year, CTV will account for more than one-fifth of total programmatic video ad spend, according to eMarketer. We believe programmatic video advertising on CTV is a premium opportunity and as an early adopter and leader in programmatic video, we continue to maximize and develop our programmatic capabilities.
What are your predictions for the future of sports viewership and CTV, and how does fuboTV fit into this future?
As OTT and specifically CTV platforms continue to draw audiences, we’re strong believers in the vMVPD model to provide premium content for the entire household in a format that is cost-effective and user-friendly. The consumer adoption of CTV devices, now in 80% of US households, will only continue to grow and advertising dollars will follow those audiences.
In the past, the availability of streaming sports content was a barrier to cord-cutting. This is especially true for sports fans who wanted to watch regional sports teams. That’s no longer the case with the breadth of live sports including regional sports networks and marquee sporting events across CTV. According to eMarketer, the number of U.S. digital live sports viewers is expected to exceed 90 million in 2025. fuboTV is a sports-first platform with over 50,000 sporting events per year, many of them available in 4K, including over 12 regional sports networks like Marquee, NESN and Root Sports. We also continue to offer exclusive sports programming like the South American World Cup Qualifiers (CONMEBOL), Professional Fighters League Challenger Series, select matches from Union of European Football Associations (UEFA) and the English Premier League in Canada to name a few.
We will continue to see streaming platforms expand and grow in other markets especially related to sports viewership, which creates a huge opportunity for CTV. Global expansion is top of mind for fuboTV. We currently operate in the U.S., Canada, Spain and, through our acquisition of Molotov, in France. Specifically, the Molotov streaming platform was designed to be easily localized for new markets and languages, to facilitate quick and efficient launches in additional countries.
On the tech side, artificial intelligence (AI) will be used to enhance the viewing experience and advertising capabilities on CTV. AI technology facilitates better detection of ad breaks and more precise contextual advertising. It also enables the potential for integrated e-commerce and shoppable CTV capabilities. fuboTV recently acquired AI-powered computer vision platform Edisn.ai with patent-pending video recognition technology that can recognize and track key objects in live video feeds, including athletes, actors, brand logos, products, events and more. As a whole, the adoption of AI supports the integration of interactivity into live sports streaming.
*(source: Nielsen Total Viewers, 2021)