Analysis

FuboTV acquires Vigtory; TheScore losses deepen

Sports streaming provider FuboTV has acquired the online sportsbook Vigtory with the aim of building up a sports-betting presence.

The company said the move would both complement and drive its core streaming product.

Financial details of the acquisition were not released.

FubtoTV’s rationale centres on taking over a betting brand that is already up-and-running and has an existing customer database. 

Vigtory is licensed in Iowa. FuboTV said it would expand its licensed footprint by launching in more regulated states. 

Sportsbook launch 

FuboTV will launch a fantasy betting offer by the middle of the year. It will rely on the software of Balto Sports, which it acquired in December

It will then launch a sportsbook based on Vigtory’s betting offer, which is powered by betting solutions provider Amelco. 

Both fantasy and fixed odds offers will work in concert with FuboTV’s streaming product to drive engagement as players watch live sport.

David Gandler, CEO of FuboTV, said sports betting was highly complementary to the group’s core streaming product.

“We believe there is a real flywheel opportunity with streaming video content and interactivity,” he added.

“Our free to play gaming experience, which will be available to all consumers, will build further scale to FuboTV.”

FuboTV listed on the New York Stock Exchange in October, raising $183m in the process.

Its most recent results published in November showed it had more than 450,000 paying subscribers. It recorded $61m in revenues and losses of $274m during the period. 

“We not only expect sports wagering to become a new line of business and source of revenue,” Gandler added.

“But we also expect that it will increase user engagement on FuboTV resulting in higher ad monetization, better subscriber retention and reduced subscriber acquisition costs.” 

Costly launches for TheScore

Media group/betting operator TheScore announced first quarter results last week.

CEO John Levy said it enjoyed its “best-ever quarter”, handle growth was exponential on theScore Bet, up 535% to $55.8m. But gross revenue losses amounted to $300,000 during the period.

The rise in handle was mainly due to theScore launching in Indiana and Colorado. 

Levy added that margins would settle and generate positive revenues for the group once volumes increased.

Group EBITDA losses came to $9.3m an on annual basis, nearly double the $4.8m loss of 2019.

Neither theScore nor Vigtory are among the top tier of brands on the Wedge Index of gaming friendliness.

Both are in the third tier and therefore add only a couple of points to any state tally.

“Netflix of sport”

U.S. sports streaming has garnered much press coverage in the past week.

Entain CEO Shay Segev announced he was joining streaming provider DAZN just six months after being promoted to the top job at Entain.   

Segev’s move is all the more surprising because Entain is in the middle of takeover negotiations with MGM, although the potential rewards on offer to Segev provide a straightforward answer.   

DAZN has ambitious plans for its streaming service and aims to become ‘the Netflix of sport.’

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Jake Pollard

Jake Pollard is an experienced journalist and editor who has covered the online gaming and betting industry for many years. He has written for the leading media outlets as well as operators and suppliers in the igaming space. His current areas of focus are wide-ranging and include regulatory developments in the US, emerging markets in South America and how European countries are adapting to a decade of igaming regulation.

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