FuboTV set out to be the go-to sports streaming channel when it was launched and has found a significant following in the past five years. After getting its feet wet with soccer, it began offering all types of sports coverage in 2017 and has continued to expand ever since. The platform is ready to take its services to the next level, though, and, in a trend that only promises to grow larger, wants to become part of the sports gambling scene in the U.S. The company announced Monday that it is in the process of purchasing Balto Sports as a stepping stone toward greater sports betting integration.
Balto Sports was co-founded in 2018 by Nick Montana, son of former NFL quarterback Joe Montana, as a platform to allow users to set up fantasy sports contests. It has received significant financial support over the years, which has allowed it to build up its software development, automation and marketing. FuboTV plans on leveraging that innovation to launch free-to-play games and to, eventually, maybe even become a full-blown sportsbook.
According to a statement, FuboTV co-founder and CEO David Gandler explains that the launch of a real-money sportsbook would ultimately be the “natural progression” for the company, adding, “As we said in our third quarter earnings announcement last month, FuboTV sees the online wagering space as complementary to our sports-first live TV streaming platform. We believe there are significant synergies between consumers who enjoy wagering and our subscribers who enjoy streaming live sports, creating a flywheel opportunity.”
He expects FuboTV to take a methodic and pragmatic approach to development, saying, “We will be strategic in our approach to wagering as we consider and evaluate different opportunities and will adjust our plans accordingly. We’re excited to launch sports wagering, integrate it into our core offerings and deliver what we believe will be a truly groundbreaking live TV streaming platform to consumers.”
This isn’t the first time FuboTV has explored hookups with the sports gambling industry. It has been a partner with FanDuel since last year when it started carrying that sportsbook’s betting data. It also carries VSiN and other sports gambling-related programming.
Balto’s team won’t be completely disappearing after the acquisition is finalized. It will be added to FuboTV’s roster and is expected to be “instrumental” in the company’s introduction of free-to-play games. The new offering will find a lot of attention, as the broadcaster has over 455,000 paid subscribers regularly tuning in to “tens of thousands of live sporting events” each year.