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FuboTV targets global expansion with US$190m Molotov acquisition

Deal for ‘France’s number one live TV streaming company’ set to close in Q1 2022.

10 November 2021 Ed Dixon


  • Molotov currently operates in France, Burkina Faso, Ivory Coast, Senegal and Cameroon, as well as Morocco through Maroc Telecom partnership
  • At least 85% of deal expected in equity
  • FuboTV plans to use newly acquired technology capabilities to launch its streaming platform on a global scale

FuboTV, the US-based sports-focused streaming service, is acquiring French TV streaming company Molotov SAS in a €164.3 million (US$190 million) deal.

New York-headquartered FuboTV said the acquisition marks a ‘significant milestone’ towards global expansion.

Upon completion of the deal, FuboTV will leverage Molotov’s direct-to-consumer (DTC) live streaming service and its advertising video-on-demand (AVOD) platform, Mango, which have a combined total of nearly four million monthly active users in France. FuboTV says Molotov is ‘France’s number one live TV streaming company’.

FuboTV also plans to combine its technology capabilities with those of Molotov’s to launch its interactive sports and entertainment streaming platform on a global scale, noting the French company’s over-the-top (OTT) platform was designed to be easily and quickly localised for new markets and languages.

Currently, Molotov operates in France, Burkina Faso, Ivory Coast, Senegal and Cameroon, and expects to launch soon in the Democratic Republic of Congo. The service is also available in Morocco through a partnership with Maroc Telecom.

The addition of Molotov to FuboTV’s international business provides it with a freemium model, including a free tier to help drive user growth and upsell customers to premium add-on channel packages. FuboTV added that it plans to leverage Molotov’s strategy and low-cost marketing funnel to aid international growth, while also implementing FuboTV’s marketing technology to accelerate Molotov subscriptions.

Molotov’s existing content offering is focused on live and on-demand TV series, movies, documentaries and children’s content. Going forward, FuboTV will stock the platform with a variety of sports content. Depending on territory, FuboTV’s channels include access to major North American professional sports leagues, as well as international soccer.

FuboTV has stated that this ‘well-rounded’ offering will enable it to customise local content offerings as it enters new markets.

Under the terms of the deal, which is estimated to close during the first quarter of 2022, at least 85 per cent of the €164.3 million transaction is expected in equity, with the remainder being in cash. The acquisition is subject to customary requisite approvals and closing conditions.

Molotov, which was founded in 2015, will continue to be based in Paris and led by Jean-David Blanc, its co-founder. Blanc has also been named president, Molotov. Molotov’s approximately 100 employees will remain with the company and FuboTV plans to further expand the product and engineering team in the French capital.

“Molotov has set the benchmark for ad-supported and subscription streaming platforms in Europe,” said David Gandler (pictured above), co-founder and chief executive of FuboTV. “We believe this strategic asset will help accelerate our goal of achieving global scale and operating leverage as we continue to improve and innovate on our live, interactive streaming TV experience for sports fans and their families.”

Blanc added: “We’re thrilled to scale Molotov with FuboTV with whom we share the same ambition and vision for a live TV streaming platform. Our goal is to provide consumers with a best-in-class streaming experience with premium television content on a global scale.”

The Molotov acquisition coincided with release of FuboTV’s third quarter financial results, which saw the company’s total revenue leap 156 per cent year-on-year (YoY) to US$156.7 million.

Advertising revenue grew 147 per cent YoY to US$18.6 million, while subscription revenue increased 158 per cent YoY to US$138.1 million.

Subscribers grew 108 per cent YoY and 39 per cent quarter-on-quarter (QoQ) to 944,605. Average revenue per user (ARPU) per month increased ten per cent YoY to US$74.54.

Viewership also reached record highs, with FuboTV customers streaming 284 million hours of content during the quarter, a 113 per cent increase YoY.

FuboTV’s operating loss for Q3 came to US$103 million, though this was down significantly on the US$302 million posted for the same period in 2020.

Since the end of Q3, FuboTV’s total number of paid subscribers reached one million.

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