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FuboTV accelerates sports betting plans with Vigtory acquisition

US streaming service aims to launch sportsbook by end of 2021.

13 January 2021 Sam Carp

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  • Deal includes Vigtory’s sportsbook platform and digital gaming assets
  • News of acquisition sees FuboTV shares soar 34% on US stock market
  • Company plans to roll out free-to-play gaming experience in summer ahead of sportsbook app launch

US-based sports streaming service FuboTV says it expects to launch a sportsbook by the end of this year after signing an agreement to acquire sports betting and interactive gaming company Vigtory. 

The deal, which is expected to close in the first quarter of this year, includes Vigtory’s sportsbook platform and digital gaming assets, which FuboTV will leverage to develop a betting experience for its customers. 

The financial terms of the deal, which is still subject to certain closing conditions, were not disclosed.

Under the proposed agreement, Vigtory co-chief executive Scott Butera and founder Sam Rattner will join FuboTV’s gaming division as president and chief operating officer, respectively. 

FuboTV first signalled its intent to expand into sports betting in December, when it acquired Balto Sports and its content automation software. With the addition of Vigtory, the company has now outlined more details of its online wagering strategy.

The initial plan is to roll out a free-to-play gaming experience this summer. That offering will launch through a standalone app before later being integrated directly into the FuboTV user experience.

Then, FuboTV said it intends to launch a sportsbook app, which will eventually be integrated into the company’s live streaming platform so that fans can simultaneously watch sport and place bets. 

“We believe online sports wagering is a highly complementary business to our sports-first live TV streaming platform,” said David Gandler, FuboTV’s co-founder and chief executive. “We don’t see wagering as simply an add-on product to FuboTV. Instead, we believe there is a real flywheel opportunity with streaming video content and interactivity.”

He added: “We not only expect sports wagering to become a new line of business and source of revenue, but we also expect that it will increase user engagement on FuboTV resulting in higher ad monetisation, better subscriber retention and reduced subscriber acquisition costs.”

News of FuboTV’s Vigtory acquisition saw the company’s shares soar 34 per cent on the stock market, according to US media reports.

FuboTV recently revealed preliminary results for the fourth quarter of 2020, including that it expects to have exceeded 545,000 paid subscribers for the year, representing a year-over-year increase of more than 72 per cent.

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