There’s certainly some increased attention for baseball at the moment coming out of the World Baseball Classic, and a new Fubo move may help them capitalize on some of that. The virtual multichannel video provider announced Thursday that they’re adding MLB out-of-market streaming package MLB.tv, which will be available as a $24.99/month add-on to any Fubo channel plan. They also carry MLB Network, MLBN’s MLB Strike Zone whiparound channel, the Bally Sports regional networks (which are the ones with in-market coverage of many MLB teams), ESPN, and FS1 (but not TBS), and that has them talking up their tonnage of baseball coverage and their wider focus on sports. Here’s more on that from a release:
“With today’s MLB.TV partnership, Fubo now offers the most baseball coverage of any streaming company, on top of our already leading position for local sports coverage and our robust NFL and college sports packages,” said David Gandler, co-founder and CEO, Fubo. “Customers continue to vote for Fubo – we added more net subscribers in Q4 2022 compared to our peers in the space who reported – because of our sports-first differentiation delivered through a premium user experience. We are more confident than ever in our market position and believe that consumers will continue to choose Fubo as we head into baseball season.”
“As a pioneer in sports streaming and the home of streaming baseball, MLB.TV has always focused on delivering world-class viewing experiences for baseball fans,” said Kenny Gersh, EVP, media and business development, MLB. “We’re excited to partner with Fubo to expand the reach of MLB.TV and bring all the action from across Major League Baseball to Fubo subscribers this season.”
The $24.99/month price for adding on MLB.tv here is the same as buying the package outside of Fubo, but there’s certainly a notable convenience factor around having access to it within your MVPD interface (which is the approach we’ve also seen with traditional cable and satellite MVPDs that offer the similar MLB Extra Innings package). And this is a way for Fubo to emphasize their baseball tonnage.
And that feels reasonable for Fubo. They’re sports-focused in general, as shown in their recent ad campaign/partnership with Ryan Reynolds’ Maximum Effort. And their Bally deal (struck in December) stands out in the vMVPD space, with DirecTV Stream the only other vMVPD currently carrying those. Carrying MLBN matters too, and adding MLB.TV options help further; it’s notable that YouTube TV dropped MLBN and MLB.tv earlier this year, so Fubo’s continued carriage of MLBN and addition of MLB.tv differentiates them there. We’ll see how this baseball focus pays off for them.