fuboTV is an over-the-top subscription option competing with services like YouTube TV, Hulu, and AT&T TV Now, but they’re also moving into the world of original content, launching a free, ad-supported linear channel focused on sports.fubo’s sports network will be called, well, fubo Sports Network, and you can watch it right now, if you’re so inclined. This has been in the works for a while now, but the company released programming and launch distribution details today, including that the channel will prominently feature former FS1, ESPN, and Barstool host Julie Stewart-Binks.Background and distribution details, via a press release:
Soft launched in late June, fubo Sports Network also marks the first time live TV streaming service fuboTV has created an ad-supported linear network for distribution off of its platform. fubo Sports Network currently has a wide distribution footprint with LG Channels powered by XUMO, Samsung TV Plus, The Roku Channel, XUMO and fuboTV’s Standard base package. More distribution partners will be announced.
Additionally, Pamela Duckworth, an award-winning executive producer, has been named head of fubo Sports Network and original programming, a newly created position. Duckworth, founder of Duckworth Entertainment, a full-service creative marketing production company based in NYC and LA, was previously a consultant with fuboTV. Duckworth has been tasked with building fuboTV’s first in-house production team and leading original programming development.
And notes on the launch programming as well:
fubo Sports Network’s programming lineup features event coverage, news, behind-the-scenes, movies and exclusive content. The network’s fall slate, which kicks off today, includes:
fuboTV-Produced Originals (all times listed are ET/PT)
- Call It a Night with Julie Stewart-Binks (Tuesdays and Thursdays at 7 p.m.) – fubo Sports Network’s flagship news program on sports and sports culture is hosted by popular sports journalist and comedian Julie Stewart-Binks (ESPN, Fox Sports, CBS Sports HQ, SNY). Taped from fubo Sports Network’s studio in Hudson Yards, NYC.
- The Players Lounge with Cobi Jones and PJ Harrison(Wednesdays at 8 p.m.) – Interviewed by two towering figures of American soccer, top players, their friends and fans talk freely about the hottest sports topics of the day. About the hosts: Soccer Hall-of-Famer Cobi Jones is one of the few soccer players from the MLS to have his number retired. PJ Harrison is a creative director and City of Angels Football Club cofounder.
- The Cooligans(Tuesdays and Thursdays at 8 p.m.) – Soccer is exciting, but soccer talk is so boring…UNTIL NOW. New York comedians Alexis Guerreros and Christian Polanco bring laughter to the beautiful game. Through the lens of stand-up comedy, The Cooligans deliver hilarious takes on American and world soccer that are refreshing, fun and make fans of any league enjoy the game much more than they ever thought they could.
- Drinks with Binks (Fridays at 8 p.m.) – Sportscaster Julie Stewart-Binks goes sip-for-sip with athletes and fans in a new vodcast.
- Football Report(Tuesdays and Thursdays at 6 p.m.) – News about soccer’s biggest stars, teams and leagues.
- fubo News(Friday at 6 p.m.) – Customized coverage of the world’s top sporting events.
It’s a soccer-heavy lineup which makes sense, as that’s the main hook to fuboTV’s brand. (fubo has the American English-language Liga MX rights, for example.) fubo Sports Network will also feature some live sports:
- Liga MX Soccer (Univision): A weekly Sunday afternoon match from Mexico’s top soccer league is broadcast in English; Available to fuboTV subscribers only.
- NCAA Football and NCAA Basketball Division 1 games; Major League Lacrosse (Stadium)
- Cycling (IMG): Coverage of major global cycling events including Giro d’Italia, Cycliste de Quebec and shows like In Cycle magazine.
- Horse Racing (TVG): Coverage of horse racing events.
fubo clearly believes original content is important going forward, if only to keep up with other providers, and the sports angle here is also on brand. It’s a tough market, though, and even with some live sports rights at launch, it likely faces an uphill battle.[fubo]