Today, FuboTV announced that it has struck a multi-year licensing deal that gives the live TV streaming service access to ESPN and several other major Disney-owned channels including ABC, ABC News Live, Disney Channel, Disney Junior, ACC Network, FX, FXX, and National Geographic. The deal includes live TV streams as well as video-on-demand libraries.
FuboTV plans to include many of these channels in its base package for all subscribers. This news is a significant milestone for FuboTV, which has always tried to differentiate itself from other cord-cutting services like YouTube TV and Hulu + Live TV through its deep specialization in a variety of sports leagues. However, the absence of the ESPN family of live TV channels has kept it from cementing its position as a premier sports service.
With ESPN, FuboTV’s NFL coverage — a major component for any U.S.-focused TV service — will be complete, with 100% coverage when you include CBS, FOX, NBC, NFL Network, and NFL Redzone, which are also available on the FuboTV platform.
Beginning this summer — FuboTV hasn’t announced a firm date — customers who subscribe to FuboTV’s Standard base package will have access to ABC, ABC News Live, Disney Channel, Disney Junior, Disney XD, Freeform, ESPN, ESPN2, ESPN3, in-market for SEC Network and ACC Network, FX, FXX, and National Geographic. Additional networks will also be available on FuboTV’s other packages, according to a press release, including out-of-market for SEC Network and ACC Network, ESPNU, ESPNEWS, ESPN Deportes, FXM, Fox Life, Nat Geo Wild, Nat Geo Mundo, and BabyTV.
“Launching Disney’s networks strengthens our sports-focused live TV platform and brings a diverse range of content for the entire family,” said Ben Grad, Head of Content Strategy and Acquisition at FuboTV. “Our base package offers consumers significant value, while consumers who want even more great sports and entertainment content can access it with our premium packages. As live sports return but without spectators, streaming games at home will be even more important than ever.”
In 2019, FuboTV launched a free, ad-supported live TV service simply known as Fubo Sports Network, which is now available on several streaming platforms including Roku. However, there’s no word yet on whether this free service will be enhanced with any of the ESPN content FuboTV is going to receive from the Disney deal.