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FuboTV loses subscribers in Q1 but is still up year over year

FuboTV
FuboTV lost 9 percent of its subscribers in Q1 2020. (Image credit: WhatToWatch)

FuboTV this week filed its first quarterly updates after being acquired by FaceBank Group. Here's what you need to know:

  • FuboTV had 287,316 paid subscribers as of March 31, 2020. That's down from 315,789 subscribers at the end of 2019 — a 9 percent decrease for the quarter.
  • But that's still up 37 percent year over year, the company said. Fubo had 131,000 subscribers in the first quarter of 2018, and 210,000 subscribers in the first quarter of 2019.
  • Revenue for Q1 was $51 million, up 78 percent from Q1 2019.
  • That's broken down to $46.4 million in subscription revenue, and $4.1 million in advertising revenue.
  • Average revenue per user is $54.16 — that's how much money FuboTV brings in on an average subscription.

"FuboTV had an extremely productive Q1," CEO David Gandler said in a letter to shareholders, "despite a complete shutdown of sports, and we have made several significant recent announcements that highlight the competitive strength of our company and further differentiate us in the marketplace."

Gandler said he didn't expect the upheaval of 2020 to end anytime soon, though. 

"While we expect that the COVID-19 pandemic will have lasting effects on consumer behavior and live television viewing, vMVPDs are also a more affordable alternative to pay TV, which, we believe, in this current economic climate, further accelerates adoption. We believe we are well positioned as a leader in the industry."

FuboTV noted in Gandler's letter that it's stating its key metrics on a year-over-year basis due to its dependence on sports content — Fubo long has been one of the only ways to watch the occasional live sporting event in 4K (upscaled) resolution — and because sports content is seasonal. NFL and college football are different than baseball, which is different than the NBA. Of course, all of that has been shut down the past few months and is just now starting to slowly open back up.

The numbers still place FuboTV squarely at the back of the pack of the biggest live TV streamers in the United States. Hulu continues to lead with some 3.3 million subscribers, and Sling and YouTube TV each have more than 2 million subscribers. 

More recently, FuboTV announced that it's adding content from the Disney networks — including ESPN. It also announced a $5 across-the-board price increase.

Phil Nickinson

Phil spent his 20s in the newsroom of the Pensacola (Fla.) News Journal, his 30s on the road for AndroidCentral.com and Mobile Nations, is the Dad part of Modern Dad, and is editor of WhatToWatch.com.