Viasat Inc., a global communications company, and fuboTV, a sports and news-focused live TV streaming service, announced today a video streaming distribution and technology partnership that advances how content can be delivered and consumed in-flight.
The partnership is the first to leverage innovative technology standards from the global technical association, the Streaming Video Alliance (the Alliance), and apply them to in-flight connectivity. These standards enable airlines that sign-up for the Viasat/fuboTV partnership to seamlessly make fuboTV’s live streaming premium over-the-top (OTT) and video on-demand (VOD) sports, entertainment and news programming available to all passengers—at no charge—on U.S. flights equipped with Viasat satellite internet.
Technology breakthrough drives higher quality in-flight streaming
As the first to implement the open caching specifications of the Streaming Video Alliance in-flight, Viasat and fuboTV are using multicast techniques to deliver live OTT and VOD content at-scale. Specifically, the companies have implemented the Alliance specifications over Viasat’s capacity-rich network, to optimize video delivery of fuboTV’s live TV streaming service, including their free linear channel, fubo Sports Network. This technology optimization provides for more reliable live and VOD streaming with faster web page downloads and enhanced video streaming image quality—on any personal device connected to the Viasat network.
Passengers benefit with access to premium content at no charge
Participating airlines that choose to take advantage of the Viasat/fuboTV technology partnership will be able to give their passengers—whether fuboTV subscribers or not—free access to fubo Sports Network. Current fuboTV subscribers, and passengers that sign-up for a free seven day trial of fuboTV when in-flight, will be able to enjoy live and VOD content for the duration of their flight, including:
- Streaming any of fuboTV’s 100+ live channels, which includes the world’s most popular live sports coverage, plus entertainment and news networks from NBCU, FOX, ViacomCBS, A&E Networks, AMC Networks, beIN Sports, Crown Media, Discovery Communications, NBA TV, NFL Network, SHOWTIME, Turner, Univision, select regional sports networks, and more; and
- Accessing fuboTV’s extensive video on demand library of 30,000+ TV shows and movies each month.
“We’re focused on delivering the best live TV and sports streaming service to our customers—anywhere, and now that includes at 35,000 feet,” said Cristina Arango, director of strategic partnerships, fuboTV. “Streaming live television is complex, and fuboTV prides itself on our internally-built tech stack that allows us to bring a stable experience to our subscribers. That’s why it was critical for us to work with a proven technology partner like Viasat to enable fuboTV to be one of the first live streaming services to expand distribution to the U.S. aviation market. We are excited to offer both fuboTV and fubo Sports Network without the need to purchase an in-flight Wi-Fi package, to millions of passengers every month—which is an untapped environment for us.”
“We aim to lead the way in creating differentiated in-flight, online entertainment experiences and digital OTT provides the features, convenience and choice that passengers love when they’re on the ground,” said Don Buchman, vice president and general manager, Commercial Aviation, Viasat. “We’re working with airlines to explore and develop new and innovative technology tools and business models that align with their brand and their interest in engaging more passengers with in-flight Wi-Fi at the lowest cost. Our partnership with fuboTV uses state-of-the-art technology to leverage our bandwidth advantage even further to offer reliable, high quality OTT, live or on-demand, as efficiently as possible.”
Jason Thibeault, executive director, Streaming Video Alliance commented, “It is exciting to see two innovators, like Viasat and fuboTV, build an offering using next-generation streaming technologies like our Open Caching specifications to improve the video experience for passengers in-flight. Viasat has contributed significantly to the Alliance’s work in Open Caching and other working groups, which has furthered the Alliance’s progress in helping the streaming industry to improve scalability, delivery consistency and reliability of OTT services.”
fuboTV is the world’s only sports and news-focused live TV streaming service with top leagues and teams, plus popular shows, movies and news for the entire household. Its base package, fubo Standard, is available for $54.99 per month and features more than 100 channels, including a growing line-up of national channels, local broadcast stations and regional sports networks (RSNs); personal Cloud DVR storage; and two simultaneous streams – with no contract or set top box required. Get fubo.tv on the web, on popular mobile phones and tablets, and on connected and smart TVs.
Headquartered in New York City, fuboTV has quickly evolved into the top independent virtual MVPD in the U.S. and a sports-first cable replacement for the entire family, after initially launching as a streaming soccer service in January 2015. With the launch of fuboTV España in 2018, it became the first U.S. virtual MVPD to enter Europe. fubo Sports Network, the live, free-to-consumer TV network for passionate sports fans, launched in 2019 with event coverage, news, behind-the-scenes and exclusive programming.
Named to Forbes’ Next Billion Dollar Startup list in 2019, fuboTV has raised more than $250 million in funding to date. Investors include AMC Networks, DCM Ventures, Discovery, Inc., Goldman Sachs, i2bf, LionTree Partners, Luminari Capital, Microsoft, Northzone, The Walt Disney Corporation, Viacom Inc., Waverley Capital, Edgar Bronfman, Jr. (former Chairman and CEO of Warner Music Group) and Chris Silbermann (founding partner, ICM Partners) among others.
Viasat is a global communications company that believes everyone and everything in the world can be connected. For more than 30 years, Viasat has helped shape how consumers, businesses, governments and militaries around the world communicate. Today, the Company is developing the ultimate global communications network to power high-quality, secure, affordable, fast connections to impact people’s lives anywhere they are—on the ground, in the air or at sea.
About The Streaming Video Alliance
Founded in 2014, the Streaming Video Alliance is a global technical association of organizations from across the video ecosystem that have come together to collaborate on building solutions to address the technical challenges facing the streaming video industry. Through best practices, specifications, functional requirements, proof-of-concepts, and other documents published by its working and study groups, the Alliance strives to improve the end-user video experience and promote increased adoption of streaming.
This press release contains forward-looking statements that are subject to the safe harbors created under the Securities Act of 1933 and the Securities Exchange Act of 1934. Forward-looking statements include statements that refer to the overall agreement between Viasat and fuboTV; and the offerings and benefits of the partnership, including the free access, faster downloads and better image quality of the service. Readers are cautioned that actual results could differ materially and adversely from those expressed in any forward-looking statements. Factors that could cause actual results to differ include: contractual problems, product defects, manufacturing issues or delays, regulatory issues, technologies not being developed according to anticipated schedules, or that do not perform according to expectations, and increased competition and other factors affecting the aviation sector generally. In addition, please refer to the risk factors contained in Viasat’sSEC filings available at www.sec.gov, including Viasat’s most recent Annual Report on Form 10-K and Quarterly Reports on Form 10-Q. Readers are cautioned not to place undue reliance on any forward-looking statements, which speak only as of the date on which they are made. Viasat undertakes no obligation to update or revise any forward-looking statements for any reason.
Copyright © 2020 Viasat, Inc. All rights reserved. Viasat, the Viasat logo and the Viasat signal are registered trademarks of Viasat, Inc. All other product or company names mentioned are used for identification purposes only and may be trademarks of their respective owners.
Featured image credited to istock.com/JakeOlimb