FuboTV merges with virtual entertainment company FaceBank

Virtual MVPD fuboTV is merging with FaceBank, a celebrity and sports focused virtual entertainment company, to form a digital entertainment company named fuboTV Inc.

The companies said the proposed merger will create a content delivery platform for “traditional and future-form IP.” FuboTV will be able to use FaceBank’s IP sharing relationships with celebrities and other digital technologies to enhance its sports and entertainment offerings. FuboTV will also use FaceBank’s Nexway AG, a global ecommerce and payment platform that operates in 180 countries, to continue its global expansion. In 2018, fuboTV entered Europe with its launch in Spain.

The boards of both companies and the major stockholders of fuboTV – investors in the services include Fox, Sky and AMC Networks – have approved the transaction, which is anticipated to close during the first quarter of 2020. FuboTV will become a wholly owned subsidiary of FaceBank and FaceBank will be renamed fuboTV Inc. The combined company is expected to be headquartered in New York and led by fuboTV CEO David Gandler.

RELATED: FuboTV says average hours watched up 135%

"The business combination of FaceBank Group and fuboTV accelerates our ability to build a category defining company and supports our goal to provide consumers with a technology-driven cable TV replacement service for the whole family. With our growing businesses in the U.S., and recent beta launches in Canada and Europe, fuboTV is well-positioned to achieve its goal of becoming a world-leading live TV streaming platform for premium sports, news and entertainment content. In the current COVID-19 environment, stay-at-home stocks make perfect sense - we plan to accelerate our timing to uplist to a major exchange as soon as practicable. We look forward to working with John and his team of creative visionaries,” said Gandler in a statement.

FuboTV competes with other vMVPDs including Sling TV, YouTube TV and Hulu + Live TV. The service doesn’t typically break out subscriber figures but late last year it said that its subscribers on average watch more than 103 hours of television per month, up 135% year over year. The company also said that the majority of that viewing happens on connected TVs, which account for more than 93 hours per month of fuboTV users’ average watch time.