FuboTV brings more FAST channels into the fold, adds Crackle and Popcornflix

Virtual MVPD FuboTV has added another free ad-supported streaming TV (FAST) channel to its TV lineup, bringing Crackle and Popcornflix to its platform in the U.S.

Crackle and Popcornflix are owned by Chicken Soup for the Soul Entertainment, which has its own suite of AVOD services and is in the process of acquiring DVD rental company Redbox.

FuboTV subscribers will have access to the Chicken Soup for the Soul content library such as college thriller series “In the Vault,” along with Popcornflix programming like "Godzilla: King of the Monsters" and Jackie Chan’s “Little Big Soldier.”

“We are so excited to bring our constantly expanding content offering to FuboTV viewers,” said Crackle Plus President Philippe Guelton. “Our advertising and marketing partners will now access new audiences through the launch of the Crackle and Popcornflix FAST channels on FuboTV.”

Crackle Plus streaming services are already available - including free access - across 85 touchpoints in the U.S., with plans to expand to over 110. Those include Amazon Fire TV, Roku TV, Apple TV and smart TVs from Samsung, LG and Vizio, among others. On Wednesday, Crackle Plus announced five of its FAST channels were added to the TCL Channel’s free streaming service.

As for FuboTV, the sports-centric streaming pay TV service has been looking to FAST channels as way to beef up content on the platform without incurring large content costs.

Recent additions include Fox Weather, Revry, Revry News, Tastemade en Espanol, and Tastemade Travel.

During first quarter earnings the company said it planned to expand the number of FAST channels as part of FuboTV’s content strategy.

“We believe these channels will enable us to grow profitable ad revenue as they bring premium programming to our customers with minimal expected content costs,” Fubo told investors in May.

Most recently in June, Fubo added four FAST channels from Trusted Media Brands (including “FailArmy,” “People Are Awesome,” “The Pet Collective” and “WeatherSpy”) – bringing its total FAST tally to more than 30. Almost 20 of those FAST channels were added this year, with plans to add another 100 by the end of 2022, according to the announcement.

FuboTV lost around 74,000 net subscribers in the first quarter, during which the virtual MVPD industry saw a decline in conversion rates from cord-cutters leaving traditional cable and satellite, along with increased seasonality, according to MoffettNathanson.

After the first three months of 2021, FuboTV’s subscriber base stood around 1.05 million. It forecast losses for Q2, with expectations to shrink to around 965,000-975,000 by the end of the period and end 2022 with between 1.465 million-1.485 million subscribers. Fubo at the time pointed to recent price increases (as it dropped the option for its lowest-cost Starter plan and migrated customers to a $5 more per month Pro plan in May), along with seasonality as reasons for the guidance.