FuboTV Soars on Renewed Takeover Chatter
Shares of FuboTV (NYSE:FUBO) surged 15% Thursday on volume that was more than double the daily average. The spike came amid renewed speculation the streaming entertainment company is a potential takeover target.
An article published earlier today by SportsHandle suggests fuboTV could be attractive for a larger suitor. The article mentions Fubo Gaming’s Scott Butera’s prior employment at BetMGM and the streaming company’s relationship with FanDuel. FanDuel is the largest online sportsbook operator in the US and is a unit of Irish gaming giant Flutter Entertainment (OTC:PDYPY).
The takeover talk emerges less than a week after Fubo executives made it clear that while the company remains committed to pairing sports wagering and streaming, it can’t realize that goal on its own and is seeking partners.
Fubo has sports wagering licenses in Arizona and Iowa, and could be live in New Jersey by the start of the upcoming football season. But the company is finding it increasingly difficult to contend with larger competitors, even as those rivals dial back advertising and promotional spending. Compounding that issue, rising interest rates and macroeconomic volatility are hindering Fubo’s ability to access capital on favorable terms.
Other Possible Suitors for FuboTV
The SportsHandle piece also floats Caesars Entertainment (NASDAQ:CZR) and DraftKings (NASDAQ:DKNG) as gaming operators that could see value in a FuboTV takeover as a customer acquisition strategy.
DraftKings could make for a logical partner for or buyer of Fubo. Last year, it launched a channel on the SLING TV streaming service after notching a similar accord with DISH Network. So its potential over-the-top (OTT) ambitions aren’t far-flung.
Plus, the virtual multichannel video programming distributors business (vMVPD) industry provides the added allure of revenue stream diversification. Currently, online sports wagering, internet casinos, and daily fantasy sports (DFS) are the primary drivers of DraftKings’ top line.
Even with today’s rally and its first close above $4 in about two months, Fubo’s market capitalization is just $608.29 million, meaning it’s easily digestible for any of the aforementioned gaming companies and plenty of others in the industry.
Varying Outlooks for Fubo
Whether buyers come calling for Fubo remains to be seen. The company’s broader streaming business is adding subscribers. But it’s possible the escalating prices of sports broadcast rights and the growing costs of adequately competing in the sports wagering arena compel FuboTV to develop partnerships with larger enterprises.
In a recent report, Needham analyst Laura Martin lays out two scenarios — one in which FuboTV sells itself, and another in which sports rights fees accelerate so rapidly that the company’s ability to turn profits is hindered.
FuboTV’s investor day is slated for Tuesday, Aug. 16. It’s possible the company provides some update on its sports wagering plans and partnership efforts at that event.