fuboTV is Now Called Fubo, and (Maybe Someday) Cable
Fubo’s new name aims to describe it as a premium media brand instead of only a streaming service.
So fuboTV has a new name. No, the sportsball-focused live TV streaming service partly owned by Deadpool actor and biz whiz Ryan Reynolds didn’t add “+” to its name (as streaming services are wont to do). Instead, fuboTV laid off “TV” and promoted the “f” to “F” for a simple moniker: “Fubo.”
Is this big news? Maybe for friends and family of the letter f. What’s the significance, then?
Fubo just sounds cooler
In a press release, Fubo co-founder and CEO David Gandler said everyone calls the service “Fubo” anyway. Also, the company sees itself as a premium media brand and not just a streaming TV service.
In the same release, Reynolds—whose marketing company, Maximum Effort, leads the name-change campaign—said, “The reason Maximum Effort believes in Fubo it’s the one product that captures the best of cable and the best of streaming, while having the very meaningful differentiator of live sports. While cable fights cord-cutters and streaming services fight the cash content war, Fubo is building an experience and suite of services that can win.”
Also, a “Fubo insider” told Indiewire, “[Fubo] just sounds a lot cooler.”
Is Fubo cable?
Let’s return to what Reynolds said about “the best of cable and . . . streaming.” That’s one way to speak an emerging truth: Live TV streaming services, initially heralded as the simple, flexible alternative to traditional TV providers, look ever more like the cable and satellite TV services streaming meant to replace.
How so? First, streaming services had one plan, no contracts, and no fees. Now they have paid plans with and without ads, and even free tiers with limited content (like Sling Freestream).
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DIRECTV STREAM has multiple pricey plans—just like its satellite TV sister, DIRECTV—but delivers its fatter channel lineups via stream. (Even more confusing, DIRECTV and other TV providers have mobile apps for on-the-go streaming.) DIRECTV STREAM also plays trad-TV games, like touting a “free cloud DVR” with only 20 hours of storage and offering an unlimited-storage upgrade for an extra $10 monthly.
Currently, Fubo has multiple plans and a massive channel lineup like trad TV providers but largely sticks to the streaming simplicity ethos with no contracts and 1,000 hours of free cloud DVR storage with every plan.
But we’re not here to talk about all that stuff—this is about Fubo’s name change. It’s called Fubo now—and, someday, we might call it cable (colloquially, but still).