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FuboTV set to launch its not-quite-integrated sports betting

FuboTV this weekend launches “Pick’em Games,” the biggest integration yet between the streaming service itself and its fledgling sportsbook business. You won’t be betting on games directly from your TV or other device and the new feature will only be available in select markets — and even then, not every subscriber will see it at first.

The basic gist is this: You’ll see an app-like series of questions on your screen, asking who you think is going to win a game or match or whatever. It’s free to guess, and you’re not locking yourself in to any sort of wager just yet. You’ll instead see a QR code. Scan it with your camera, and it’ll kick you out to the sportsbook side of Fubo, where you can then place a bet. For now, however, Fubo Sportsbook is only available in Iowa and Arizona.

“With this weekend’s launch, FuboTV will become the first live TV streaming platform to offer pick’em games integrated into the video experience with a direct gateway to an owned-and-operated sportsbook,” Mike Berkley, chief product officer for FuboTV, said in a press release. “We believe interactivity is a key product differentiator for Fubo and, with these immersive experiences built into our livestreaming product, we can offer the most personalized — and customizable — sports and entertainment television experience.”

The goal remains what FuboTV calls the “Watch/Wager/Win connection between FuboTV and Fubo Sportsbook.” You’re watching the game, you’re betting on the game, and then you’re (possibly) winning bets, all within FuboTV’s ecosystem. It’s something that no other streaming service in the U.S. is doing. Not Hulu With Live TV, which leads the space in the U.S., or YouTube TV, which is the No. 2 option. And that’s despite FuboTV having just over 1 million subscribers, or about one-quarter the number of subscribers of Hulu With Live TV.

“Our mission is to transform the TV experience through interactive engagement, including free gaming and real-money wagering, into streaming video,” David Gandler, co-founder and CEO of FuboTV, said in the press release. “This industry-first integration has been popular with consumers, and, as we reported on our recent first-quarter 2022 earnings call, we’re already seeing encouraging early signs of the flywheel effect between FuboTV and Fubo Sportsbook. We believe our built-in video audience will allow us to acquire users more efficiently, with a limited amount of marketing spend. We will continue to build our fully unified streaming TV and sportsbook experience with the rollout of more interactive features this year.”

FuboTV is available on every major streaming platform in the U.S. including Roku, Amazon Fire TV, Apple TV, Google TV, Android TV, game consoles, smart TVs, and on the web. Its most basic plan gets you 129 channels for $70 a month, and you can ramp that up to 181 channels for $80 a month. FuboTV also has a large number of optional add-ons, with a strong emphasis on sports.

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