A major new player on the sports television landscape could be an MVP for fans of teams in the Pacific Northwest thanks to a deal announced Thursday. fuboTV, a growing live-TV streaming platform with a heavy emphasis on sports, has reached an agreement to stream ROOT Sports, the home of regional game telecasts for the Seattle Mariners, Seattle Kraken and Portland Trail Blazers.
The deal will include ROOT’s coverage of more than 300 live regular season games of those teams and gives cable TV cord cutters a way to keep up with the teams and related coverage, especially as the Kraken open their inaugural NHL season next month.
New York-based fuboTV’s sports offering already includes more than 50,000 live sporting events annually, with many streaming in 4K, according to a news release. The company says it has more regional sports networks in its base package than any other live TV streaming platform. That entry-level package costs $65 a month.
In the Northwest, fuboTV carries ABC, CBS, FOX and NBC affiliates in Seattle and Portland alongside national sports networks ESPN, FS1, CBS Sports Network, the Pac-12 Networks and more. The 6-year-old service also streams live entertainment and news programming and features more than 40,000 TV shows and movies on-demand each month.
“We could not be more excited to announce this deal with fuboTV,” said Nina Kinch, VP of affiliate relations for ROOT managing partner AT&T Sports Networks. “We know that fans are eagerly anticipating the inaugural season of the Seattle Kraken and the return of the Portland Trail Blazers to ROOT SPORTS.”
AT&T Sports Network President Patrick Crumb told The Seattle Times that more deals for ROOT could be coming with additional streaming services.
“This is the deal we’re ready to announce now,” Crumb told The Times. “Yes, we’re seeking distribution with all of the over-the-top (streaming) players, and as you know some of them don’t really carry RSNs (regional sports networks). Some do, or some do selectively. And with the Kraken and Trail Blazers coming on board we think it makes it a more appealing product to have three pro teams.”
fuboTV reported triple-digit year-over-year growth of 682,000 paid subscribers at the end of the second quarter as well as 245 million total hours streamed and $131 million in total revenue, a jump of 196% year-over-year.
“We’re building our base of cord cutters right now,” David Gandler, CEO of fuboTV, told CNBC at the end of August. “Obviously, the number of cable customers leaving that universe and moving into streaming is quite strong, very solid tailwind.”