Slowed down initially by the pandemic, Fubo resumes its growth strategy

Edited by Pam Duckworth (below), Fubo Sports Network has produced original series featuring sports figures and plans to sign more live sports rights and talent deals in 2022.Fubo sports network

When I jumped up on the phone last week with Pam duckworth, the head of Fubo sports network, we quickly discussed whether we were going to talk about how his job has changed during the pandemic.

“No, no, no,” she said. “Let’s talk about the good stuff.”

For Duckworth and Fubo Sports Network, these good things amount to a growth strategy that has slowed down considerably during the pandemic.

Duckworth led the launch of Fubo Sports Network as a linear ad-supported network in June 2019 with a plan to assemble live rights to niche sports combined with making deals with some of the top influencers in the sport.

In the months since launch, Duckworth’s strategy was in its infancy. The channel, which is available on smart TVs including Samsung TV Plus and The Roku Channel, had previously secured the live rights to niche leagues before the pandemic with properties such as Major League Wrestling and Constellation Energy League baseball. .

Pam duckworth

He also produced four original series with recognizable sports figures, such as the former NBA player. Gilbert Arenas (“No Chill with Gilbert Arenas”), former NFL player Terrell Owens (“Getcha Popcorn Ready with TO and Hatch”), former Fox Sports personality Julie stewart-binks (“Drinks with Binks”) and actors Alexis Guerreros and Christian Polanco (“The Cooligans”).

All of this happened just nine months before the sports business was shut down due to COVID.

“At the end of 2019, just as we were moving forward, the pandemic struck,” Duckworth said. “We actually pivoted pretty quickly. The week after everything was closed, we automatically started filming from everyone’s house. “

Next year Duckworth plans to be active, signing both live sports rights and talent deals.

So far, combat sports have performed well on Fubo Sports Network. From February, it will offer the “PFL Challenger Series” as part of a multi-year agreement. He will co-produce the fights and use Fubo’s talents like Stewart-Binks on telecast.

“We will have live programming on Tic and obviously we’re going to hit all of our social networks, ”Duckworth said. “We have found that our audience right now is completely into all things fighting.”

Fubo Sports Network also owns the rights to the CONMEBOL qualifiers for the 2022 Qatar World Cup in South America and the La Liga Endesa basketball matches in Spain.

Duckworth has said she covets the rights to motorsport. She also said Fubo would consider competing with regional sports networks over the rights of local teams.

Duckworth plans to continue to rely on shows from well-known former players in order to get the athlete’s voice on the channel.

“We noticed, especially Gilbert Arenas’ show, how he could bring great stories behind the scenes,” she said. “He lived it. He was with all these different and amazing players and he was able to tell stories that no one had heard before.

Duckworth is in talks to have six to eight other athletes take on similar roles.

Last week she announced a deal with Michael vicky for a show called “The Gaming Society” with the former NFLer David Anderson. The premise of the show is that Anderson helps teach Vick to bet on sports.

“Audience has grown by 75% this year alone,” she said. “If we continue on our course, it would be pretty amazing to end up on Comcast. This is definitely a goal for us.

John Ourand can be reached at [email protected] Follow him on twitter @Ourand_SBJ and read his weekly newsletter.