Potential Game-Changing US First in Iowa With Launch of Fubo Digital Sportsbook

  • Fubo Sportsbook entered its first US market after its digital launch in Iowa on Wednesday
  • It is the first mobile sportsbook integrated with an owner-operated live TV streaming service
  • The app integrates with live TV events, allowing bettors to view content and sync wagers
  • fuboTV’s CEO sees the launch as driving advertising spend and improving engagement
fuboTV banner outside NYSE
Fubo Sportsbook went live in its first US market in Iowa, in a fusion of mobile sports betting and live TV streaming that made its own piece of history. [Image: Shutterstock.com]

Fubo Sportsbook live in Iowa

Fubo Sportsbook has gone live in Iowa, heralding a potentially game-changing maiden entry to the US online sports betting market.

The biggest news to emerge from Fubo Sportsbook’s roll-out in Iowa on November 3 was that it represented the first launch of a mobile sportsbook integrated into an owner-operated live television streaming subscription service, courtesy of mother brand fuboTV.

Fubo Sportsbook, the Chicago-based arm of the New York-headquartered fuboTV subsidiary Fubo Gaming, took to Twitter to trumpet that it was “the next generation of online sports betting.”

The simplicity and convenience of the new sportsbook’s appeal caught the attention of sports business reporter and senior executive producer for Action Network, Darren Rovell. In a Tweet, Rovell said quite plainly that “the app syncs to what someone is watching on [fuboTV] so it automatically loads to the game a viewer is watching.”

For Iowans aged 21 years or over with a fuboTV subscription, Fubo Sportsbook’s novel user interface could possibly draw their allegiance away from FanDuel and DraftKings.

The beauty of the sportsbook — which is available online and downloadable via iOS — is its Watching Now feature. FuboTV viewers can choose from thousands of live professional and collegiate sporting events, with which the Fubo Sportsbook app instantly integrates, allowing bettors to view wagering content and make synchronized wagers while they watch, even when changing channel.

Fubo eying new frontiers

Co-founder and CEO of fuboTV David Gandler sees the sportsbook’s launch as a triple-win, improving engagement and customer retention and driving advertising spend.

A study by Gabelli Securities and the US Census Bureau, forecasts US sports betting revenue to grow from a projected $2.1bn in 2021 to $10.1bn in 2028. Additionally, recent research from US-based broadband and pay-TV media research firm The Diffusion Group (TDG) showed that 54 million households will be broadband-only by 2025. Gandler believes his company can target about 10% of the market. The steep 42% broadband-only increase into 2025 points, in part, according to TDG, to over-the-top (OTT) media services being capable of delivering highly personalized experiences that linear TV cannot replicate.

Fubo TV’s vision is to be a trailblazer in defining “a new category of interactive sports and entertainment television.”

both industries “truly coming together in one ecosystem”

Gandler said this week’s Iowa launch was pivotal for the US sports betting and entertainment sectors, as it saw both industries “truly coming together in one ecosystem” for the first time. The CEO stressed that Fubo Sportsbook was not simply a fuboTV add-on, but “a product synced with the live TV streaming experience.”

Fubo Gaming president, Scott Butera, highlighted the need to marry the rapid expansion of sports betting and entertainment with sports fans’ growing appetite for more personalized and immersive experiences. Via Fubo Sportsbook, Butera said, his firm was “thrilled […] to bring U.S. sports fans a next-level interactive viewing and betting experience.”

Uniquely positioned

According to a Forbes report on October 29, which cites Zion Market Research’s projection that it expects the online sports wagering market to hit $155bn by 2024, the launch of Fubo Sportsbook is an important event to track in Q4. The business magazine posits Fubo is sitting prettier than its rivals because it “owns its audience and it’s an upsell rather than a new user acquisition loop.”

fuboTV’s advertising rose from 10% of revenue to 13% of revenue in Q2, plus the firm re-accelerated “from 70% during the Covid quarter to 281% in the most recent quarter.” Fubo Gaming only launched this year after acquiring Balto Sports and Chicago sports betting startup Vigtory to help release free-to-play (FTP) and sports betting.

Fubo has now opened the taps to its full monetization potential. A combination of subscriptions, advertising, and wagering on international sports, are all flowing into Fubo’s single unified platform.

For Beth Kindig, tech startup analyst and consumer tech contributor to Forbes, Fubo hits many indicators in terms of strength of product. Kindig posits “investors will either relent if Fubo puts up a Q3 beat or they will get left behind in the dust once sports betting launches.”

Now that Fubo Sportsbook has launched in Iowa, the market will be paying close attention to the brand’s progress.