Given their immense visibility and digital clout, athletes have been flooding into the media business in recent years, led by a vanguard of NBA stars like LeBron James, Kevin Durant, Chris Paul and Draymond Green. Helped by the advent of social media and podcasting, which has helped turn figures like former NFL punter Pat McAfee into major media players, the new wave of programming aims to foreground the experience of players and disrupt the long-entrenched norms of how games were broadcast to the masses.
Fubo Sports Network launched in 2019, four years after Fubo entered the streaming bundle space. Its scope is much is broader than the roughly 950,000 subscribers of Fubo, but its existence runs counter to the trend that has seen TV operators like Charter and AT&T step back from original programming in recent years. Via free, ad-supported TV, Fubo Sports Network is available on 75 million devices, delivering both studio shows and other non-scripted fare as well as live events. To date, the network has streamed 600 live events, including select UEFA soccer matches, Premier Rugby Sevens and Lights Out Xtreme Fighting, among others.
In announcing the upcoming programming expansion, Fubo Sports Network said its viewership increased 140% from July 2021 through June 2022. It said it has racked up more than 6.4 million hours of viewing on YouTube, plus millions of podcast downloads and social and digital impressions.
Returning to the lineup are Getcha Popcorn Ready with T.O. and Hatch, which is hosted by Owens and Matthew Hachette; and No Chill with Gilbert Arenas, hosted by Arenas and Josiah Johnson, a basketball pundit and writer with a large social media following.
The new shows include Airing It Out with Housh and Scandrick, a football-focused talk show hosted by former Pro Bowl wide receiver T.J. Houshmandzadeh and 12-year NFL veteran Orlando Scandrick. One new wrinkle is the plan to stream episodes live on Fubo’s YouTube channel before they stream on Fubo Sports Network’s linear channel each Tuesday evening.
Hampton, a point guard with the NBA’s Orlando Magic, will host The Young Person Basketball Podcast with R.J. Hampton. Premiering October 23, the show will offer behind-the-scenes insights from guests like Guests will include Magic teammates Cole Anthony and Paolo Banchero as well as Mike Miller, a former NBA champion who became a sports agent.
“Our roster of Fubo Sports Network originals continues to grow as we bring the voice of the athlete to audiences wherever they consume content,” said Pamela Duckworth, head of Fubo Sports Network and original programming for Fubo TV. “As the line blurs between athletes in the game and behind the mic, we’re building a space for sports stars turned content creators to share their first-hand experiences and insights with our audience of enthusiastic fans. I am grateful to have R.J., Housh and Orlando join us.”
Along with YouTube, the Fubo Sports Network series can also be streamed for free on LG Channels, Samsung TV Plus, the Roku Channel, Vizio Channels, Sports on Tubi, Plex, Hisense Smart TVs, Xumo and major podcast hubs.