FuboTV Bets on Sports Gambling as Key to Drawing In More Customers – The Wall Street Journal

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FuboTV Inc. is buying an online sportsbook, a deal that makes the over-the-internet TV provider the latest sports-rich media company to invest in sports gambling in an effort to attract and retain viewers.

The company said it is in the process of acquiring Vigtory Inc., a sportsbook that it eventually plans to integrate into its TV platform. Vigtory will also be available to those outside of the FuboTV subscriber base. Terms of the deal weren’t disclosed.

FuboTV launched about six years ago as a way for Americans to stream foreign soccer games, only to become a fully fledged alternative to the traditional cable-TV package. It competes with other over-the-internet bundles, including Alphabet Inc.’s YouTube TV, Walt Disney Co. ’s Hulu + Live TV and AT&T Inc.’s AT&T TV Now. The company does have a broader emphasis on foreign sports—particularly soccer—than most of its competitors.

Many media companies have been teaming up with online sportsbooks, which are operated by digital companies such as DraftKings Inc. and FanDuel Group and bricks-and-mortar casino operators. Sportsbooks are growing in popularity as sports wagering expands across the U.S., a practice that has so far been legalized in 25 states and the District of Columbia. The U.S. sports-betting market is projected to reach about $13.5 billion by 2025, based on 38 states legalizing sports wagering by then, according to an estimate from MGM Resorts International .

Last fall ESPN reached a deal with DraftKings and Caesars Entertainment Inc. to connect its audience to the gambling operators’ sportsbooks across digital platforms. Shortly after, DraftKings and Turner Networks, a unit of AT&T Inc.’s WarnerMedia, formed a similar partnership.

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