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Fox and Sky invest in streaming start-up FuboTV

FuboTV, a video streaming service that offers a mix of sports and entertainment programming, has raised $15 million in funding primarily from 21st Century Fox and Europe's Sky.

The money raised will be used to grow the company's sports video offerings, develop new features and market the service to beef up its subscriber base.

Sky and 21st Century Fox each invested $6 million. As part of the equity agreements, both companies will take board positions in FuboTV.

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The deal is the latest sign of how traditional media companies are experimenting with new platforms to distribute sports and other content as viewing habits continue to migrate online.

FuboTV, a New York-based service that costs $9.99 a month, launched in 2015 and provides customers access to live soccer games and other sport events. It has more than 40,000 subscribers and is available on Web browsers, Amazon Fire TV devices, Android and iOS mobile devices, Apple TV, Google Chromecast and Roku.

The funding news comes after FuboTV secured distribution deals with Univision Communications, Pivot and Revolt Media & TV. That development added 15 networks to its lineup and significantly expanded its content offerings.

“We are very impressed by the FuboTV management team and the great progress they have made in a very short time,” said Ravi Ahuja, executive vice president of business operations and development for 21st Century Fox operating unit Fox Networks Group.

Emma Lloyd, director of corporate development and strategic investments at Sky, echoed the sentiment, saying the investment will provide "real insight."

Neither 21st Century Fox nor Sky are currently licensing content to FuboTV, but both companies intend to work closely with FuboTV as it continues to grow. 

FuboTV's founders -- David Gandler, Sung Ho Choi and Alberto Horihuela -- have made some inroads in forging partnerships with digital media and traditional Hollywood. Before launching fuboTV, they were executives at streaming service DramaFever, which is being acquired by Warner Bros.

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For the record

March 10, 9:48 a.m.: In an earlier version of this post, FuboTV founders David Gandler, Sung Ho Choi and Alberto Horihuela were identified as current executives at DramaFever. They left DramaFever when they launched FuboTV.

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“The support from two of the most prominent media companies in the world strongly positions FuboTV to meet the demands of the quickly evolving sports rights ecosystem,” Gandler said.

Other Series B investors include DCM Ventures, Luminari Capital, LionTree Partners, Edgar Bronfman Jr. (managing partner at Accretive LLC and former CEO and chairman of Warner Music Group), Chris Silbermann (founding partner of ICM Partners) and David Stern (former NBA commissioner and member of the Basketball Hall of Fame). 

The company secured a $4-million round of A funding last year.

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