FuboTV’s Grad on taking a ‘shop-your-closet’ approach to entertainment content

(FuboTV)
Ben Grad
Ben Grad

FuboTV has had a busy summer.

The streaming TV service, which focuses heavily on live sports content, landed another $55 million in funding, signed distribution deals with Fusion, Scripps Networks Interactive and CBS; and partnered with NCTC to allow its cable operators to bundle FuboTV with broadband service.

More recently, the company hired Ben Grad, a 10-year Verizon veteran, as its new North American head of content strategy and acquisition.

Grad will be responsible for content acquisition strategy, packaging, affiliate relations and contract negotiations with FuboTV’s North American content partners. Additionally, he will spearhead the company’s development of a new, best-in-class viewership analytics platform, and will provide content-related insights and direction for FuboTV’s business development, product and marketing efforts.

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First things first, Grad said FuboTV will look toward growing its content offering. That means finding compelling regional and national sports content where the price value works out, according to Grad.

“On the entertainment side, we’ll take more of a shop-your-closet approach. We already have a lot of great entertainment content on the platform, and we’ll try to bring that more forward to customers who may be consuming their entertainment content on other platforms today,” Grad said.

Grad said that FuboTV also plans to ramp up its local broadcast content offering in the near-term. Of course, many of FuboTV’s chief competitors including DirecTV Now, Sling TV, PlayStation Vue, YouTube TV and Hulu are also working on building their content lineups. Grad said FuboTV has an edge by providing lots of sports content, some of it hard to find elsewhere, but also by being a startup, which he said allows FuboTV to “be more nimble in the marketplace and react to things more quickly” than some of the other players.

As far as upcoming sports streaming services from CBS and ESPN, Grad doesn’t seem especially worried. He said that standalone services will inevitably pop up and service niche audiences but that it doesn’t eliminate the need for aggregated services.

Outside of his content obligations, Grad is also helping FuboTV build its viewership analytics platform. Grad said that FuboTV already has a great infrastructure in place for that, and that over the next few months he’ll be working on fine-tuning certain elements so that FuboTV is tracking the right data.

Grad said the effort will allow FuboTV to “better understand our customers so we can better serve them with programming and packaging while better focusing our customer acquisition efforts as well.”