Viasat Inc. and fuboTV have entered into a video streaming distribution and technology partnership to bring live TV streaming to airlines.
The partnership between the two companies is the first to leverage the innovative technology standards from the Streaming Video Alliance and apply them to in-flight connectivity. These standards enable airlines that sign up for the Viasat/fuboTV partnership to make fuboTV’s live streaming OTT and VOD sports, entertainment and news programming available to all passengers on U.S. flights equipped with Viasat satellite internet at no charge.
Viasat and fuboTV are using multicast techniques to deliver live OTT and VOD content at-scale, implementing the Streaming Video Alliance specifications over Viasat’s network to optimize video delivery of fuboTV’s live TV streaming service.
Participating airlines will be able to give all of their passengers free access to fubo Sports Network. Current fuboTV subscribers and passengers that sign up for a free seven-day trial of fuboTV when in-flight will be able to enjoy live and VOD content for the duration of their flight. This will include streaming any of fuboTV’s 100+ live channels plus entertainment and news networks from NBCU, FOX, ViacomCBS, A&E Networks, AMC Networks, beIN Sports, Crown Media, Discovery Communications, NBA TV, NFL Network, Showtime, Turner, Univision, select regional sports networks and more; and accessing fuboTV’s VOD library.
Cristina Arango, director of strategic partnerships at fuboTV, said: “We’re focused on delivering the best live TV and sports streaming service to our customers—anywhere, and now that includes at 35,000 feet. Streaming live television is complex, and fuboTV prides itself on our internally built tech stack that allows us to bring a stable experience to our subscribers. That’s why it was critical for us to work with a proven technology partner like Viasat to enable fuboTV to be one of the first live streaming services to expand distribution to the U.S. aviation market. We are excited to offer both fuboTV and fubo Sports Network without the need to purchase an in-flight Wi-Fi package, to millions of passengers every month—which is an untapped environment for us.”
Don Buchman, VP and general manager for commercial aviation at Viasat, said: “We aim to lead the way in creating differentiated in-flight, online entertainment experiences and digital OTT provides the features, convenience and choice that passengers love when they’re on the ground. We’re working with airlines to explore and develop new and innovative technology tools and business models that align with their brand and their interest in engaging more passengers with in-flight Wi-Fi at the lowest cost. Our partnership with fuboTV uses state-of-the-art technology to leverage our bandwidth advantage even further to offer reliable, high-quality OTT, live or on-demand, as efficiently as possible.”
Jason Thibeault, executive director at the Streaming Video Alliance, added: “It is exciting to see two innovators, like Viasat and fuboTV, build an offering using next-generation streaming technologies like our Open Caching specifications to improve the video experience for passengers in-flight. Viasat has contributed significantly to the Alliance’s work in Open Caching and other working groups, which has furthered the Alliance’s progress in helping the streaming industry to improve scalability, delivery consistency and reliability of OTT services.”