Viasat Inc., a global communications company, and fuboTV, a sports and news-focused live TV streaming service, announced today a video streaming distribution and technology partnership that advances how content can be delivered and consumed in-flight. The partnership is the first to leverage innovative technology standards from the global technical association, the Streaming Video Alliance (the Alliance), and apply them to in-flight connectivity. These standards enable airlines that sign-up for the Viasat/fuboTV partnership to seamlessly make fuboTV’s live streaming premium over-the-top (OTT) and video on-demand (VOD) sports, entertainment and news programming available to all passengers—at no charge—on U.S. flights equipped with Viasat satellite internet.
Technology breakthrough drives higher quality in-flight streaming
As the first to implement the open caching specifications of the Streaming Video Alliance in-flight, Viasat and fuboTV are using multicast techniques to deliver live OTT and VOD content at-scale. Specifically, the companies have implemented the Alliance specifications over Viasat’s capacity-rich network, to optimize video delivery of fuboTV’s live TV streaming service, including their free linear channel, fubo Sports Network. This technology optimization provides for more reliable live and VOD streaming with faster web page downloads and enhanced video streaming image quality—on any personal device connected to the Viasat network.
Passengers benefit with access to premium content at no charge
Participating airlines that choose to take advantage of the Viasat/fuboTV technology partnership will be able to give their passengers—whether fuboTV subscribers or not—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, including:
Streaming any of fuboTV’s 100+ live channels, which includes the world's most popular live sports coverage, 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 extensive video on demand library of 30,000+ TV shows and movies each month.
“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,” said Cristina Arango, director of strategic partnerships, fuboTV. “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.”
“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,” said Don Buchman, vice president and general manager, Commercial Aviation, Viasat. “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, Streaming Video Alliance commented, “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.”