FuboTV suffers cyberattack during World Cup semifinal

Sports-focused TV service says it was targeted during the match between France and Morocco, and is working with a specialist to investigate and help formulate a response.

Jeff Baumgartner, Senior Editor

December 15, 2022

3 Min Read
FuboTV suffers cyberattack during World Cup semifinal

FuboTV said it was the "target of a criminal cyber attack" that prevented many subscribers from accessing their accounts during Thursday's World Cup semifinal match between France and Morocco. The company did not say how many customers were impacted.

The sports-focused virtual multichannel video programming distributor (vMVPD) stressed that the outage was not due to any "bandwidth constraints" on its part. FuboTV ended Q3 2022 with 1.23 million subs in North America, a 31% year-over-year increase.

Figure 1: (Source: NicoElNino/Alamy Stock Photo) (Source: NicoElNino/Alamy Stock Photo)

FuboTV's Twitter handle was flooded with complaints during the game. Here's an example of what FuboTV viewers saw on browsers and apps during the cyberattack when they tried to log in:

During the attack, FuboTV directed customers to stream the match directly on Fox:

Terrible timing

An online security breach is cause for concern for any pay-TV service, but its occurrence during a major sporting event tied to the core focus of FuboTV's content strategy raises the stakes. FuboTV is also set to carry Sunday's World Cup final match between Argentina and France.

The company has reported the incident to law enforcement and said it has engaged Mandiant, a third-party incident response firm, to assist with the investigation and FuboTV's response.

"FuboTV takes this matter very seriously. Once we detected the attack, we immediately took steps to contain the incident and worked to restore service to all of our users as quickly as possible," the company said in a statement issued Thursday. "Service was fully restored by last evening. We deeply regret the disruption caused by this incident in the meantime … Our primary focus currently is on ensuring that the incident is fully contained and that there is no threat of further disruption for any of our customers."

The cyberattack arrives amid other troubles at FuboTV, a company that competes in the vMVPD segment with Hulu, Sling TV, YouTube TV, DirecTV, Vidgo and (for the non-sports fans) Philo. Taking a more direct focus on profitability, the service recently shut down its Fubo Gaming subsidiary and ceased operation of the Fubo Sportsbook service.

While Q3 revenues rose 43%, to $224.8 million, the company also posted a wider net loss of -$152.7 million. The company closed the period with $307.4 million in cash and cash equivalents.

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Editor's note: An earlier version of this story noted that FuboTV said it was able to contain the breach and resume service quickly. That attribution did not accurately convey what the company said in its statement, as hours passed before services were restored, so it was removed from the story.

— Jeff Baumgartner, Senior Editor, Light Reading

About the Author(s)

Jeff Baumgartner

Senior Editor, Light Reading

Jeff Baumgartner is a Senior Editor for Light Reading and is responsible for the day-to-day news coverage and analysis of the cable and video sectors. Follow him on X and LinkedIn.

Baumgartner also served as Site Editor for Light Reading Cable from 2007-2013. In between his two stints at Light Reading, he led tech coverage for Multichannel News and was a regular contributor to Broadcasting + Cable. Baumgartner was named to the 2018 class of the Cable TV Pioneers.

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