fuboTV inks Discovery deal, adds 13 more networks to its live TV streaming service

Live sports streaming service fuboTV is expanding further into non-sports content with today’s news that it’s inked a new multi-year deal with Discovery, Inc. that will bring 13 Discovery television networks to its service over the weeks ahead. The new additions will include Discovery Channel, TLC, Investigation Discovery, Animal Planet, OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network and MotorTrend — all of which will be available on fuboTV’s $54.99 per month base package.

Here, they’ll join the other Discovery-owned networks which are already live, including HGTV, Food Network, and Travel Channel. These had joined fuboTV earlier by way of its deal with Scripps Network Interactive.

Scripps, now owned by Discovery, had invested in fuboTV’s $75 million Series C last year.

The new and expanded deal with Discovery also includes an agreement to renew the five Scripps networks, fuboTV says.

In addition to the base package expansion, the $5.99 per month add-on package called fubo Extra will get several more Discovery stations as a result of the new agreement, including Science Channel, Destination America, Discovery Family, American Heroes Channel, and Discovery Life. In total, fubo Extra will now include over 30 channels.

Meanwhile, Discovery en Español and Discovery Familia will be added to fuboTV’s Spanish-language package, fubo Latino which is $24.99 per month for 20 channels, and to the Latino Plus add-on that’s $7.99 per month for 15 channels.

The deal also includes a library of on-demand Discovery content, bumping up fuboTV’s VOD collection to over 60,000 movies and TV episodes per month, the company notes.

“Today’s content agreement broadens the strategic relationship between Discovery and fuboTV that began almost two years ago with the former Scripps Networks,” said fuboTV CFO Joel Armijo, in a statement about the new agreement. “We are excited to be adding more Discovery brands alongside their lifestyle networks, which we already carry. These brands, including HGTV and Food Network, are among our top performing entertainment networks, and this agreement allows us to extend our partnership for years to come. We expect to be similarly successful with our new Discovery networks.”

While fuboTV’s core focus is still on live streaming sports content, the service has been steadily expanding its lineup to include more non-sports content over the past couple of years. In addition to the Scripps channels and the soon-to-come Discovery networks, fuboTV has also forged deals with CheddarCBSN, CBS Sports Network, The CW, Pop, Viacom, and others in the past couple of years.

Thanks to an investor lineup that includes 21st Century Fox, AMC Networks, Luminari Capital, Northzone, Sky and Scripps, fuboTV today carries a lot of the cable TV channels you find on other TV streaming service. It also offers a good number of local stations thanks to agreements with over 200 broadcast affiliates.

That puts it on better footing to compete with other live TV streaming services like Sling TV, PlayStation Vue, Hulu with Live TV, Philo, YouTube TV, and others. Though it’s still smaller, it has the appeal of the live sports content to draw in viewers.

As for Discovery, the fuboTV deal gives it another means of making its programming available to cord cutters. The company touts agreements with a number of the major TV streaming services, including as of April, YouTube TV. 

“Our partners at fuboTV are building a unique programming service, and we are pleased to bring more of our portfolio of real-life passion brands and programs to their subscribers,” said Eric Phillips, President of Affiliate Distribution at Discovery, in a statement. “This agreement further exemplifies the viewer affinity for our beloved brands and talent, and fuboTV’s commitment to offering high-quality, world-class content to customers,” he added. 

Self-driving car startup Argo AI is giving researchers free access to its HD maps

Argo AI is releasing curated data along with high-definition maps to researchers for free, the latest company in the autonomous vehicle industry to open-source some of the information it has captured while developing and testing self-driving cars.

The aim, the Ford Motor-backed company says, is to give academic researchers the ability to study the impact that HD maps have on perception and forecasting, such as identifying and tracking objects on the road, and predicting where those objects will move seconds into the future. In short, Argo sees this as a way to encourage more research and hopefully breakthroughs in autonomous vehicle technology.

Argo has branded this collection of data and maps Argoverse, which is being released for free. Argo isn’t releasing everything it has. This is a curated data set, after all. Still, it’s a large enough batch to give researchers something to dig into and model.

This “Argoverse” contains a selection of data, including two HD maps with lane centerlines, traffic direction and ground height collected on roads in Pittsburgh and in Miami.

For instance, Argoverse also has a motion forecasting data set with 3D tracking annotation for 113 scenes and more than 300,000 vehicle trajectories, including unprotected left turns and lane changes, and provides a benchmark to promote testing, teaching and learning, according to the website. There is also one API to connect the map data with sensor information.

Argo isn’t the first autonomous vehicle company to open-source its data or other tools. But the company says this batch of data is unique because it includes HD maps, which are considered one of the critical components for self-driving vehicles.

Much of the attention in the world of autonomous vehicles is on the “brain” of the car. But they also need maps to deliver information that helps these vehicles, whether they’re operating in a warehouse or on public roads, find the safest and most efficient route possible.

For researchers, access to these kinds of maps can be used to develop prediction and tracking methods.

Earlier this week, Cruise announced it would share a data visualization tool it created called Webviz. The web-based application takes raw data collected from all the sensors on a robot — a category that includes autonomous vehicles — and turns that binary code into visuals. Cruise’s tool lets users configure different layouts of panels, each one displaying information like text logs, 2D charts and 3D depictions of the AV’s environment.

And last year, Aptiv released nuScenes, a large-scale data set from an autonomous vehicle sensor suite.