The mainstreaming of US sports betting continues albeit at a ridiculously glacial pace. It’s becoming clear that one of the best ways to promote the growth of sports betting and the (hopeful) revision of the boneheaded regulatory schemes that have already been implemented in some states is through ‘external pressure’. One of the best ways of exerting ‘external pressure’ is via deep pocketed, politically powerful partners who have a significant financial upside to consider.
One potential source of ‘external pressure’ is going to be the media industry. While the legacy broadcast outlets are dipping their toe reluctantly into the sports betting market there are more visionary services willing to take their place. One such company is New York City based fuboTV which has just announced a partnership with FanDuel. FanDuel is owned by Paddy Power/Betfair and is gaining significant traction as a player in the nascent US gaming market. Among other things, FanDuel recently became the first US legal sports betting service to stream live sports through their app–something that is commonplace everywhere else in the world.
As is the case with many deals of this sort, details are vague at this stage but becoming clearer. fuboTV (they don’t capitalize their name) is what is known as a ‘third party over-the-top internet television service’. This is a wordy term for any content provider that streams media directly to consumers by passing the legacy ‘gatekeepers’ like TV networks and cable providers. For those of you who haven’t been paying attention, this is the future and has dealt what will eventually be a mortal wound to the long standing business model in many broadcasting based industries.
fuboTV offers a live streaming service that includes a ton of the same networks you’d previously get from a cable or satellite provider. It’s something of a ‘sports centric’ operation so among the channels in their base package you’ll find the NFL Network, NBA TV, NBC Sports, CBS Sports Network and several others. They have a cycling specific tier, an international sport tier and a ‘sports plus’ tier that includes even more channels, most notably NFL RedZone. The also offer NBA League Pass.
Here’s what FanDuel VP Adam Kaplan had to say about the partnership:
“We’re partnering with fuboTV to demonstrate how FanDuel can enhance the live viewing experience by allowing cord-cutting sports fans to view the content that matters to them the most from their TV, phone, tablet or computer. fuboTV is a sports-centric company, focused on live sports and entertainment content, making them a natural partner. By integrating our odds and data on fuboTV’s platform, we are truly changing the way people watch live sports.”
One thing that FanDuel and their parent company BetFair/Paddy Power gets out of this is access. fuboTV will be adding the FanDuel owned TVG horse racing network to the base lineup and TVG2 to the ‘sports plus’ tier. In return, BetFair becomes fuboTV’s exclusive sportsbook, online casino, horse racing, and daily fantasy partner, as well as the only gambling advertiser on the platform.
Initially, all of this odds integration goodness will only be available in New Jersey which seems silly. I have no problem watching TVG all over the country and there’s definitely an audience for sports betting related content all over the country as well. Hopefully, that will quickly change as odds integration and sports betting themed content is something that would motivate me to sign up with fuboTV.