OTT Video’s Growing Secret: Sports Gambling

Over-the-top video is developing a lucrative relationship with legalized sports gambling — thanks to the U.S. Supreme Court striking down a ban on sports gambling a year ago.

Fubo TV and FanDuel Group May 23 announced a partnership that will make FanDuel the exclusive sportsbook, online casino, horse racing and DFS (distributed file system) partner of the live TV streaming service. The companies have also signed a media buy, which makes FanDuel the exclusive advertiser on fuboTV in these categories.

The agreement is FanDuel Group’s first partnership with an online TV service and will expand fuboTV’s sports offering for consumers while integrating betting data on the fubo platform.

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In addition, horse racing networks TVG and TVG2 (and FanDuel affiliates), will also be available to fuboTV subscribers nationwide. TVG will be added to Fubo’s 90+ channels ($54.99/month after seven day free trial), and TVG2 will be available through the Sports Plus add-on package of nearly 25 channels ($8.99/month).

With these channels, fuboTV subs will have access to horse racing industry coverage, in addition to expanded programming on sports betting and fantasy news, including TVG’s sports betting focused pre-game show, “More Ways to Win.”

“We are always looking for ways to add value for consumers and enhance their premium experience with fuboTV,” Min Kim, VP of business development at Fubo, said in a statement. “Gaming and sports are natural complements.”

Indeed, Disney-owned ESPN earlier this month announced it was partnering with Caesars Entertainment to build a branded studio in Las Vegas. The studio will offer sport-betting-related content on ESPN and ESPN+, the newly-launched SVOD service.

“The sports betting landscape has changed, and fans are coming to us for this kind of information more than ever before,” said Mike Morrison, VP of business development at ESPN. “We are poised to expand our coverage in a big way.”

In February, WarnerMedia Entertainment inked a deal with Caesars Entertainment to build a branded Vegas studio for its Bleacher Report (B/R) platform.

Fox Sports on May 8 became the first major media company in the U.S. to acquire a stake in sports gambling after paying $236 million  for a 5% ownership of The Stars Group.

“Digital sports wagering represents a growing market opportunity that allows us to diversify our revenue streams, connect directly with consumers and expand the reach of the Fox Sports brand,” said Eric Shanks, CEO of Fox Sports.

Adam Kaplan, VP of content business & operations at FanDuel, said the company’s data analytics will change how people watch sports on TV.

“We 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,” Kaplan said.

Regardless of its legality, Disney CEO Bob Iger, speaking on the recent fiscal call, was quick to deflect the family-based media giant’s tacit support for gambling.

“We’ve already done some [gambling-related] things that we would integrate it into our programming, but not to the extent that we would be facilitating gambling as an entity,” Iger said. “In other words, we’ll provide programming that will, I guess, be designed to enlighten people who are betting on sports. But that’s as far as we would go. We just don’t intend to go into the gambling business.”