How sports betting is changing the media industry in the US

ESPN Daily Wager
“Daily Wager” is ESPN’s flagship sports-betting show.

  • The lines are blurring between US sports betting and media. 
  • Broadcasters and publishers have embraced sports betting as a means of revenue and engagement.
  • Ties between the two industries will likely deepen in 2022. 

Sports betting is a vital and growing piece of US sports media. 

A few years ago, broadcasters and publishers started taking ad dollars from gambling operators and dabbling in betting content, as the US regulatory tide turned in favor of the industry that had long been viewed as a vice.

The ties between media outlets and gambling operators have deepened since. 

DraftKings bought sports-gambling network VSIN this year, appointed its first chief media officer, and has continued to turn to the media sector to help with customer acquisition and retention.

Read more on DraftKings M&A strategy in an interview with its chief business officer.

Storied publishers like Sports Illustrated licensed their brands to sportsbooks, and more are considering the approach.

Read more about Sports Illustrated’s strategy to leverage sports betting through its deal with gambling company 888.

Sites like The Action Network have become targets of affiliate conglomerates like Bettor Collective as referral engines for sports-betting platforms.

Read more about why sports-betting affiliate sites are hot acquisition targets.

And brands Barstool Sports and Score Media and Gaming have sold sizeable stakes to casino company Penn National Gaming, and become marketing vehicles for its sportsbooks in the US and Canada, respectively. 

The industries need each other. Sports broadcasters and publishers need to keep audiences engaged with their content, and are allured by the added revenue from advertising, referral, and brand-licensing fees. Gambling operators are also trying to drawn in new customers and improve retention, while driving down the costs of doing so.

Heading into 2022, the lines between sports media and gambling will only continue to blur.

Leagues like the NFL have embraced betting as a facet of the fan experience, and are enabling more ads to air in game broadcasts, more types of wagers to be placed, and alternate streamers that are made for gamblers. Broadcasters including Disney have said they plan to push further into sports betting. Pay-TV operators like FuboTV are bringing betting onto your TV screen during games. And startups such as PickUp and Data Skrive are working with publishers to help engage sports fans with their content. 

On top of that, the US sports gambling industry is still in its infancy. Online sports gambling is not yet legal nationwide, including in the populous states of New York, Florida, Texas, and California. There’s strong momentum though. New York is expected to turn on mobile sports betting in the new year.

A list of our recent coverage of the US sports betting industry follows. 

Insights from leading industry execs: 

The startup scene:

M&A trends:

Company news and strategies: 


Read the original article on Business Insider