- 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.
Storied publishers like Sports Illustrated licensed their brands to sportsbooks, and more are considering the approach.
Sites like The Action Network have become targets of affiliate conglomerates like Bettor Collective as referral engines for sports-betting platforms.
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:
- DraftKings’ business chief explains its M&A strategy as it seeks to be the ‘Amazon of sports and entertainment’
- How Bleacher Report is navigating its relationships with sports-betting giants like FanDuel and DraftKings, as deal talks heat up between media and gambling
- PointsBet’s CEO explains his sportsbook’s plan to compete with larger rivals like DraftKings and FanDuel and what he’s eyeing in M&A
- ‘You do not have to love sports’: FanDuel’s chief people officer explains what she looks for in job candidates
- The 4 women running FanDuel share how they’re shaping the company’s culture and their strategies to dominate in the male-led sports betting industry
- How FuboTV plans to use sports betting to grow its pay-TV business, according to its CEO
- Sports-betting power players: Meet the 27 top executives pushing the US gambling industry forward in 2021
The startup scene:
- Read the 4-slide pitch deck a founder who pivoted his startup to sports betting made to raise $3.6 million
- A new sports-betting VC fund has invested in 11 startups including Players’ Lounge, VicTree, and VerdictMMA. Here’s its full portfolio.
- VCs break down 4 startup trends that could shake up the US sports-betting industry
- 10 sports-betting startups that top investors say are poised to take off as sportsbooks fight for market share
- The top media targets and buyers in 2022, as speculation swirls around ViacomCBS and private equity bets big on Hollywood
- How the US sports betting landscape could change as competition and consolidation heat up heading into the NFL season
- Why M&A deals for US sports-betting affiliates are heating up, according to industry insiders
- 12 M&A deals that could shape US sports betting in 2020, including a string of potential DraftKings targets and rivals eyeing media and tech
Company news and strategies:
- Fanatics’ new betting and gaming division is recruiting chiefs of marketing, tech, and legal as it looks to make a splash in the sector
- Merch giant Fanatics is staffing up in sports betting, snagging key execs and recruiting for new roles
- Sports Illustrated’s new betting platform wants to show it can compete in the crowded US market dominated by FanDuel and DraftKings. Here’s its strategy.
- A top PointsBet exec tasked with expanding the sports-gambling operator’s presence in the US has quietly exited his role to join a startup
- FuboTV’s move to combine pay TV and sports betting has sparked a heated debate on Wall Street. Here’s what company insiders, bulls, and bears think the future holds.
- New research explores how Gen Z views sports betting, as the younger generation reaches legal gambling age