Betting is the next battleground in sports streaming

With more cable cutting options than ever before, sports fans have a veritable plethora of live services to choose from. And as those services come up with new ways to win over viewers and keep them informed, some seem to be merging around a big new feature: betting.

Streaming services across the industry have started adding gambling features alongside their sports feeds, providing a way to increase engagement and open up a new revenue stream. Disney, DAZN, FuboTV, Sling and others have either launched additional betting features or have expressed an interest in entering space in the US – and why shouldn’t they? Any smart sports agency would recognize that betting has been synonymous with competition for as long as anyone can remember. And there is plenty of money to be made.

“Sports fans have unofficially bet with their friends and family while watching the game for decades,” said Mike Berkley, chief product officer of FuboTV — which recently launched its own betting app. The edge. “It’s kind of like a core fan base, casual betting with friends and family, and it’s something we thought would make our product even more compelling than it is now.”

Look no further than streaming mastermind Disney – a quintessential family-friendly content provider – as proof that betting could be the next streaming battleground for any company that owns a live sports service. During the company’s most recent earnings call, Disney CEO Bob Chapek told shareholders that the company was “moving towards a greater presence in online sports betting” for its ESPN audience, further stating that betting is something Disney is “very much into.” is interested and pursues aggressively” .”

“We believe that sports betting is a very important opportunity for the company,” said Chapek. “And if we follow the consumer, we must necessarily seriously consider starting gambling in an ever-larger way. And ESPN is a perfect platform. “

(Disney was indicated by puck in October to investigate a possible spin-off of ESPN, although a source spoke with CNBC refuted the claim, saying the company was focused on building value for ESPN Plus, including by researching sports betting.)

Sports betting has grown from state to state in recent years. In May 2018, the Supreme Court threw out a federal law that banned sports betting and paved the way for individual states to allow it. (New Jersey, for example, legalized sports betting almost immediately.) Today bet about 34 percent of sports fans weekly games in the US, according to the data analysis Ampere office, and they spend an average of $ 51 per week. Sports fans also spend about 3.2 hours a week in fantasy gaming, the data show the company. That provides a pretty big opportunity for live sports services hoping to keep their users concerned, to expand their products and differentiate their business.

“The projection is that” [legalization of betting] will continue to grow aggressively in the coming years,” Berkley says. “There’s definitely a trend for this to become not only legal, but more mainstream.”

Disney is not the only company that explores gokstraat. Saucer Draft in collaboration with Kings earlier this year to put DraftKings’ Sportsbook and fantasy games into its Dish TV Hopper platform as an app integration. (Dish-owned live TV service Sling also supports an integrated DraftKings betting experience, as well as dedicated) information channels for betting.) FuboTV last month launched his own sports book function for betting in Iowa, and is currently working on the removal of regulatory barriers to operate in other states. NBC Sports and Peacock partner PointsBet their gokintegraties.

The sports streaming service DAZN is now going “directly on the gambling market to be where we can” according to its chairman Kevin Mayer. DAZN spokesman Graham James says: The edge that in regards to its US betting strategy, DAZN “has no specific plans to share at this time, but believes that the addition of recreational betting to the DAZN platform in all our markets will create a safe, fun and immersive experience for fans to to enjoy next to the top sport they love.”

“The fact that ESPN, DAZN, all these people are talking about it so publicly makes me think it’s too much of an opportunity to pass them up,” said Ampere chief analyst Minal Modha. The edge.

Although sports betting in some circles traditionally regarded as taboo, these companies bet that the public opinion has changed in recent years. Chapek himself acknowledged that the move had once been risky for a spotless brand image as Disney. But now, he says, would actually bet … strengthen his sport, especially among the younger crowd.

“Gambling doesn’t have the cachet it did now, say 10 or 20 years ago,” Chapek said last month. “It actually strengthens the ESPN brand, if you have a gambling component, and it doesn’t impact the Disney brand.”

Betting can in different ways. Dish supports betting on a Draft Kings integration at Hopper devices, allowing users to scan a QR code to jump to platform Draft Kings. Sling, meanwhile, uses a text-based redirection system that can be started from a menu icon in her experience. The gamble feature of Fubo uses its own proprietary sportsbook App Integration that syncs with what’s happening on your TV screen (although it’s still a dual-screen experience, with the event happening on your TV and betting via the app).

Currently Chapek says that Disney is planning to collaborate with third parties to its gaming opportunities. That makes sense for any business that wants to avoid investment of hundreds of millions of dollars to achieve a scale similar to that Draft Kings as gokoperator said Jeff Ifrah, a founding member of Ifrah PLLC. The edge. Instead, these streamers choose to earn money together with others to work through revenues related games.

“The question of a company like Disney or other streaming companies will be: is that really the best way for us to make money?” Ifrah says. “There are a lot of practical questions about what is the best way to make money with this opportunity. It might not be an operator. “

There are plenty of sportsbook apps available right now: DraftKings, FanDuel, and BetMGM are just three of many. But sports betting through these platforms is not available in all 50 states. For example, DraftKings’ mobile and online gambling system is currently supported in 16 states. Importantly, Ifrah points out that any company that wants to remove the regulatory hurdles to operate its own gambling platform must do so on a state-by-state basis.

For a company like FuboTV, this means scaling the product will be a slow process – and an expensive one. Currently, the sportsbook app is only available in Iowa, but Berkley tells me that FuboTV has market access in four other states, meaning it has obtained licenses to operate in those states, but has yet to complete the regulatory approval process.

But in a sea of ​​services that all offer more or less the same (less if you’re looking for regional coverage, that’s a whole other rubbish fully), Modha says that betting can be a point of differentiation that can help a sports streamer stay afloat.

“I think many of the streaming services will think about:” How do we achieve that? ” [unique selling point]? How do we ensure that as more and more streaming services available and the market becomes more fragmented and people still need to spend more money, we make sure we are not one of the disposable services? And why is there such a thing as the gamification of betting around the corner, “said Modha.

If and when sports betting are more common in streaming services, the streaming companies offers yet another distinctive feature allowing their sports services can succeed as possible. It’s a gamble much like the gaming push Netflix – the more contact, the better. But as with any streaming trekking, the success of this gokimplementaties will largely depend on whether she can stand out in a crowd of similar or existing offers, especially against Goliaths like Disney.

“There are so many services in the US So in the beginning this will be all shiny and new, and it will attract audiences, “said Modha. “But that will be an evolution – the product will have to evolve constantly to ensure that audiences remain involved and to ensure that you continue to walk ahead of where everyone is.”