Feb 11, 2020 - Economy & Business

Media companies eye sportsbook partnerships to juice engagement

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Almost all major media companies are teaming up with sportsbooks to juice their content offerings.

Why it matters: The partnerships allow media organizations to increase engagement while sportsbooks can acquire more customers.

  • CBS Sports said Monday that William Hill, a UK-based sportsbook operator, will be the official sportsbook and provider of wager information for the network. Financial terms were not disclosed.
  • Barstool Sports sold a 36% stake to gambling operator Penn National for $163 million last week. The investment valued Barstool at $450 million, a price that reflects Barstool's brand and hyper-loyal audience of young sports fans.
  • ESPN said last year it's partnering with Caesars Entertainment to produce sports-betting content.
  • Turner Sports and Bleacher Report announced a similar deal in February, building a branded Bleacher Report studio inside the Caesars Palace Sports Book in Las Vegas.

Yes, but: So far, Fox Corp. is the only major U.S. sports broadcaster to be starting its own sports wagering platform.

The bottom line: In an interview with Axios, William Hill U.S. CEO Joe Asher told Axios that the purpose of its CBS News partnership was to help lower the sportsbook's customer acquisition cost.

Go deeper: Media companies' newest wager: betting content

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Scoop: Sports podcast upstart Blue Wire raises $1.2 million seed round

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Blue Wire, a new sports podcast company, has raised $1.2 million in a seed round, sources tell Axios.

Why it matters: Blue Wire is looking to build out long-form sports narrative podcasts. The company believes that while sports highlights will continue to be mostly viewed via short video clips, more long-form sports media consumption will eventually shift to podcasts from traditional radio and print.

The NFL warms up to betting

Photo: Jim McIsaac/Getty Images

Starting this season, NFL teams in states with legal sports betting will be allowed to have in-stadium betting lounges and accept sponsorships from sportsbooks and betting operators, per multiple reports.

One caveat: There will not be any physical betting windows in the lounges, so they're more "hangout spots for bettors" than an actual "places to make bets."

Go deeperArrowFeb 24, 2020 - Sports

PGA strikes $680 million TV rights deal with NBC, CBS, ESPN

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

The PGA Tour has struck a 9-year rights deal with CBS Sports, NBC Sports and ESPN for around $680 million, Variety reports.

Why it matters: The value of distributing professional golf in the U.S. is increasing as more TV networks clamor to hold live sports rights. In the streaming era, live sports are keeping traditional TV alive.

Go deeperArrowMar 10, 2020 - Sports