Sep 6, 2019

The NFL's slow embrace of sports betting

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Reproduced from American Gaming Association; Graphic: Axios Visuals

It's been 15 months since the Supreme Court struck down the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act, which cleared the way for states to legalize sports betting.

Driving the news: In that time, the number of states with some form of legal sports betting has grown to 13 — and the NFL is slowly warming up to it. This season, the league has a full-fledged casino partner (Caesars) and an official data distributor (Sportradar) for the first time.

The big picture: The NFL's current broadcast rights deals with CBS, NBC, Fox and ESPN all expire in 2022, which could make sports betting a key part of any future negotiations.

  • "The value of television, of presenting our games, I dare say it will go up 50% because of [sports betting]," said Cowboys owner Jerry Jones, referencing the fact that people are more likely to watch a game if they bet on it.
  • "Gambling boosts future rights fees mostly because the next potential generation of broadcasters (particularly Amazon & Apple) are the best in the world at payment systems ( 1 click, micropayments) and can facilitate on screen betting better than anyone else," tweeted The Action Network's Darren Rovell.

The other side: While sports betting is poised to play a role in the NFL's future, it won't radically reshape how you watch games, at least not this year.

  • NBC's telecasts will feature "somewhat isolated" sports betting references, Fox will mention it on-air only "if our announcers can organically work it in," and ESPN execs said there were "no plans to discuss gambling," per NYT.

🎙 Go deeper: On yesterday's Axios Pro Rata Podcast, my colleague Dan Primack discussed the future of legalized sports betting with DraftKings co-founder and CEO Jason Robins. Give it a listen.

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The rise of the multicast

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Major sports leagues are experimenting with airing single games on multiple TV, digital and social channels at the same time, giving rise to sports "multicasts" or different ways for the consumers to experience the same game.

Why it matters: In a traditional TV world, almost all sports coverage was delivered through one live, linear feed, with one set of announcers and analysts.

Go deeperArrowOct 1, 2019

Retired MLB pitcher Michael Schwimer is betting on analytics

Retired Phillies pitcher Michael Schwimer. Photo: Sarah Glenn/Getty Images

Retired MLB pitcher Michael Schwimer has put together a team of data analysts and machine learning experts to take on the corrupt tout industry (sellers of sports betting picks).

Driving the news: Schwimer's company, Jambos Picks, has raised $23 million and recently launched its paid subscription service that will provide customers with pick recommendations.

Go deeperArrowSep 17, 2019

Sports are a flashpoint as satellite TV struggles with blackouts

Data: MoffettNathanson; Chart: Axios Visuals

Of all the major TV blackouts happening this year, many of the biggest conflicts are occurring between the two big satellite companies and TV networks.

Why it matters: The Pay-TV business is in terminal decline, and in some ways, satellite operators are feeing the losses more than their cable counterparts, who are able to lean more heavily on broadband sales to recoup the losses.

Go deeperArrowOct 1, 2019