With the US ban on sports betting having been lifted by a Supreme Court decision in May, many parties have been lining up to take advantage. Sports media publishers stand to benefit a great deal from sports betting legalization.
Sports betting legalization progress
Since the Supreme Court decision, four states have officially opened sportsbooks to the public, and many more have legislation in the works to allow them to follow suit. The illegal sports betting market was estimated to be worth $150bn (£115bn) annually in the US, so the move to legalize could lead to a boom for many parties.
Gambling operators can attract new sports betting punters, state bodies can garner much-needed tax revenue, and sports betting enthusiasts have a legal avenue where they can pursue their passion.
Fantasy sports have long offered a way for sports fans have gotten their fix for their competitive natures. Companies like FanDuel and DraftKings offer cash prizes for participants in various sports in a fantasy setting. Since sports betting was legalized, these fantasy companies are turning their focus to sportsbooks.
The European bookmaking behemoth Paddy Power Betfair bought a majority stake in FanDuel after the Supreme Court decision. They saw this as an ideal way to enter the US market. Both FanDuel and DraftKings have launched sportsbooks and mobile offerings in New Jersey.
CBS Sports approach
Publishers have spotted an opportunity to carve out their own slices of the pie. In particular, they are focusing on video programs related to sports betting.
There will, of course, be extensive campaigns in the written form as well, with affiliate programs being a lucrative source of revenue for many parties.
The streaming channel on CBS Sports recently started airing a show called SportsLine Edge that gives advice and analysis backed up by data for both fantasy sports and sports betting.
For the new CBS Sports show, SportsLine experts will provide all of the important data and information points. This website, owned by CBS Sports, provides information for sports bettors by subscription. The show will include 11 hours’ worth of content aired a week and CBS plans eventually to broadcast daily streams.
CBS Sports representatives said that they would have proceeded with this show even if the Supreme Court didn’t end the 1992 federal ban on sports betting because they saw it as a program with great potential. The fact that legalization was approved makes it an even better idea.
Sports bettors will want content that will give them an insight into the latest trends and insights from industry experts because it might give them an edge in placing their bets.
Other parties getting involved
CBS Sports isn’t the only publisher getting involved in this line of programming. Barstool Sports has launched its television program, Barstool Sports Advisers, that showcases some well-known network personalities. This program will air on local television stations in major cities such as Chicago, Philadelphia, Boston, and New York.
Bleacher Report has started a program focused mainly on the NFL, “Simms & Lefkoe: The Show.” Viewers will decide how the host, Adam Lefkoe, should place his sports bets.
This is the first time Bleacher Report has become involved in any form of gambling-related programming. The website is testing to see how it performs with a view toward rapidly expanding its emphasis on sports betting if it proves to be a success.
It is inevitable that even independent media publishers will work directly with casinos and sportsbooks to push the products to their audiences. FanDuel and DraftKings found great success by spending hundreds of millions on different forms of advertising, with a particular focus on podcast sponsorships.