KonekTV, Joe Hand Promotions to Bring Sportsbook Experience to Philadelphia Sports Bars

  • KonekTV feeds sports betting info to sports bars
  • Idea is to bring sportsbook excitement to bars
  • Bars can make money with advertising, increased occupancy
  • Companies have strong roots in Philadelphia
Men toasting their hockey team at a sports bar.
KonekTV and Joe Hand Productions are attempting to bring sports betting data to sports bars. [Image: Shutterstock]

Sports bar becomes quasi-sportsbook

This is the best time of the year for sports bars in the United States, as the NFL and college football seasons pack the venues every weekend.

With mobile sports betting live in Pennsylvania since May, sports bars in the Keystone State see the potential to attract even more customers.

Local company Joe Hand Promotions and Las Vegas-based KonekTV are looking to capitalize on this by teaming up to turn Philadelphia sports bars into mini sportsbooks.

sports bars in the Keystone State see the potential to attract even more customers

KonekTV would provide live betting information to a sports bar. The goal is to bring some of the experience of a large sportsbook – and the excitement – to the restaurants.

Revenue generator for bars

KonekTV uses proprietary hardware to stream the content to the sports bar.

Any number of channels can be chosen to customize the content based on the bar owner’s desires. Sports betting odds can either be sportsbook consensus, or be fed from a specific sportsbook if the bar has a partnership with one. The television displays show advertisements, which is how bar owners make money directly from the KonekTV installation.

KonekTV founder Seth Schorr told the Philadelphia Inquirer that the product tends to be at worst cost-neutral to the sports bars because of the advertising revenue. Numbers vary based on bar size, location, and occupancy.

Sports bar owners who install a KonekTV hope that they also see more revenue from increased patronage.

“A bar is often competing with somebody’s home, so at a minimum, you have to give somebody the same experience they can get at home — and hopefully something much, much more,” said Schorr.

Companies have Philly connection

KonekTV, though based in Las Vegas, has ties to the state. Both Schorr and partner Sameer Gupta attended the University of Pennsylvania and said they consider Philadelphia their “second home.”

Josh Harris, managing partner of the NBA’s Philadelphia 76ers, is an investor in KonekTV via his company, Harris Blitzer Sports & Entertainment. The Sixers Innovation Lab also works with KonekTV.

Philadelphia-based Joe Hand Promotions has delivered big pay-per-view events to sports bars for nearly half a century. It is the official commercial provider of such organizations as the WWE, UFC, and Showtime Championship Boxing. The company is the local partner to work with Philly sports bars on the product.

New product draws interest, questions

It appears there is already local interest in KonekTV, even if there is still some hesitation on the part of bar owners.

Scott Keenan, a co-owner of Keenan’s Irish Pub, told the Inquirer that he was impressed during his restaurant’s test run of KonekTV this summer. He is hoping it could attract customers during slower seasons.

Of particular interest to Keenan is linking KonekTV to eSports viewing. He has not committed to a long-term installation yet, though, because he still has questions about the advertising details and the source of sports betting data.

Joe Hand, Jr., President of Joe Hand Promotions, admitted that it could be an uphill climb convincing bar owners that KonekTV is for them. Commenting on how a generational gap could make it difficult to convince older bar owners, Hand said:

I’m talking to a 60-year-old bar owner about streaming, and he’s like, ‘How do you spell streaming? What is esports?’”

His pitch could be bolstered by recent actions taken by major players in the gaming industry. Earlier this month, MGM Resorts International and Buffalo Wild Wings announced a partnership that will see MGM deliver sports betting products to customers at Buffalo Wild Wings locations.

People can play the games from anywhere, but those who check in at Buffalo Wild Wings restaurants will receive exclusive benefits such as free bets.

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