NBC receives 4.9% stake
NBCUniversal (NBCU) has appointed PointsBet as its official sports betting partner in a five-year media deal that gives the US media giant a 4.9% stake in the sportsbook operator. As of today, PointsBet will be integrating into NBCU’s sports assets, which include NBCSN, the Golf Channel, and all eight NBC Sports regional networks.
NBC Sports PR, a publicity group for the media company’s sports channels, announced the multi-year partnership in a tweet:
The deal enables PointsBet to avail itself of premium media and marketing opportunities across NBCU’s digital and linear platforms. It will also be incorporated into NBC Sports’ exclusive multiplatform gameday integrations, with access to over 2,200 live sporting events. In addition, PointsBet will power exclusive odds integrations via Rotoworld, NBC Sports’ market-leading fantasy and sports betting digital property.
Once the deal expires, NBCU will have the option to increase its initial stake in the Australia-based sportsbook to 25%.
A very big deal
According to online sports business news site Sportico, “two people familiar with the deal” estimated the combined value of the partnership to be worth nearly $500m to NBCU. The agreement is based on three key elements. Over the five years, NBCU will receive $393m in marketing payments from PointsBet, in addition to customer referral fees and the 4.9% stake.
In an official statement, PointsBet MD and group CEO Sam Swanell described the partnership as “transformational” for his company. He highlighted the access PointsBet will have to NBCU’s assets, which comprise a television audience of 184 million plus digital assets that include 60 million active users a month.
US gaming market is a once in a lifetime opportunity”
Swanell added that NBCU’s decision to take a 4.9% equity stake in PointsBet illustrated strategic alignment, mutual trust, and a “shared belief that the US gaming market is a once in a lifetime opportunity”.
Similar to the Fox Corp-Stars Group deal, the NBCU-PointsBet hook-up is anything but one-dimensional. According to Sportico, PointsBet USA CEO Johnny Aitken said that neither it nor NBCU wanted “just a traditional agreement where it’s solely cash and the mutual motivation isn’t there.” He also stated that, due to the nature of the three-pronged structure of the deal:
We truly feel that the more successful NBC makes us, in turn they’ll be successful as well.”
For NBCU, the partnership diversifies its business, handing it a war chest of $393m in ad spend. It also offers NBCU the opportunity to intensify its sports wagering channels. David Preschlack, president of NBC Sports Regional Networks and executive VP (content strategy) of NBC Sports Group, anticipates that most of the advertising will be region-based, as currently “sports betting is a regional marketplace”.
“But ultimately, as sports betting gets legalized in more states, we obviously have a robust set of national assets as well,” said Preschlack.