Churchill Downs, FanDuel Bury Hatchet by Inking Multi-Year Sports Betting Deal

  • After years of arguing over broadcasting rights, CDI and FanDuel have buried the hatchet
  • FanDuel CEO Howe deemed the company “especially pleased” to offer Kentucky Derby wagering
  • FanDuel TV will get sole broadcaster rights for Churchill’s thoroughbred racing content
  • CDI CEO is confident the multi-year FanDuel deal will reach “a significant number of new fans”
Business handshake
Historic adversaries over TV broadcast rights, Churchill Downs and FanDuel have inked a multiyear, multilayered deal, promising to innovate the betting experience for horse racing fans. [Image:]

Multifaceted partnership

After rubbing each other up the wrong way for years over broadcasting rights, Churchill Downs Incorporated (CDI) and FanDuel have put their differences aside by inking a multifaceted, multi-year sports betting agreement.

non-exclusive sponsorship rights for the Kentucky Derby

According to Thursday’s announcement, FanDuel will receive non-exclusive sponsorship rights for the Kentucky Derby, meaning Churchill’s racing content from the prestigious event and other races will become available on the FanDuel app.

The FanDuel Group and TVG senior vice president of TV, Kevin Grigsby, confirmed further details via Twitter:

Changes at a gallop

Along with the TV/media rights, and wagering rights to horse racing content, the multi-year deal also involves FanDuel’s advance deposit wagering (ADW) business, which will enable bettors to wager on Churchill horse races via the FanDuel app.

While the Derby rights are not exclusively FanDuel’s, its CEO Amy Howe said the firm was “especially pleased that we will be able to offer wagering on the most exciting two minutes in sports, the Kentucky Derby.”

An additional key aspect of the deal is that the recently-launched FanDuel TV will become the sole TV broadcaster of Churchill’s thoroughbred racing content, minus the Derby Week races.

The launch of FanDuel TV followed the rebranding of the New York-based sports betting firm’s racing channel, TVG. As a result of the rebrand, TVG became the more mainstream sport-focused FanDuel TV, with TVG2 becoming the home of FanDuel Racing. FanDuel’s parent company Flutter Entertainment purchased TVG in 2009.

New fans expected

Howe believes the Churchill deal is a game-changer. The CEO said the imminent integration of racing content into the sportsbook, coupled with FanDuel TV going live, is basically going to be a racing bettor’s dream come true.

Meanwhile, according to ex-BetMGM head of corporate development Chris Lynch, Flutter has “been all in on racing for years.” Lynch added that Thursday’s deal with Churchill:

“further cements TVGs leadership in the domestic racing industry.”

In an official press release, CDI CEO Bill Carstanjen shared Churchill’s confidence that, factoring in FanDuel’s large customer base, the new tie-up will reach “a significant number of new fans.”

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