FanDuel to Pair Live Sports Streams With Betting Odds in U.S.

(Bloomberg) -- FanDuel Group will be the first U.S. sports betting operator to offer live-sports broadcasts alongside odds on its website and mobile app, part of an expanded partnership with Swiss data and media giant Sportradar AG.

The sports are not top tier -- mostly midlevel tennis and German Bundesliga soccer -- but FanDuel believes the prospect of streaming and betting on a game on the same platform will draw more people to those options. In Europe, for example, gambling interest in specific events can double or even triple when odds are offered alongside live rights, according to Niall Connell, general manager of FanDuel Sportsbook.

“If you’re betting on something, you tend to want to watch the outcome of it,” Connell said in an interview. “It’d be a bit like betting on a horse race but not being able to see the actual race at all. Plus, a lot of this tennis content is matches that aren’t on terrestrial TV.”

The companies plan to announce their partnership on Tuesday.

Nevada casinos with sports books have long paired their betting windows with big-screen TVs showing horse races and major events. Putting sports and betting together online is ideal too, because of the potential for mobile in-game betting and instant gratification. Gamblers can wager on the outcome of the next point in tennis, and watch the bet play out seconds later.

Common in Europe

In European markets, offerings like this are common on anything from English Premier League soccer to National Basketball Association games. The video feeds are smaller, with lower resolution, so as not to infringe on the rights of media companies paying for the full rights packages.

For U.S.-based leagues it’s a bit more complicated, because all the premium content is locked up in long-term TV deals that were negotiated long before some states legalized sports gambling. In the future, leagues like the MLB and NBA will likely break out separate media rights for gambling. In the meantime, operators like FanDuel may be limited in the live sports they can offer.

Still, it’s a big step forward for FanDuel Group, which was formed in 2018 when Irish bookmaker Paddy Power Betfair Plc agreed to buy fantasy sports operator FanDuel and create a combined U.S. operation valued at more than $1 billion. The company has been one of the most active in the nascent sports-betting industry in the U.S.: Last month in New Jersey, for example, it made more than double the next closest operator.

Tennis, Soccer

The tennis and soccer streams will come via Sportradar, which is one of the world’s largest sellers of live rights and data to sportsbooks and media companies. The company’s media clients include Turner Sports, NBC Sports, CBS Interactive, Facebook Inc. and Twitter, while betting clients include Bet365 Group Ltd., Ladbrokes Betting & Gaming Ltd. and William Hill Plc.

FanDuel isn’t getting exclusive access to these games in the U.S., meaning competitors like William Hill or DraftKings could theoretically partner with Sportradar for similar access. Connell expects that to happen, but sees FanDuel reaping the benefit of being first.

Valued at $2.4 billion last July, Sportradar is controlled by founder and Chief Executive Officer Carsten Koerl. Its minority investors include the NFL, and NBA team owners Mark Cuban, Michael Jordan and Ted Leonsis.

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