The Week In Daily Fantasy Sports: May 9-15, 2015
Legal Sports Report

This Week In Daily: May 15, 2015

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“This Week In Daily” is LegalSportsReport’s weekly wrap of key facts, happenings and miscellany from the daily fantasy sports industry.

Stories of note

Amaya slows down on DFS

Amaya Gaming, the parent company of PokerStars, held its quarterly earnings call this week. The interesting bit for those who follow the fantasy sports industry came about its plans to roll out a DFS product.

During the last earnings call, Amaya said it would launch in time for the NFL season. That is apparently not a hard timeline, we learned this week, according to Online Poker Report:

“I would say that the goal” is to launch by the start of the NFL season, (Amaya CEO David) Baazov said. But he added that the company was pushing the make sure a launch happens by the end of 2015.

Baazov declined to answer questions regarding possible DFS acquisitions and indicated that DFS was not baked into Amaya’s current guidance.

Why? Amaya may have learned that getting into DFS right now is more difficult than it looked. Maybe it’s just trying to make sure it is making the right acquisition, if it’s buying another DFS site. It could be trying to launch its own DFS product. Or perhaps Yahoo’s planned entrance into the market — which came after Amaya’s initial announcement — changed things.

Whatever the reason, we can no longer bank on an Amaya DFS launch this fall.

CBS + FanDuel

CBS Sports is now airing a show dedicated to DFS — called “Daily Fantasy Live.” That, in and of itself, would be moderately newsworthy: a major sports cable network launching a DFS show. (It’s on weekdays at 6 p.m., if you want to check it out.)http://www.adweek.com/lostremote/cbs-sports-launches-digital-daily-newscast/52208

The really interesting thing? FanDuel is sponsoring it. Some thought CBSSports.com might have designs on entering the DFS market with its own product — it is one of the leaders in season-long fantasy — but this deal would appear to signal that such a move is not imminent. Is it possible this is the start of a larger relationship between CBS and FanDuel? Only time will tell.

Of the week

Read(s) of the week

“DraftKings Continues To Go Where FanDuel Won’t, Signs Deal With NASCAR”

It seemed like just a matter of time before a major DFS site started providing auto racing daily fantasy contests. It has a legion of loyal fans, and it seems ready-made for the DFS format.

DraftKings took the plunge this week, inking a three-year deal with the stock-car circuit and launching NASCAR contests immediately.

So why haven’t we seen NASCAR DFS previously? Some — including FanDuel — believe it may be illegal under the UIGEA fantasy sports carveout. Obviously DraftKings disagrees. For now, stock-car racing joins the growing list of sports — including MMA, soccer and golf — that DraftKings offers contests for and FanDuel does not.

“Disney, through ESPN, entering daily fantasy sports”

We’re now a month removed from the initial reports that Disney/ESPN and DraftKings would be entering into a deal worth hundreds of millions of dollars.

A month later, and still no official deal. And, according to this story, a “no comment” from Disney.

The story also takes a look at Disney’s aversion to gambling vs. its (possible) entrance into the DFS market via a DraftKings investment.

Tweets of the week

Adam Krejcik of Eilers Research, talking about a new Pennsylvania bill that would allow DFS contests to be run on-site only at brick-and-mortar gaming establishments.

Number of the week

2.5 million

The number of viewers for the last NASCAR race, which was delayed by rain. According to Sports Media Watch, that’s the lowest rating for a Sprint Cup race since 2008. A tie-in with daily fantasy sports via DraftKings might be expected to help sagging TV ratings for the stock-car circuit.

Dustin Gouker
- Dustin Gouker has been a sports journalist for more than 15 years, working as a reporter, editor and designer -- including stops at The Washington Post and the D.C. Examiner.
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