Multimedia content is becoming a focus as daily fantasy sports operators develop new features for their platforms.
DraftKings is taking media integration one step further, though.
At a conference in Lisbon, Portugal, this week, CEO Jason Robins announced an expanded partnership with EuroLeague basketball. The deal includes the global launch of EuroLeague contests, along with the ability to stream live video from select games directly within the app.
This expansion broadens the initial deal between DraftKings and EuroLeague, which was inked this summer.
In its current format, EuroLeague has been around for 18 years. Turkish Airlines has been the league’s title sponsor for the last eight of those.
The league is composed of 16 teams playing 40-game schedules. Each game consists of four 10-minute quarters, so the scoring is slightly lower than it is in the NBA. The current season began last month and runs though April, paralleling the NBA calendar.
EuroLeague contests require users to create a roster of six players. Each player is assigned a salary, and the lineup must fit within a $50,000 cap. Scoring follows the same format as NBA, although late swap will apparently be a feature of all EuroLeague contests.
DraftKings is the only US-based DFS platform offering EuroLeague contests, which will launch Nov. 14. It runs contests across ten sports and games — the most in the industry and twice as many as its primary competitor, FanDuel.
DraftKings to show games
DraftKings is also becoming the first mainstream DFS platform to integrate live video.
According to a joint press release, the new streaming feature “reinforces DraftKings’ commitment to delivering a comprehensive platform that combines the best of fantasy and live sports content.”
Customers can stream one free game per week, or they can watch multiple games by playing in a contest with an entry fee of $3 or more. DraftKings will also create its own original content to support the product.
Robins explained DraftKings’ vision for the partnership:
Our goal is to become the one-stop destination and mobile companion for sports fans globally. Adding a live streaming component allows us to provide the best and most seamless product for our customers. This is what the future of sports looks like.
It won’t be ready when EuroLeague contests launch next week, though. The press release indicates that DraftKings “hopes to offer” live streaming to customers in North America beginning early in 2018.
Live streaming, DFS and sports
It’s far from the first time that the gaming industry has tried to put live streaming next to its content.
- Sportsbooks in Europe commonly stream live content inside their platforms.
- Online horse betting sites in the US commonly offer streams of races.
- Streaming was even a part of DFS when AlphaDraft and Vulcun had fantasy esports offerings dating back to early 2015. (Both sites are now defunct.)
Obviously, DFS sites would like to become one-stop shops of sports content as they try to increase engagement. Both FanDuel and DraftKings also offer standalone apps with sports content/live updates of sporting events.
Putting live streams inside DFS platforms is simply the next step in the evolution. Of course it’s one thing to stream EuroLeague games; streaming the major US pro sports (in the US) via a DFS site might be a bit down the road.
Despite its success in North America, DraftKings is still working to unlock the key to capturing the European audience as it expands to Germany and beyond.
Daily fantasy basketball based on the EuroLeague could be a means to making more in-roads.
According to the EuroLeague. attendance was up 15 percent during the past season. It also boasted a 32 percent increase in TV ratings and a 166 percent increase in online viewership. Last season’s EuroLeague Final Four championship event was broadcast in more than 200 countries.
League President Jordi Bertomeu offered his take on the partnership:
Combining fantasy with live-streamed games is a perfect match, not only for the countless passionate EuroLeague fans we have already, but for the many new ones who will now discover our unique brand of basketball through DraftKings.
Adding a new sport is the easiest way for DraftKings to attract a new group of users to its platform. Once they’re there, they may consider dabbling in other sports, even some in which they don’t have a viewing interest.
The DFS basketball framework was already in place, so DraftKings didn’t need to expend a ton of resources to build it out for EuroLeague. And it fills a gap in the week’s sports schedule, too.
The MLB season is over, which means that US-based DFS players don’t have much to sweat in the middle of the day. DraftKings recognizes that gap, and it’s trying to help fill it with EuroLeague contests.
“Since games tip off in the afternoon in North America,” the release says, “you can play as a warmup to the night’s NBA contests.”
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