FanDuel And DraftKings Find Another Media Partner In Turner Sports, But Will It Pay Off?

Posted on October 15, 2020

Another day, another deal between sports betting operators and a media company.

This time its Bleacher Report-owner Turner Sports, which has partnered with both FanDuel and DraftKings.

Essentially the two operators are splitting the Turner portfolio; FanDuel gets the NBA, DraftKings gets everything else, including MLB and PGA Tour.

The full list of Turner Sports properties includes NBA Digital, Bleacher Report and MLB on TBS.

Turner also owns March Madness rights and NCAA.com. DraftKings has first dibs on advertising there, should the NCAA ever embrace betting.

Of course, that’s a big ‘if’.

What do FanDuel and DraftKings get from Turner Sports?

The deal will see FanDuel and DraftKings odds and content integrated across the Turner digital and TV portfolio.

“Turner Sports is a leader in the media industry and, together, we’re bringing viewership to the next level by offering exclusive sports betting content that’s directly integrated into their NBA programming,” said Mike Raffensperger, chief marketing officer for FanDuel Group. 

DraftKings chief business officer Ezra Kucharz added: “Regulated betting is quickly becoming a fixture of modern sports entertainment, and this collaboration with Turner Sports further scales the reach of our products and content to engage fans.”

DraftKings has previously been linked with an acquisition of Bleacher Report, but the Turner Sports corporate structure made it a difficult deal to complete.

Yet another media partner for sportsbooks

The deals are the latest in a line of bookmaker/media company tie-ups.

These now include:

No financial details of the Turner deals were disclosed, but Turner is likely guaranteed a lot of money.

The problem is, no one has yet proven the efficacy of these partnerships – particularly as the operators are shouldering all the risk.

In a recent interview with Legal Sports Report, 888’s US chief Yaniv Sherman said these marketing deals looked “very expensive.”

“To strike a 5-10 year deal for TV without the other side assuming some risk is very dangerous in our view,” Sherman said.

“Everyone is quoting the SkyBet model, but none of this is SkyBet. That was homegrown. So far we’ve seen souped-up affiliate deals with one side assuming risk. Long term that’s not a real partnership.”

Sherman said he was looking for more commitment and buy-in from a media partner, akin to Barstool Sportsbook and Penn National Gaming

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Brad Allen

Brad has been covering the online gambling industry in Europe and the US for more than four years, most recently as the news editor at EGR Global.

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