Fox Corporation Acquires Outkick With Sports Betting Content In Mind

Posted on May 6, 2021
Outkick

Fox Corporation wants to push further into sports betting content through the purchase of media outfit Outkick.

Fox executives announced Wednesday the acquisition of digital media company Outkick. During the company’s fiscal year 2021 third-quarter earnings call Wednesday, Fox CEO Lachlan Murdoch said the acquisition is key to a growing focus on sports betting content to attract operator marketing dollars and funnel users to Fox Bet.

“The opportunity presented by uniting a leading media brand with prominent betting assets and influencers is tremendous,” Murdoch said on the earnings call. “We continue to see substantial growth and revenue upside in this market and are investing to expand and enhance our presence.

“[Outkick is] a natural complement to several of our brands and deepens our investment in the sports wagering ecosystem.”

How sports betting fits into Fox’s future

As Murdoch discussed Fox’s renewal of the Sunday NFL package, he seamlessly meshed it with sports betting. Fox renewed its NFC package for $2.025 billion, an 80% increase from its current deal.

Murdoch spoke more about the importance of the company’s sports content legacy to leverage the audience and funnel to sports betting operators.

“Our sports business is really what’s driving our wagering business, you’re going to see us as major players from a media point of view in the sports wagering business moving forward,” he said. “We’ll continue to exploit that marketplace and grow in the marketplace. We have a tremendous opportunity but that’s because of the strength in our traditional sports broadcasting business.

“We wouldn’t have the same opportunity without coupling it with Fox Sports and overall Fox brand and audience.”

Fox grabs Outkick at busy time

Fox’s announcement claims Outkick founder Clay Travis‘s morning sports radio show on Fox Sports Radio attracts 10 million monthly listeners.

Travis is a regular on Fox Sports shows and will remain Outkick’s president.

An Outkick podcast network launched in September 2020 reportedly garners 4 million monthly downloads.

FanDuel affiliate partnership key for Fox

In the acquisition announcement, Fox touted Outkick’s exclusive marketing relationship with FanDuel. It comes at an interesting time, as Fox is in arbitration with FanDuel-parent Flutter Entertainment over the price of an 18.5% FanDuel share on which Fox holds an option to buy in July.

“The Outkick platform is one of FanDuel’s attractive sources of wagering leads,” the announcement reads.

Because of the arbitration and Fox’s suit against Flutter, Murdoch was limited in what he could say during Wednesday’s earnings call.

“We highly value our various partnerships with the Flutter Group,” Murdoch said. “Currently we are both looking to clarify our ongoing arrangements through a pending arbitration.”

Flutter relationship sees little comment

Fox and Flutter are partners in the Fox Bet endeavor.

Flutter announced last week it would not include Fox Bet in a potential US public listing of FanDuel. During Flutter’s Q1 earnings call last week, CEO Peter Jackson said Fox Bet is “struggling” compared to FanDuel.

Fox previously threatened to remove FanDuel ads from networks over the price dispute. Flutter didn’t seem concerned during their earnings call.

“Fox is not a huge component of marketing spend for FanDuel,” Flutter CFO Jonathan Hill said. “FanDuel was successful before the merger when Fox became a partner. While we are highly supportive of Fox, FanDuel is not overly reliant on that channel for marketing.”

The acquisition comes on the heels of others in the space. Last week, DraftKings announced a content deal agreement with Meadowlark Media. Last month, DraftKings acquired Vegas Sports Information Network for approximately $100 million.

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Pat Evans

Pat Evans is a Las Vegas-based reporter covering sports business. Evans previously worked at Front Office Sports and the Grand Rapids Business Journal. He has authored two books: Grand Rapids Beer and Nevada Beer.

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