Amazon Thursday Night Football Broadcasts To Feature DraftKings Odds

Written By Mike Mazzeo on September 15, 2022
Amazon

The NFL’s first stream-only broadcast on Amazon Prime will feature a sports betting component. 

DraftKings Sportsbook and Amazon reached a multi-year deal for DraftKings to serve as a sponsor for Thursday Night Football on Prime, the sports betting operator announced Tuesday. The sponsorship will enable DraftKings to be the exclusive pregame and in-game odds provider for TNF.

Could tech giant become sports betting player?

Amazon’s 11-year, $13 billion deal with the NFL to exclusively stream TNF kicks off Sept. 15 when the Los Angeles Chargers face the Kansas City Chiefs.

There has long been speculation about whether Amazon and other tech giants could enter the online sports betting industry as an operator via M&A.

Licensing would be the holdup

“I think it makes perfect sense, except for the licensing,” Jason Ader, CEO of SpringOwl and a long-time gaming investor who formerly sat on the board of Las Vegas Sands, told PlayNY earlier this year.

“If Meta/Facebook, Google or Microsoft or Apple or Amazon really wanted to get into online gaming they would kill everybody because the whole success of online gaming is customer acquisition, customer retention and lifetime value.

“And those five companies have a huge advantage in all those areas. And it just really comes down to, ‘Do those companies want to go through the scrutiny of licensing for all the shareholders and the board?’ Historically, the answer to that has been no, but it’s possible. I wouldn’t say it’s zero, but it’s possible.”

Live betting issues must be figured out

Streaming is the next wave of broadcasting. But can it work with live, in-game sports betting? 

Mike Raffensperger, CCO of FanDuel Sportsbook, tweeted about the difficulties with latency issues last month. 

“Streaming has its pros, but it’s too slow for #sportsbetting. Video streaming is 30+ seconds behind traditional television, which makes live betting much harder to do,” he wrote. “Live betting already makes up around 50% of sports betting in the US and this number will likely grow. As more people watch live sports via streaming, it’s critical for the industry to solve the streaming lag issue.

“Nobody has really presented a viable solution here, but the companies that figure it out first are going to be among the winners as this trend plays out.”

DraftKings increases microbetting menu

DraftKings expanded its microbetting offerings for the 2022 NFL season. Through B2B operator SimpleBet, DraftKings users will be able to wager on: 

  • Next QB pass: complete or incomplete
  • Next RB carry: over/under yardage on the next carry
  • Next WR/TE catch: fans can wager on a player’s potential catch and how many yards it may go for

Apple TV’s streaming broadcasts of MLB games have also featured live odds integrations. The company doing them, nVenue, found itself under the microscope after its at-bat probabilities proved inaccurate.

NFL loves sports betting … now

The NFL long cited integrity issues when it came to sports betting. But the league last year struck five-year “tri-exclusive” sports betting partnership deals with DraftKings, FanDuel and Caesars that totaled just under $1 billion combined. BetMGM, WynnBet, FoxBet and PointsBet also have secondary partnership deals. 

GeoComply reported Monday that sports betting app geolocation checks on mobile devices increased 71.5% for this year’s NFL kickoff.

This year, there were 103.1 million geolocation pings during the opening weekend for NFL betting, as opposed to 60.1 million last year. 

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Mike Mazzeo

Mike Mazzeo is a reporter for Legal Sports Report, arriving after covering several of New York’s professional sports teams in a variety of roles for the past decade. Previously, he served as a beat writer and columnist covering the Brooklyn Nets (ESPN) and New York Yankees (New York Daily News). Mike also covered both the MLB and NBA nationally for Yahoo Sports. In addition, he served as a general assignment reporter for ESPNNewYork.com. He has also had bylines in the New York Times, New York Post, Newsday, Forbes and The Ringer.

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