DraftKings Plans Free Video Sports Content Streaming Service
DraftKings, the biggest sports betting operator in the US, has announced it will be opening a video streaming service in the coming months. The new service will provide video versions of its existing sports podcasts and other new shows that it sponsors or is involved with.
“Over the years, DraftKings has expanded our media footprint by securing top talent and trusted personalities across sports media, and we’ve begun the initial rollout of DK Network,” DraftKings told Bloomberg this week.
The move follows a similar sports video content service launch last year by its nearest competitor, FanDuel.
The DraftKings video streaming launch is part of a wider trend of acquisitions, partnerships, and hires between big sports betting operators and sports media.
Over the past several years, DraftKings has signed deals with media companies and individuals across various sports markets.
In 2022, it partnered with former ESPN president John Skipper’s Meadowlark Media in a $50 million deal to produce a range of four different sports podcasts. That year, they also appointed former ESPN executive Stacie McCollum to a new head of programming position.
It also signed a deal in 2021 with traditional radio and streaming giant iHeart Radio, which has seen the two companies collaborate on sports betting content. That same year, DraftKings acquired sports betting content platform Vegas Sports Information Network (VSIN) in a deal of undisclosed value,
Former professional NFL player turned ESPN broadcaster Mike Golic Jr. now hosts on DraftKings with his podcast GoJo Show, as do MMA Podcast hosts Anik and Florian.
The company is continually looking to work with “high-profile content creators, media stalwarts, and emerging voices across the sports landscape,” it said in a 2022 statement.
If you’re detecting a theme of sports broadcasters and behind-the-scenes employees leaving big name networks for sports betting operators – you’d be right.
Traditional sports media must be looking nervously over its shoulders. This month, ESPN began to lay off the first of more than 7,000 employees as part of a cost-cutting endeavor by parent Walt Disney Company.
ESPN plans to achieve $5.5 billion in worldwide savings this year through various cuts.
DraftKings is not the only operator looking to get in on the traditional sports media pie.
FanDuel this month strengthened its deal with The Ringer network, owned by global music streaming giant Spotify. The deal will include exclusive content for its streaming network, FanDuel TV, launched last year.
“FanDuel TV is the perfect platform to showcase The Ringer’s top personalities, broaden their audiences and become flagship programming for the network,” said FanDuel Chief Commercial Officer Mike Raffensperger earlier this month.
The UK’s global Bet365 brand is also looking at livestreaming sports on its own platform, so customers can watch and bet simultaneously from one online location.
DraftKings has given no definite launch date for its streaming platform. But expect it to roll out over the next month or so.
The company currently has huge handles each month across many US legal sports betting states. But it also spends a lot on promotions and advertising. An in-house streaming network could be one way to fix that.