DraftKings and Major League Baseball (MLB) have extended their almost decade-long relationship, to now include live streaming of league matches directly on the Draftkings app.
The deal announced Friday marks the Boston-based operator’s first live-streaming deal with a major professional sports league in the United States. It is also the first time MLB has partnered with sports betting entity to air live games.
The expanded deal means the fans can now watch a baseball game and bet on it simultaneously, though specifics have yet to be finalized.
Anyone with an MLB and DraftKings account can stream games.
DraftKings-MLB association goes back to 2012 when the American professional baseball organization became the first-ever league partner of DraftKings.
What’s ‘New’ in the Agreement?
The new agreement introduces the ‘Bet & Watch’ streaming integration, allowing fans with DraftKings and MLB accounts to watch one free, live game per week from the league via DraftKings app.
Additionally, both partners plan to work jointly on future sports betting-themed game broadcast experiences that will be aired live through the MLB.TV product.
As part of the expanded deal, the Boston-based operator remains the exclusive official daily fantasy sports partner of MLB.
In addition, MLB has also named DraftKings as a co-exclusive official sportsbook partner of the league, joining BetMGM. The deepening ties will also allow DraftKings on-site brand exposure and activation opportunities during MLB Jewel Events, such as the World Series.
As part of the latest deal, DraftKings will be an official sportsbook partner throughout the league’s postseason with branding exposure. Besides, there will be promotions as part of the 2021 T-Mobile Home Run Derby.
How Have We Reached Here?
DraftKings and MLB have a deep connection spanning nearly a decade. The Boston-based company launched to coincide with MLB’s opening day in 2012 to offer its first product: a one-on-one baseball competition.
In April 2013, MLB became the first US professional sports entity to invest in daily fantasy sports when it invested an undisclosed amount in DraftKings.
DraftKings co-founder Matt Kalish said in a statement, “In 2012, MLB helped ignite the DFS industry by becoming our first-ever league partner,” adding that both organizations have looked to innovate further through this expansion.
MLB Executive Vice President, Business Development, Kenny Gersh said the league’s growing relationship with DraftKings has been rooted in fan engagement, and the second-screen immersion of sports gaming and entertainment products for nearly a decade.
He added that the next iteration of distinctive and experiential offerings is something MLB looks forward to rolling out together as fans continue to embrace technological advances.
New MLB Deal, Part of DraftKings’ Expansion Plans
The new MLB agreement is the latest in the strings of similar deals DraftKings has been inking with various sports leagues, tribes, and media companies in a bid to expand across the nation.
DraftKings is currently powering sports and gaming entertainment for 50 operators across over 15 regulated US and global markets.
The latest deal with the American professional baseball organization came a week before All-Star Game, which gave DraftKings a breakthrough as a daily fantasy operator during its earliest days in 2012.
In 2015, MLB named DraftKings the league’s official Daily fantasy game, extending the existing cooperation. In 2019 – a year after the Supreme Court ruling allowed sports betting in the US beyond Nevada – DraftKings was also named MLB’s official league partner for gaming.
Last year, the relation further deepened when the two announced a multi-year extension to remain the official and exclusive daily fantasy sports partner of the league.