NBA Digital Betting Partners Search Could be Meaningful for DraftKings, fuboTV

The NBA is discovering that bettors are more likely to tune into the league’s broadcasts and watch for longer stretches of time. One analyst believes that could compel the association to develop telecasts catering directly to gamblers.

Oppenheimer analyst Jed Kelly says that as the NBA further forges into the digital betting and broadcast arenas, more corporate partnerships will be necessary. That could be to the benefit of companies such as DraftKings (NASDAQ:DKNG) and fuboTV (NYSE:FUBO).

The NBA is finding that consumers who bet sports are watching more games for a longer time, and consuming more non-game content,” said Kelly in a note released following a call with NBA executive Scott Kaufman-Ross.

The stance isn’t surprising. Owners of franchises in other leagues have long seen the value of fantasy sports and betting as avenues for boosting television audiences and ratings. Data confirms as much.

A 2019 study conducted by Variety in conjunction with data research firm Proedge overtly says bettors surveyed are more likely to watch a game in which they are invested than a casual fan with no stake in the outcome. The poll also makes clear that bettors are more likely to wager on marquee contests, such as the NBA Finals, NCAA Final Four, and the Super Bowl, thereby increasing TV viewership of those games.

How DraftKings, fuboTV Fit In

Kelly says the NBA is currently tinkering with betting broadcast concepts.

“The league is experimenting with alternative betting telecasts for product development, and believe a separate, faster feed but less picture quality might make sense to accelerate the live betting push,” said the analyst.

DraftKings rival FanDuel is the exclusive sportsbook partner for Turner Sports’ NBA programming. But the former has experience in providing odds for broadcast sporting events, having done so on streaming and traditional TV networks.

fuboTV could make for a logical NBA partner as well. The company already offers a sports-first streaming service and is pushing into sports betting. On Tuesday, the firm said it’s acquiring mobile sportsbook operator Vigtory, and that it plans to launch its own betting app later this year. The goal is to eventually integrate that app into fuboTV’s streaming platform.

Oppenheimer’s Kelly views the NBA’s stance on sports wagering as positive for companies such as DraftKings and fuboTV.

Integrity Push

In the US, basketball trails only football in terms of popularity among bettors. The NBA knows this and also knows plenty of money flows to offshore sportsbooks.

“The NBA is choosing to form partnerships with multiple operators to help drive more innovation to the industry and improve fan experiences,” said Kelly. “Additionally, the NBA believes that more partnerships will accelerate the shift from offshore operators to legalized players while improving betting integrity.”

While Las Vegas is expected to be a contender if the association expands, the league’s footprint in markets where online sports betting is live and legal is small. Of the 30 franchises, just eight are in states, including Washington, DC, where online sports wagering is operational.

More than a third of NBA teams are located in regions where internet sports betting isn’t allowed. But that could soon change in the Empire StateThe 11 franchises include California, Florida, New York, and Texas.

Leave a comment