Why FOX Buying Part of The Stars Group For Sports Betting Is Such a Big Deal

fox

So this is a big deal. FOX purchased a 5% stake in online gambling operator The Stars Group, which runs the sports betting app BetStars in New Jersey.

Rupert Murdoch’s company paid $236 million for the stake which will give them an option to purchase 50% of the company in 10 years.

The immediate implication is that FOX will be able to leverage the existing sports betting technologies of Stars to launch FOX Bet, which may immediately become the dominant online sports betting app. They will also offer a free product in markets where sports betting is not yet live to grow a customer base in them.

FOX becomes the first major US media platform to partner with a sports betting operator, this after Comcast-NBC had toyed with the idea of launching NBC Sports Bet. Members of at three-man team at Comcast – an exploratory group of sorts – tasked with evaluating the market for an NBC betting product recently left Comcast for Penn National Gaming, indicating that things may not be progressing as quickly as expected at Comcast. More on that later.

A big deal

FOX buying a stake in The Stars Group is such a big deal because the holy grail of sports-betting synergy is for rights holders to have their own sportsbooks, seamlessly weaving action in with coverage.

Everyone is trying to replicate the model pioneered by Sky Bet in Europe, where, hold your hats, things get incestuous.

The Stars Group owns Sky Betting and Gaming, the betting offshoot of Sky which operates Sky Bet.

Sky was partially owned by FOX, which had a 39% stake in the company before it was outbid by Comcast for controlling ownership last year. Now FOX acquires a stake in The Stars Group to launch the American equivalent of Sky Bet.

FOX Bet will be a monster out of the gate just because of the sheer brand recognition of FOX and all its sports broadcast rights, particularly NFL football.

FOX obviously has plans on how to incorporate FOX Bet:

“There’ll be certain places, like our FS1 show ‘Lock It In,’ where it’s going to be tightly integrated,” said Fox Sports CEO & Exec Producer Eric Shanks. “Probably on some of our radio shows that are on television, more tightly integrated. You will see integrations in our pregame shows, but sitting here today, just announcing this deal, we still have a lot of work to do to say exactly how all of that’s going to be.”

This means lines and odds shown directly before, during and after games. FanDuel Sportsbook recently introduced live streaming (tennis) into its app, allowing you to bet on sports live while watching the game. The obvious problem with that sort of thing for many sportsbooks is broadcast rights. But FOX already has them, for the most coveted sports around.

As part of the deal, BetStars agrees to spend a certain amount on advertising on FOX broadcasts.

 

PA market access

The deal will presumably give FOX Bet an in to sports betting in Pennsylvania. The Stars Group has a partnership with Mt. Airy Casino Resort, which might mean we’ll see FOX Bet in Pennsylvania sometime this year. Additionally, The Stars Group has a market access deal with Eldorado Resorts, which will give them access to 11 additional states.

FOX Bet is poised to dominate the market.

 

Big brand

Here’s an interesting points from Bloomberg’s coverage of the deal. This:

Shanks said research shows that customer trust of a brand influences their willingness to wager on its platform. Fox data, he said, shows 27 percent of Americans will have a propensity to bet with the company’s brand, which is more than double the percentage for fantasy brands like FanDuel and DraftKings, where Fox invested in 2015, and casino names.

Now, convenient and tenuous numbers aside, the point is that FOX has more brand recognition than DraftKings and FanDuel, the two dominant leaders in New Jersey sports betting.

This sort of thing can prove difficult for upstart, even promising upstart, sportsbooks, such as PointsBet, to compete with. Though they are one to watch out for.

 

Comcast out for now?

Besides their three-man team leaving the company, the president of NBC Sports regional networks, David  Preschlack, seemed non-committal at the Betting on Sports America Conference last month in New Jersey on the prospects of NBC becoming an operator. This alongside The Score founder John Levy, who was boasting about his company’s entry into the fray this fall in New Jersey (along with massive signage at the event).

 

A contender

In my estimation, FOX Bet is the first immediate threat to DraftKings and FanDuel early dominance in the market. The BetStars app, while not without some bugs and hiccups and, um, British-isms unfamiliar to American bettors, is a good, accessible experience. Throw in some modernity and FOX branding, and you have a serious contender for the leading sports betting app. Big deal here.

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21 Comments

  • Getting involved in gambling did not end well for Bugsy Siegel May 8, 2019 at 10:06 pm

    It hadn’t started well for you, Kyle. Your shilling is
    shrill and your picks are embarrassingly bad. Fuck you. Wisconsin is a tough out says hi.

    Reply
    • Horn Tooter May 9, 2019 at 9:59 am

      “In my estimation…..”
      So Kyle is now some kind of gambling industry insider now?

      Fox is and always has been the ‘national enquirer’ of media companies.
      Way to much schlock…………

      You’re way over the top with you’re blustering about ‘big deal’ blah blah blah……….

      Reply
  • Actual betting insider May 8, 2019 at 10:48 pm

    Kyle, totally off base. You truly do not understand this business. This buyout means literally nothing.

    Reply
    • Kyle Scott May 8, 2019 at 10:58 pm

      Gonna go ahead and guess the guy who comments as “actual radio insider” isn’t a betting insider.

      Reply
      • Wrong, Kyle- this is a Giant nothingburger May 9, 2019 at 6:12 am

        Your lack of awareness as to what a ridiculous amateur you come off as is pure comedy. Same guy recently asking for advice on Gambling 101 books and trying to use a credit card at his very first trip to sports book.

        Back to the cool CB offices you go with your big smart board making carnival clown videos with awful gambling advice nobody cares about. Stick to hocking low quality t shirts that border on copywright infringement.

        Maybe when the apps go legal in PA you can host another subscriber only party in Quakertown where a laughable few show up under the ruse of free food.

        Reply
        • Why so angry? May 9, 2019 at 6:22 am

          I’m guessing because you can’t get laid.

          Reply
        • Stop coming to this site May 9, 2019 at 6:32 am

          If you don’t like the content and Kyle. You probably hate Angelo, but listen to him every morning.

          Reply
  • Meeeeee tooooo May 9, 2019 at 6:23 am

    When the Sixers lose game 6, and they fire Brett Brown. Will they hire Jay Wright? They are going to lose Harris , Butler and Boban not to mention TJ. This is a mess. The process failed.

    Reply
    • Stick to hockey May 9, 2019 at 6:34 am

      Harris and Butler will stay if offered max deals. Boban and TJ have no value. They will come back if the Sixers want them.

      Reply
      • Ben Simmons, Future Laker May 9, 2019 at 9:31 am

        Harris and Butler both staying will be a disaster….a long term disaster actually.

        But, the team is screwed regardless. The process failed miserably as it should

        Reply
    • Nepotism and Coddling May 9, 2019 at 10:03 am

      The sixers will only hire a coach that coddles and kisses the players A$$ and
      does not hold them accountable.
      The only reason brown will be fired is because there is no one else to ‘take the blame’,
      So they will get rid of him and hire another coach just like him.
      And the sixers will not win a championship with the new coach either.
      But one thing is for sure: they WILL raise ticket prices and they will hype
      the team as much as possible.

      The Wells Fargo Center will be razed long before the sixers OR flyers win another championship.

      Reply
  • Meeeeee tooooo May 9, 2019 at 7:14 am

    Butler will be in LA . Harris going back to Dallas. The Sixers will be fighting for 8th seed.

    Reply
  • Why didn’t Brown say about his team May 9, 2019 at 9:19 am

    That Kerr said about his. “Our boys are fucking Giants”.

    Reply
  • Bo BO May 9, 2019 at 10:39 am

    gambling is for degenerates Kyle -not liking all this stuff on your site…

    Reply
  • ts May 9, 2019 at 1:03 pm

    Obviously the kickback on betting sites is WAY higher than any of the other click bait sites that are linked here…..so if you are not interested in betting, then just skip it, but CB would be foolish to not try to get some of the billion $ pie

    Reply
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