Official betting is a thriving business. This market is growing and has the potential to provide additional fans and revenue to sports leagues. As cord cutting disrupts business models, leagues are looking for ways to adapt. Some have already begun to partner with sportsbook operators. Those partnerships have taken shape over the last three years, and have spread across the United States.
The NFL is the latest of the big four American sports leagues to make an official betting partnership. They’ve announced deals with DraftKings and Caesars. During their research, the league found that sportsbook apps were preferred by fans. In addition, the league has started to add a gambling element to its broadcasts. Among other things, the league has added spreads, free play games, and betting lines to its bottom screen.
These new partnerships allow the NFL to promote its relationship with its sportsbook partners and advertise its league. While the sports betting industry is growing, the NFL wants to protect its players and leagues from corruption. It’s also in the process of analyzing and researching the legality of the market.
Previously, ESPN wouldn’t use the NFL’s team names in any gambling content. Last year, they introduced a gambling theme simulcast on its flagship ESPN Plus channel. That’s the most aggressive push by a media company.
MLB has held talks with several sportsbooks, but only secured one deal. It plans to strike more partnerships. Until then, it’s monopolizing the data feeds.