US Broadcasters Aim for Top Spot in Betting

Jake Cooper | 14 Jun 2019

ESPN & Fox Vie for Sports Betting Dominance When the US Supreme Court ended America’s federal ban on sports betting last May, it created a world of new opportunities for eager operators. States could now start raking in additional tax revenues through legal sports betting, while operators could claim their slices of the profitable new market, and punters could access wagering opportunities safely and legally.

Even sports leagues are now able to take advantage of the increased interest on wagers, while media companies have also begun to realize that they too can capitalize on the rapidly growing market. Now, sporting media giants ESPN and Fox are battling it out for dominance in the US betting landscape in a bid to do exactly that.

ESPN Plans New Wagering Studio

ESPN, one of America’s largest sports TV networks, recently revealed its new, dedicated studio for betting content. The broadcasting giant inked a partnership with the mighty Caesars Entertainment Group of Las Vegas to make the state of the art studio a reality.

As a result of the deal, the brand new studio is currently being set up at Las Vegas’ Linq Hotel; an ideal location, considering that Vegas is the capital of betting in the US. It is intended to become a hub for thrilling new sports betting content that will soon reach an international audience.

Although the studio is currently being created, it will not officially open until 2020. Still, once it is operational, it will play a crucial role in ESPN’s sports coverage, and will see plenty of digital and social media content being created between its walls. The network already operates a dedicated sports betting show – The Daily Wager – as well.

Fox Developing Own Hub

Elaborating on the developments, VP of Business Development at ESPN Mike Morrison has noted that working with an industry leader like Caesars Entertainment will help his company to serve a diverse and engaged range of sports fans the best, most relevant content they can. He added that the wagering landscape has changed, and that fans are approaching his network for new information more than they ever have before.

In the meantime, Fox Sports is also broadcasting new TV shows dedicated to sports betting as part of its hands-on approach. The network is busy developing its own platform, Fox Bet, having teamed up with BetStars to do so through a 4.99% stake acquisition in The Stars Group. The deal is worth a hefty $236m, and gives Fox the option to increase its stake in TSG to 50% over the next decade.

Fox Bet is set to launch before this year is through, and will reportedly boast two separate platforms – one for free play, and the other for real cash bets. The goal here is to eventually convert free-playing customers into real money ones, according to the company who recently sold much of its assets to Disney in a groundbreaking deal.