The number of partnerships between live sports broadcasters and gambling companies continues to climb, and the latest may produce a fuboTV sportsbook in New Jersey.
While there are many unknown details, the media company’s acquisition of an online gambling platform seems like one item on that list that’s nearly done.
fuboTV has an agreement to acquire Vigtory Sportsbook, which already has received clearance from the NJ Division of Gaming Enforcement.
The deal was announced earlier this week via a press release. It’s unclear how much the new ownership will alter the path forward for the book in NJ.
Details on the potential fuboTV NJ sportsbook
As fuboTV is a publicly-traded company, there are some regulatory hurdles to clear before the purchase of Vigtory is complete. However, it seems just a matter of when not if. What seems clear is that this will delay the rollout of the Vigtory NJ sports betting app.
Previously, Vigtory targeted November 2020 for launch in the Garden State. Now, beyond a new target date, there is the question of whether the book will even retain the branding or name or incorporate fuboTV’s marks instead.
Additionally, it’s uncertain whether fuboTV will retain Vigtory’s strategic focus on high-end bettors and experiences. That was central to the platform under the previous ownership.
However, Scott Butera and Sam Rattner, the c0-CEOs of Vigtory, will join fuboTV’s gaming division as president and COO, respectively.
Another area of emphasis in Vigtory’s operations was incorporating live streaming of sporting events. fuboTV can certainly help with that.
fuboTV has a live streaming product and is a carrier for broadcast companies like Disney, FOX, NBC-Universal, and ViacomCBS. Customers can buy access to international soccer coverage to expand upon those offerings as well. Live soccer coverage is perhaps its strongest offering.
There is not yet any official word about how much of that streaming product will be integrated into a sports betting app. To a large degree, that will depend on the verbiage of fuboTV’s carrier contracts with the broadcasters or its ability to renegotiate those terms.
What’s very likely, though, is that fuboTV will build content around its sportsbook in the future. That could include conversations about line movements during game coverage and/or gambling-centric shows. It’s also very likely that whatever this ends up looking like, it’ll be in NJ or Iowa first.
Vigtory announced a market access deal with Casino Queen in November.
Garden State + fuboTV sportsbook = growth
Whatever it looks like, fuboTV is eyeing this year to take the sports betting platform live in New Jersey. From its perspective, streaming media and sportsbooks are synergistic products.
“We believe online sports wagering is a highly complementary business to our sports-first live TV streaming platform,” said David Gandler, co-founder and CEO, fuboTV. “We don’t see wagering as simply an add-on product to fuboTV. Instead, we believe there is a real flywheel opportunity with streaming video content and interactivity.
“Our free to play gaming experience, which will be available to all consumers, will build further scale to fuboTV, essentially acting as another lead generator for driving subscribers to our streaming video platform and, ultimately, our sportsbook. We not only expect sports wagering to become a new line of business and source of revenue, but we also expect that it will increase user engagement on fuboTV resulting in higher ad monetization, better subscriber retention, and reduced subscriber acquisition costs.”
With December’s handle coming in at $996.3 million, pushing the Garden State past $6 billion for 2020, NJ is the ideal market to start with. It’s arguably the most mature in the US. That means a lot of competition.
fuboTV is undoubtedly late to the game. If it can integrate live events into its gaming app, though, that could give it a competitive edge.
Time will tell whether one company acting as both the book and the carrier for live sports will be a winning strategy. What’s certain is that fuboTV is about to go all-in on that plan.