Following a trial of live streaming a major tennis tournament, FanDuel Group will roll out a portfolio of live sporting events including tennis from around the world and European soccer via Sportradar’s Live Channel Online. While live streaming is a well-established part of the betting experience around the world, this will be the first time US consumers will have the chance to watch live action from within their betting app.
"We are really excited to bring live streaming to the US market with FanDuel," said Neale Deeley, Vice President of US Sales and Gaming, Sportradar. "We have been longstanding partners of both FanDuel and parent company PaddyPower Betfair across a wide range of betting and fantasy services. We’re proud to be an ongoing part of their US expansion plans."
"The ability to live stream professional sports inside our sports betting product will provide our customers with a first class betting experience," said Niall Connell, General Manager, FanDuel Sportsbook. "By making Sportradar’s Live Channel Online available alongside our betting markets, FanDuel Sportsbook continues to be the premier sports destination in the ever-growing sports betting industry."
Sportradar’s Live Channel will be included directly into the FanDuel Sportsbook interface, incorporating live events with betting lines and data, now with the added functionality to actually place a live wager on the event that sports fans are viewing.
Nevada casinos with sports books have long paired their betting windows with big-screen TVs showing horse races and major events, Bloomberg reports. Putting sports and betting together online is ideal too, because of the potential for mobile in-game betting and instant gratification. Gamblers can wager on the outcome of the next point in tennis, and watch the bet play out seconds later.
In European markets, offerings like this are common on anything from English Premier League soccer to National Basketball Association games. The video feeds are smaller, with lower resolution, so as not to infringe on the rights of media companies paying for the full rights packages.
For U.S.-based leagues, it’s a bit more complicated, because all the premium content is locked up in long-term TV deals that were negotiated long before some states legalized sports gambling. In the future, leagues like the MLB and NBA will likely break out separate media rights for gambling. In the meantime, operators like FanDuel may be limited in the live sports they can offer.
Still, it’s a big step forward for FanDuel Group, which was formed in 2018 when Irish bookmaker Paddy Power Betfair Plc agreed to buy fantasy sports operator FanDuel and create a combined U.S. operation valued at more than $1 billion. The company has been one of the most active in the nascent sports-betting industry in the U.S.
The tennis and soccer streams will come via Sportradar, which is one of the world’s largest sellers of live rights and data to sportsbooks and media companies. The company’s media clients include Turner Sports, NBC Sports, CBS Interactive, Facebook Inc. and Twitter while betting clients include Bet365 Group Ltd., Ladbrokes Betting & Gaming Ltd. and William Hill Plc.
FanDuel isn’t getting exclusive access to these games in the U.S., meaning competitors like William Hill or DraftKings could theoretically partner with Sportradar for similar access. Connell expects that to happen, but sees FanDuel reaping the benefit of being first.
Valued at $2.4 billion last July, Sportradar is controlled by founder and Chief Executive Officer Carsten Koerl. Its minority investors include the NFL, and NBA team owners Mark Cuban, Michael Jordan and Ted Leonsis.