DraftKings (NASDAQ:DKNG) is looking to capitalize on the dearth of domestic athletic competitions while positioning for the return of a fuller sports calendar. In an agreement announced today with Sportradar, they now can offer bettors access to streaming of some international leagues.
DraftKings customers in select states with a wallet balance of more than $0 will be able to livestream sports, including Germany’s Bundesliga soccer association and the Korea Baseball Organization (KBO).
With over 100 different leagues in total on the DraftKings platform, and as additional sports leagues return to resume play, DraftKings Sportsbook will explore potential expansion opportunities of the live-stream functionality,” said the sportsbook operator in a statement.
The company said geolacted customers in all jurisdictions except Iowa are eligible to stream the games through the DraftKings mobile application. The firm is operational in nine states, including the Hawkeye State. It has physical sportsbooks in Mississippi and New York, but doesn’t offer mobile betting in those states.
Prelude to In-Game Betting?
The DraftKings accord with Sportradar could speed the gaming company’s push into the fast-growing in-game betting market.
Earlier this week, CEO Jason Robins highlighted opportunities in live wagering, specifically pointing to baseball and soccer as ideal for in-game wagering because those games move at a slower space than, say, basketball or hockey.
The operator didn’t specifically comment on in-game betting in relation to the Sportradar pact. But it did note, “Livestreaming by legal sports betting operators has become increasingly popular in Europe and around the world.”
Robins said in an interview with Barron’s earlier this week that 75 percent of UK bookmakers’ revenue is derived from in-game betting, underscoring the relationship between that form of wagering and livestreaming.
Streaming Move Makes Sense
With American bettors starved for action in the wake of the coronavirus, DraftKings’ move to offer KBO broadcasts makes sense because the company takes bets on those games. Many gamblers are embracing the previously obscure Korean baseball league while waiting for MLB to start its 2020 season.
The Bundesliga menu is practical as well, as the German league is the first of the major European football groups to return to action. DraftKings customers can wager on those contests as well.
In their joint statement, neither DraftKings nor Sportradar specifically mention a US league to be added to the streaming roster. But NASCAR is up and running, and earlier this week, the NHL announced a format for conclusion of its 2019-20 season.
The NBA, one of the most wagered-on athletic associations in the US, is also in talks with owners and players about concluding the 2019-20.
As for MLB, there’s mounting concern that the league and owners asking players to take salary cuts because a full season is out of the question represents a stumbling block to getting the 2020 season off the ground. Then there’s the worry that if MLB delays starting competition for too long, it will lose TV viewers to the NBA playoffs and the start of college football and the NFL in the fall.