Facebook Soon Introducing Fantasy Sports, Predictive Games

Posted on: September 2, 2021, 08:07h. 

Last updated on: September 2, 2021, 02:18h.

Social media giant Facebook is dipping its toes into fantasy sports and predictive games, revealing a suite of offerings pertaining to pop culture, sports, and television shows.

Facebook games
Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg, seen in the photo above. Facebook is getting into fantasy sports but staying away from betting. (Image: Getty Images)

The first game introduced by the company is Pick & Play Sports, launched in partnership with Whistle Sports. Participants accrue points for accurately predicting the winner of a significant game, points scored by star players, or match-specific events. Users can earn bonus points by going on streaks and correctly predicting outcomes over multiple days.

In the upcoming months, we will introduce new games with TV shows like CBS’s Survivor and ABC’s The Bachelorette, sports leagues like Major League Baseball and LaLiga Santander, and premier digital publishers like BuzzFeed,” said Daniel Fletcher, Facebook senior product manager, in a statement.

Facebook users can create their own pubic and private leagues, or simply see where they rank on a larger public leaderboard. The games are available in the US and Canada on the Facebook app for iOS and Android.

Facebook, Betting Combination

Facebook doesn’t say if cash or other prizes will be awarded to top players. That indicates the Fantasy Games platform is likely more about fun and user interaction on the social media platform than it is a potential precursor to Mark Zuckerberg’s company wading into the world of betting.

Some gaming companies are active in the predictive sports space because it’s an effective way to obtain data and identify new sports betting customers in states permitting that activity. Users like these offerings because free-to-play (F2P) games require no financial risk, while many offer cash or other compelling prizes to winners.

Popular examples of free-to-play predictive games with cash prizes include FOX Bet’s “Super 6” app, which features a slew of games spanning the NFL, college football, Major League Baseball, NASCAR and more. The upcoming NFL Sunday Challenge on Sept. 12 has a top prize of $1 million for the user (s) that accurately predict the outcome of six NFL games and the margins of victory in those contests.

Comcast’s NBC Sports has the Predictor app, powered by Australian gaming company PointsBet. That platform features free-to-play games with cash prizes pertaining to the NBA, NFL, MLB, NASCAR, PGA Tour, and the English Premier League. Penn National Gaming’s Barstool Sportsbook has Jackpot Races, a weekly NASCAR contest with a $25,000 top prize. To win that cash, users most correctly predict the top finish in five groups of drivers, as well as the top three finishers in a particular race.

Survivor, Bachelorette Games Coming

Facebook also plans to roll out predictive games for the MLB playoffs and Spain’s LaLiga Santander season, as well as TV shows, including The Bachelorette and Survivor.

Each week, fans will select a set of Castaways to be on their Fantasy Survivor team and answer a series of questions about the upcoming episode. Fans will then receive points based on the events that unfold in that week’s episode,” said Fletcher

Moving away from sports isn’t uncommon with free-to-play games. For example, FOX Bet earlier this year offered a contest involving The Masked Singer, and its weekly “Quiz Show” game features questions involving sports, financial markets, and pop culture.