The Fan Duel Group has said it will “invest heavily” in sports betting-focused television broadcasts which will be aired on its TVG and TVG2 cable networks and digital channels, currently exclusively the home of horse racing content.
The Fan Duel group was formed from the merger of DFS giant FanDuel and Betfair US, the American arm of British-Irish sports betting powerhouse Paddy Power Betfair (PPB).
PPB was eager to acquire some US brand recognition as it makes a play for the new US sports betting markets, and FanDuel, with its readymade database of engaged sports fans, fitted the bill.
No FanDuel Informercial
But while FanDuel will be used as the group’s primary sports betting brand across the US, the new TV content will not be branded, according to FanDuel Group CEO Matt King.
We need to make sure that it’s not viewed as an infomercial for FanDuel,” King told Bloomberg this week. “I would want a place where they fully expect the guy running the Wynn sports book to come on and talk about what’s awesome at the Wynn.”
TVG, previously a Betfair US asset, is America’s largest horse racing TV network, which also offers a betting platform in states where it is legal to do so. It is currently active in 35 states.
On July 14, the company launched a FanDuel-branded sports book at the Meadowlands Racetrack in East Rutherford, New Jersey within days of the merger being finalized — the first land-based operation for what had previously been purely an online DFS brand.
All Change for FanDuel Brand
King told Bloomberg he was “very happy” with the handle at the Meadowlands, which took $3.5 million in bets in its first nine days. The company has an agreement to operate sports betting at New York’s Tioga Downs, should the state legalize sports betting, as it is likely to do next year. Like the Meadowlands, Tioga Downs is owned by property mogul Jeff Gural.
It has also signed deal to launch a sports book at the Greenbrier hotel-resort in West Virginia, a state that legalized sports betting last year but has not yet commenced operations.
Retail betting is not the only new vertical for FanDuel under its new management. The group also plans to rebrand the BetfairNJ online casino as a FanDuel product — a curious new direction for a brand that once rejected all associations with with gambling in a bid to convince the world daily fantasy sports was a game of skill.