PointsBet Scores $500 Million Deal With NBC in Latest Betting/Media Marriage

Posted on: August 27, 2020, 04:42h. 

Last updated on: August 27, 2020, 05:11h.

Australian sportsbook operator PointsBet notched a victory Thursday. The service reportedly scored an almost $500 million deal with Comcast’s NBC Sports to become the broadcaster’s official sports betting partner.

PointsBet Scores NBC Deal
NBC, broadcaster of Sunday Night Football, is reportedly entering a $500 million deal with PointsBet. (Image: USA Today)

The news, originally reported by Sportico, is the latest in a series of arrangements between sportsbook and media companies and, at nearly $500 million, one of the priciest to date. Under the terms of the deal, which hasn’t been released publicly by either company, NBC will be compensated for referring customers to PointsBet, with the network taking a 4.9 percent stake in the gaming company, Sportico reported, citing two unidentified sources close to the matter. The Peacock Network has an option to acquire 25 percent of the Aussie company at the end of the initial five-year accord.

PointsBet becomes the official sports betting partner of all NBC sports properties, including NBCSN, the Golf Channel, and regional sports networks (RSNs).

While the companies haven’t revealed the agreement as of yet, there may have been indication something was afoot earlier Thursday, as PointsBet’s US-listed stock, which trades over-the-counter under the ticker “PBTHF,” surged 5.17 percent. Markets in Sydney, the company’s primary listing venue, hadn’t opened for Friday trade at this writing.

Joining the Party

The agreement between NBC and PointsBet is the latest in a growing line of tie-ups between media and wagering companies.

Earlier this year, Penn National Gaming got the ball rolling, plunking down $163 million in cash and equity for a 36 percent slice of Barstool Sports. That price tag could eventually grow to $450 million if the casino operator decides to take full ownership of the sports and pop culture media site.

Less than a month later, ViacomCBS and William Hill announced an agreement under which the British bookmaker will be the official data and sports betting partner on all CBS sports platforms.

The reason for these arrangements is simple: customer acquisition. Gaining new clients is one the largest expenses sportsbook operators grapple with, and as more states permit sports betting, those costs are rising. Agreements with media companies are cost-effective avenues for gaming companies to get in front of more eyeballs.

For its part, NBC hasn’t necessarily shied away from ties to sports betting. Last year, executives touted “material impact” from sports wagering advertising at some of the RSNs. The broadcaster has eight RSNs, several of which are in markets where sports wagering is permitted. Those are Chicago, Philadelphia, Washington, DC, and the Pacific Northwest. The other regional assets are California, New York City, and the San Francisco Bay Area.

Busy Run for PointsBet

The Australian operator is busy expanding its US footprint in August. Earlier this month, PointsBet pitched its flag in Colorado, sealing deals with the NBA’s Denver Nuggets, the NHL’s Colorado Avalanche, and the Colorado Mammoth of the National Lacrosse League.

Last week, the sportsbook operator became the official betting partner of the PGA Tour. The company currently offers sports betting in New Jersey, Indiana, and Iowa.