Turner Sports Strikes Deals with FanDuel, DraftKings

Posted on: October 18, 2020, 08:26h. 

Last updated on: October 18, 2020, 11:30h.

Turner Sports this week revealed deals with FanDuel and DraftKings, making them the exclusive sportsbook partners for broadcasts on TNT and TBS, as well as on the Bleacher Report.

FanDuel and DraftKings have agreed to deals to provide sports betting odds to Turner Sports. (Image: Ryan Armbrust/USA TODAY Sports)

FanDuel is the exclusive sportsbook partner for Turner’s NBA programming. DraftKings is the official sportsbook for all other sports, including the Major League Baseball playoffs that air on Turner networks.

Financial terms were not disclosed, but the deals are expected to be win-win agreements. TV networks are looking for viewers to lift sagging ratings. Sportsbooks are looking to reach new customers and beat rival sportsbooks to land those customers.

FanDuel’s NBA Deal

The FanDuel deal grants it access to exclusive integrations within NBA content, including TNT live telecasts, Bleacher Report digital channels, and the B/R app. FanDuel will give basketball viewers sports betting insight and analysis directly integrated into the NBA viewing experience.

Together, we’re bringing viewership to the next level by offering exclusive sports betting content that’s directly integrated into their NBA programming,” said Mike Raffensperger, FanDuel’s chief marketing officer, in the announcement.

“We’ll be incorporating FanDuel Sportsbook odds and analysis into Turner Sport’s live broadcasts and Bleacher Report’s digital content, offering a new, enhanced, experience for NBA fans.”

FanDuel isn’t new to Turner’s NBA broadcasts. During the NBA’s Western Conference Finals, Turner streamed “TNT Bets” – an alternate live stream of games that offered real-time betting analysis and included FanDuel content. FanDuel odds also were integrated into TNT’s popular “Inside the NBA” studio show.

“NBA fans across TNT and Bleacher Report are responding well to sports betting content,” said Will Funk, Turner Sports’ executive vice president for sports partnerships and branded content. “We’ve already seen this with the TV and digital elements we’ve designed with FanDuel this past season, and are excited to expand our partnership. Our collective goal is to grow NBA audience via engaging FanDuel interactive gaming experiences integrated across Turner Sports’ platforms.”

DraftKings Partnership

While FanDuel will handle the NBA, DraftKings will be the exclusive sportsbook for other sports and the daily fantasy sports provider for Turner Sports and Bleacher Report properties. Planned integrations will include custom content segments, DraftKings’ betting odds and daily fantasy statistics, and personalized automated alerts and editorial across B/R channels.

Those alerts are key to both deals. For example, say a game being aired by TNT is tied late in the contest. A text alert not only might persuade recipients to tune in for the end of the game, but to place a bet.

Regulated betting is quickly becoming a fixture of modern sports entertainment, and this collaboration with Turner Sports further scales the reach of our products and content to engage fans,” DraftKings’ chief business officer, Ezra Kucharz, said in a statement.

Along with the NBA, Turner Sports airs the American League baseball playoffs and NCAA men’s basketball tournament games. For now, March Madness is “not on the table,” Funk told CNBC.

DraftKings has also struck deals with ESPN, as well as basketball icon Michael Jordan.

The deals are just the latest part of the evolution between sports and gambling, a link once deemed taboo. Now, Las Vegas is home to professional teams in hockey (the NHL’s Vegas Golden Knights) and football (the NFL’s Raiders). At this week’s PGA Tour event in North Las Vegas, BetMGM’s odds ran on the Golf Network telecast.

It’s evolved, for sure,” said Lance Evans, BetMGM’s senior vice president of sports/sponsorships, to Casino.org. “If someone has five bucks on a game, they’re going to watch a little bit longer than they would have otherwise. I think it’s good for the business of sports as a whole.”