Fox Corporation, as it continues in other sports betting negotiations, has another avenue into the industry with this week’s announcement that it has purchased digital media company Outkick.
On Fox’s fiscal year 2021 third-quarter earnings call Wednesday, Fox CEO Lachlan Murdoch underscored a focus on sports betting content to help Fox Bet.
“The opportunity presented by uniting a leading media brand with prominent betting assets and influencers is tremendous,” Murdoch said on the earnings call. “We continue to see substantial growth and revenue upside in this market and are investing to expand and enhance our presence.
“(Outkick is) a natural complement to several of our brands and deepens our investment in the sports wagering ecosystem.”
Outkick’s work includes sports, opinion, politics and pop culture content across its radio, podcasts, online and social outlets. It also provides numerous sources of sports wagering information.
Fox, which renewed its National Football League TV deal – it has the NFC package at $2.025 billion, up 80% over its current contract – is well aware of the need for sports betting momentum.
“Our sports business is really what’s driving our wagering business, you’re going to see us as major players from a media point of view in the sports wagering business moving forward,” Murdoch said.
“We’ll continue to exploit that marketplace and grow in the marketplace. We have a tremendous opportunity but that’s because of the strength in our traditional sports broadcasting business.
“We wouldn’t have the same opportunity without coupling it with Fox Sports and overall Fox brand and audience.”
Most sports fans are familiar with Outkick, whose founder Clay Travis has 10 million monthly listeners on his Fox Sports Radio show.
Travis, who will remain Outkick’s president, said in the Fox announcement: “Outkick has grown out of my passion for producing bold, well-informed, and entertaining content about sports, current events and, more recently, sports wagering. With the power of FOX behind us, we look forward to maintaining Outkick’s unwavering commitment to that mission, as well as further accelerating the growth of our audience, and continued leadership in the sports wagering affiliate category.”
This announcement ties in with FanDuel, since Outkick maintains an exclusive marketing relationship with the online sportsbook giant.
In the Fox announcement, Murdoch emphasized this acquisition and the company vision to grow into the sports wagering marketplace.
“As FOX further diversifies our growing digital portfolio and broadens our position in the sports wagering ecosystem, there could be no better acquisition than Outkick,” Murdoch said in the statement.
“Clay and his team have quickly made Outkick a content powerhouse with a very large, loyal and engaged audience. We expect the synergies presented across FOX’s existing portfolio of assets will turbocharge this exciting business.”
Fox said Outkick customers are valuable.
“Approximately two-thirds of users are between the ages of 18 and 54, with more than 70% reporting household income above $50,000 and nearly three-quarters being college-educated,” its announcement said, adding Outkick creates “highly compelling sports wagering content, and currently has a successful, exclusive marketing arrangement with FanDuel. The Outkick platform is one of FanDuel’s attractive sources of wagering leads.”
But the Fox and FanDuel relationship is in a rocky place right now.
This week, Fox continued arbitration with Flutter Entertainment – parent company to FanDuel – regarding the relative worth of its 18.5% share in FanDuel.
Fox holds an option to buy that share.
Flutter said last week it would not include Fox Bet in a potential FanDuel public listing.
In a conference call on a first-quarter earnings call last week, Flutter CEO Peter Jackson said Fox Bet is “struggling” compared to FanDuel, and its chief financial officer downplayed Fox’s influence.
“Fox is not a huge component of marketing spend for FanDuel,” Flutter CFO Jonathan Hill said. “FanDuel was successful before the merger when Fox became a partner. While we are highly supportive of Fox, FanDuel is not overly reliant on that channel for marketing.”
Murdoch was limited in what he could say during Wednesday’s earnings call.
“We highly value our various partnerships with the Flutter Group,” Murdoch said. “Currently we are both looking to clarify our ongoing arrangements through a pending arbitration.”
Fox previously threatened to remove FanDuel ads from networks over the dispute, but Flutter seems unlikely to react to that threat.
FanDuel reaches new agreement with prominent sports company The Ringer
FanDuel continues to expand its reach, this week announcing a new partnership with sports and pop culture website The Ringer, a year-long deal to run through February 2022.
Under the terms, FanDuel becomes the exclusive sports betting partner of The Ringer.
This new sponsorship represents more than triple FanDuel’s prior advertising investment.
“The Ringer is part of our core strategy to reach, engage and build connections with fans in the US through compelling content creators,” said David Webb, VP of Media & Demand Generation for FanDuel Group, in a statement.
“The Ringer network and the group of talent there bring a unique perspective to sports and sports betting and we believe this combination will add continued value to our customers, fans and audiences alike.
“As industry leaders, FanDuel and The Ringer will collaborate to deliver on FanDuel’s promise to be absurdly fan-focused through the Ringer’s localized and endemic storytelling.”
The partnership will increase visibility via leagues for listeners as well as contests including Bill Simmons, Joe House and a variety of other hosts from The Ringer.
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