Monday 14. March, 2016

Crownbet and Fox Sports in Advanced Talks for Fantasy Sports Joint Venture

Australian online bookmaker, Crownbet, is in advanced talks with News Corp Australia’s Fox Sports, discussing a joint venture in daily fantasy sports. The companies are looking to reach an agreement by March 24, the AFL season opener. This deal will represent the media giant’s first move into the sports betting industry.

Through the deal, Crownbet which is the AFL’s official betting partner, would provide the gambling license and the fantasy sports technology, while Fox Sports would provide marketing and cross promotions through its AFL and NRL coverage.

Fox Sports is not the first Australian media company to extend into the fantasy sports sector with Australia betting operator, TopBetta, and Fairfax Media entering into a partnership agreement in February. In addition, Tabcorp and News Corp UK entered into a joint venture, called Sun Bets, in December.

It has been noted that in signing a deal with Crownbet, News Corp’s commercial relationships with other betting firms, such as Tabcorp, will not be affected as fantasy sports is emerging as a new and distinct market from traditional sports betting.

The scope of this deal will be limited to Fox Sports and will not include News Corp Australia’s newspapers such as the Herald Sun which already offers its subscribers a fantasy sports product – the season-long AFL fantasy Supercoach. However, this product will differ from Supercoach in that it does not run for an entire season, but rather people can enter a tournament on a daily basis or over a weekend.

Australian companies are beginning to head towards the fantasy sports industry on the heels of the US where it has become very popular. Unlike the United States where single-game real-money sports betting is only available in Nevada, Australia has one of the most active sports betting industries in the world.

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