FuboTV to Buy Gaming Operator Vigtory, Launch Sportsbook
With live streaming making huge waves in the sports betting industry, one platform has decided to take the next step.
FuboTV Inc., a sports-first live TV streaming platform, announced Tuesday that it is buying Vigtory, a sports betting and interactive gaming company. FuboTV said in the news release that it expects to launch a sportsbook before the end of 2021.
Terms of the deal were not disclosed. The acquisition is expected to close in the first quarter of 2021, the release said.
“We believe online sports wagering is a highly complementary business to our sports-first live TV streaming platform,” David Gandler, co-founder and chief executive officer of fuboTV, said in a news release. “We don’t see wagering as simply an add-on product to fuboTV. Instead, we believe there is a real flywheel opportunity with streaming video content and interactivity.
”We not only expect sports wagering to become a new line of business and source of revenue, but we also expect that it will increase user engagement on fuboTV.”
FuboTV offers subscribers access to thousands of live sporting events annually, and can stream more than 100 live TV channels, including 42 of the top 50 Nielsen-ranked networks across sports, news and entertainment, the release said.
Vigtory, founded in 2019 by Sam Rattner and backed by SeventySix Capital, has been in discussions for market access agreements in the eastern part of the U.S. and has a deal secured in Iowa through Casino Queen.
Rattner, a digital sports entrepreneur known for developing and integrating sports betting content and technology, previously founded Engine Sports, a back-testing engine allowing retail sports bettors the ability to build algorithmic betting strategies within an interactive experience.
Scott Butera, who was president of interactive gaming at MGM Resorts International and and helped launch BetMGM, joined Vigtory as Rattner’s co-CEO in 2020.
Under the proposed acquisition, Rattner and Butera will join fuboTV’s gaming division as president and chief operating officer, the release said.
FuboTV Details Its Online Sports Betting Strategy
In addition to the Vigtory deal, fuboTV also announced more details of its online wagering strategy.
FuboTV said it intends to launch a free to play gaming experience this summer through its December 2020 acquisition of Balto Sports. Free to play gaming, available to all consumers whether or not they are fuboTV subscribers, will first launch in a standalone app and later be integrated into the fuboTV user experience, the release said.
By leveraging the Vigtory and Balto acquisitions, fuboTV said it intends to launch a sportsbook app where consumers can see betting lines, place wagers, cash in and much more. The company expects to integrate the sportsbook into fuboTV’s live TV streaming platform, the release said.
“The proposed acquisition of Vigtory will give fuboTV the technology to build a consumer-driven sports betting product and launch it before the end of this year. It will also help us solve two hurdles that challenge other media companies who want to enter the wagering market,” Gandler said in the release.
FuboTV recently disclosed preliminary fourth quarter 2020 results, including that it expects to have exceeded 545,000 paid subscribers in 2020, an increase of more than 72% year-over-year.
Other Broadcast, Sports Betting Deals
In August, PointsBet announced a five-year agreement to become the official sports betting partner of NBC Sports. As part of the agreement, the Australian gaming company will have year-round media and marketing opportunities across NBC Sports platforms, including NBCSN, the Golf Channel and regional sports networks.
In September, ESPN announced two sports betting agreements, entering into multi-year partnerships with DraftKings and William Hill. DraftKings became a co-exclusive sportsbook link-out (with William Hill) and exclusive daily fantasy sports provider across all ESPN digital platforms.
In November, Bally’s Corp. acquired the naming rights to 21 regional sports networks of the Sinclair Broadcasting Group. It plans to incorporate betting content into regional broadcasts.
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