A historic media and sports betting partnership in the United States was announced on May 8 by broadcasting giant Fox Corp and Canadian gaming giant Stars Group Inc.
The deal amounting to $236 million, is by far the biggest investment yet being made by a media firm in the growing US sports betting market. Fox Corp is purchasing 4.99 percent of Stars Group and is set to launch its own sports wagering platform.
Fox Bet To Launch Later This Year
Later this year, the US sports betting market will welcome a new entrant in Fox Bet. This sports betting platform will be jointly launched by Fox Corp and Stars Group. The new sports betting outlet will have two different offerings: one is a free-to-play product which will give away prizes and cash to customers who can correctly predict the outcome of sports games, the other will allow real-money wagering in US states where regulated online betting is legal.
Both companies are aiming to draw customers by allowing them to play games for free and providing them with a platform that promotes engagement. The move is expected to convert customers to real-money games.
More Details
Fox Corp will grant Stars with an exclusive license to make use of some Fox Sports trademarks for online sports wagering as well as promoting the company’s games, valid for up to 25 years. The gaming giant will also advertise on Fox Sports outlets, including its broadcast media and digital assets, with a yearly undisclosed advertising fee.
Stars Group CEO Rafi Ashkenazi said the strategic partnership will enable them to uniquely gain a foothold in the US betting market, which the company considers as one of its long-term growth opportunities.
In line with the agreement, Fox Sports will soon integrate the new sports wagering platform into some of their sports coverage. The first evidence of the partnership will likely appear on Lock It In, which is Fox Sports 1’s daily sports betting TV program.
For the next 10 years, Fox will have the right to buy up to 50 percent of Stars’ business in the US. By 2025, Fox Sports CEO Erick Shanks said he expects to see a $9 billion revenue market for the company as a result of combined earnings from wagers, advertising and sponsorship. Fox Corp, operated by the Murdoch family, is considering sports betting as a potential revenue stream. In 2015, the media company also bought an 11% stake in DraftKings, which at the time was still a daily fantasy sports firm.
Meanwhile, the Stars Group is looking to replicate the success it’s currently enjoying after it acquired UK-based Sky Betting & Gaming for $4.7 billion last year. One of the company’s core brands Sky Bet is faring well in the UK online gaming market, and is now listed among the top players in the industry. Following an acquisition deal with the Stars Group, Sky Bet boosted its offerings by integrating technology, and has benefited significantly from its brand recognition. Sky Bet runs only online operations and has the largest number of active online players in the UK.
Fox Corp’s Future Plans
The partnership with the Stars Group is part of Fox Corp’s diversification strategy, as they focus more on the US market for sports, TV news and entertainment. The media company currently holds rights to World Wrestling Entertainment matches, college football, as well as National Football League and Major League Baseball games. Fox News alone generates 70 percent of the company’s, and Shanks said they are striving to leverage their massive investment in sports rights to drive growth in its broadcast network.
Shanks went on to say they are relying on customer trust to succeed in their new sports betting endeavor. More engagement from existing Fox fans will lead to more customers placing wagers on Fox Bet.
Fox is also planning to integrate live betting opportunities into its live sports broadcasts on one screen – a technique that’s proven and tested to drive user engagement in other markets where it is being applied.
Sports betting became more visible in the US after a Supreme Court decision in May 2018 which allowed states to legalize it. In the wake of the ruling, several sports leagues and media companies have been exploring ways to capitalize on the lucrative market, forging partnerships with different sports betting and gaming companies.

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