DraftKings is partnering with Turner Sports on a new multi-year deal that, among other immediate rights, puts it in position to be featured on NCAA tournament broadcasts should the college sports governing body someday further embrace sports betting.
For now, the deal will see DraftKings odds, marketing and content featured across Turner Sports and Bleacher Report properties, including MLB games and PGA Tour events. The two notable exceptions: Turner’s NBA programming, which went to FanDuel in a separate deal, and its March Madness broadcasts, which are restricted because the NCAA has maintained a hard line against wagering.
Should the NCAA ever change its mind, however, the deal gives DraftKings exclusive rights to be Turner’s partner in those opportunities, according to two people familiar with the deal. Turner also operates NCAA.com and the NCAA March Madness Live products.
Terms of the agreement, which spans TV and digital, weren’t provided. It’s unclear, for example, if Turner will receive affiliate fees for new customers it refers to DraftKings.
“While this emerging industry continues to evolve, sports betting helps to drive engagement, increased time spent viewing and audience scale,” Will Funk, Turner’s executive vice president for sports partnerships and branded content, said in a statement. “This alliance enhances Turner Sports’ content with betting information that our hyper-engaged, highly interactive viewers demand, while driving customer engagement and acquisition for DraftKings.”
This is the latest in a handful of deals between the country’s biggest sports media companies and its biggest sports betting operators. ESPN works with both DraftKings and Caesars; NBC Sports with PointsBet; CBS Sports with William Hill; and Fox Sports with FoxBet, which it launched after investing in the Stars Group. The FanDuel deal, which covers all of Turner’s NBA programming, includes live TNT broadcasts, Bleacher Report digital channels and the B/R app. Bleacher Report launched its B/R Betting vertical last year, and it will be heavily featured in both the FanDuel and DraftKings partnerships. Turner Sports, a division of AT&T’s WarnerMedia, has broadcast rights across a number of sports, including the NBA, MLB, PGA Tour, ELeague and the NCAA men’s basketball tournament.
March Madness is the largest betting event on the U.S. sports calendar. Americans wagered around $8.5 billion, legally and illegally, on the event in 2019, according to the American Gaming Association.